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Europe's Hybrid Broadcast-Broadband TV

A consortium of European TV industry leaders announced "Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV" (HbbTV), a major new pan-European initiative aimed at combining the broadcast and broadband delivery of news, information and entertainment to the end consumer through TVs and set-top boxes with a Web connection.

The cross industry consortium includes broadcasters Canal+, France Televisions, and TF1, German research institute Institut für Rundfunktechnik, satellite operator SES ASTRA, as well as the software and media solutions providers ANT and OpenTV.

The HbbTV specification was developed by industry leaders to effectively manage the rapidly increasing amount of available content targeted at today's end consumer. It is based on elements of existing standards and web technologies including OIPF (Open IPTV Forum), CEA, DVB and W3C.

HbbTV products and services will provide the consumer with a seamless entertainment experience with the combined richness of broadcast and broadband. This entertainment experience will be delivered with the simplicity of one remote control, on one screen and with the ease-of-use of television.

Through the adoption of HbbTV, consumers will be able to access new services from entertainment providers such as broadcasters, online providers and CE manufacturers -- including catch-up TV, video on demand (VoD), interactive advertising, personalization, voting, games and social networking as well as program-related services such as digital text and EPGs.

HbbTV products and services will be developed for all broadcasting technologies including satellite, cable and terrestrial networks. Apparently, the first satellite demonstrations were demonstrated at IFA and IBC 2008.

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