Panasonic has announced the world’s first commercial deployment of the HbbTV Operator App (HbbTV OpApp), making access to premium and additional services possible without a set-top box.
The specification enables end users to access the full TV service bouquet (live and on-demand TV) of German TV platform HD+ on any 2019 Panasonic OLED UHD smart TV sold in Germany, without the need for any additional hardware or smartcard. In this case, consumers will navigate through the HD+ TV channels and interactive services through an HD+ branded user interface.
Panasonic announced the option of receiving German DTH satellite platform HD+ directly via the TV set last month. Samsung will also offer integrated access to HD+, the company said earlier this month.
“We are very happy about this launch which is the perfect illustration of what the OpApp was supposed to do: enable an operator-specific user experience on a TV set without the need for additional hardware,” says Vincent Grivet, Chair of the HbbTV Association. “The HbbTV OpApp offers platform operators a game-changing new way of reaching their customers. We are confident that many more broadcast platforms will realise how powerful this is and will soon also adopt this approach, leading more TV manufacturers to ship OpApp compliant TV sets.”
“As the leading company in the area of TV receiver technologies, Panasonic is convinced that the HbbTV OpApp will be an essential element of future devices. The direct implementation of HD+ in TV sets and the new HD+ comfort feature are quantum leaps forward in customer experience. Watching brilliant HD and UHD content gets more convenient and flexible than ever before. Hence, we are very happy to be the first manufacturer to bring the HbbTV OpApp into the homes of our customers in Germany,” says Kai Hillebrandt, Managing Director of Panasonic DACH and NL.
“The direct integration eliminates the entry barriers for the use of HD, UHD and non-linear offers like restart or 7-day-catch-up via TV in one go. We are playing in a whole new league now regarding convenience and simplicity,” says Alexander Sacher, VP Product & Solutions Development Media Platform SES and CTO HD+. “Our new offering is far more than just an additional option of receiving HD+. It might even stimulate the German TV market, high-definition television and the parallel use of linear and non-linear television.”
The HbbTV OpApp acts like a virtual set-top box inside the smart TV set, enabling platform operators to provide a branded, uniform user interface across different manufacturers. When switching the TV set on, it appears in the operator’s ‘look and feel’, ensuring a compelling user experience with the full range of services.