Last week German and French broadcasters organised a HBB (Hybrid Broadcast/Broadband) Workshop at the IRT in Munich to announce the development of internet-connected digital TV. Members of EBU Project Group WMT (Web Media Technologies) participated in this event, along with representatives of European consumer electronics industries, service providers and telecoms.


World Wide Webvision


The new-generation TV will be connected to the web enabling the viewer to flip seamlessly through digital TV channels (including HDTV) and web applications. 


This 'new version' of TV, also known as RichTV, will provide access to broadcasters' catch-up TV services such as the ARD/ZDF's Mediathek and the BBC's iPlayer and to a new-generation HTML teletext  environment.





No license fee


The user will access various web-based interactive services provided by a broadcaster via a "red button" on his remote-control. These services will include things such as flash news, signing, multi-lingual subtitles, additional programme-related data and weather reports. These additions will all be displayed as overlays on the TV programme.

It is expected that the RichTV sets will be of comparable cost to today's TVs. The system will be standardised by ETSI, so that the consumer market should avoid fragmentation and the ensuing economies of scale will be passed on to users. Very importantly, broadcasters will not be subjected to a licence fee for the system, and that could well mean that RichTV will succeed MHP as the API of choice for broadcasters.


For more information on this topic, please contact: Franc Kozamernik (EBU) .

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