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HbbTV opens HbbTV Zoo Directory

Invitation to submit entries

We are proud to announce a new HbbTV project that is becoming a reality for the benefit of our community: the HbbTV Zoo Directory. This is a listing of market resources, made available on a voluntary basis, that will help HbbTV application developers to gain knowledge and easy access to HbbTV device zoo resources around the globe, both remotely or in presence.

Interoperability issues are critical for HbbTV applications. HbbTV devices available in the market could differ in terms of features support and well-working implementation. Moreover, different HbbTV versions are supported in the same market or there are different implementations across brands or platforms. These issues are usually managed by broadcasters and operators reducing the number of target devices through whitelisting or blacklisting or by running interoperability testing campaigns on device zoos representing the target market. The latter option ensures a wider audience, which is crucial for broadcasters and their business models and the overall HbbTV community. With the Zoo Directory we would like to improve and enlarge the knowledge of these crucial resources. 

The Zoo Directory is an active list, maintained by the Marketing and Education Working Group (MEWG), open to any entity, member or non-member of our Association, that would like to publish reference information of their device zoo. 

If you are a company having an interoperability zoo for TV devices and you are interested in being part of the HbbTV Zoo Directory, please fill-in the submission form at https://www.hbbtv.org/directory-submission/. Your submission will be evaluated by the MEWG for any anticompetitive information and then published at https://www.hbbtv.org/hbbtv-zoo-directory/. Each item of the list will have your company name, with a short generic description (e.g. service offered, competencies, access). Please abstain from including details on devices, platforms and models available, prices and other information that could generate anticompetitive entries. A contact point must be included.

Kineton International Plugfest 2024

Kineton is delighted to announce the second International Plugfest planned for this year in cooperation with the HbbTV Association. This week-long event will include the HbbTV Testing Event.

The 15th edition of the Plugfest will take place from Monday, June 24th, to Wednesday, June 26th, at the Kineton offices in Milan, Italy. From June 26th to June 28th, we will be hosting the HbbTV Testing Event and Testing Group meeting.

The established joint Plugfests provide a fantastic, controlled platform for all participants to collaborate towards achieving interoperability and delivering an excellent user experience.

Interoperability tests cover cutting-edge technologies such as UHD-4K/8K, HDR, HFR, NGA, HbbTV, DVB-I and HDMI (2.0/2.1a/2.1b) interoperability with sources (STBs/streaming devices, Sound bars, AVRs, laptops, encoders) and sinks (TVs, Projectors, Display Monitors etc).

The Plugfest is open to all companies interested in testing/validating their AV products/software/content/apps interoperability & compatibility with others’ implementations. Participants include TV device manufacturers, broadcasters, technology providers, platform operators, encoder providers, test equipment manufacturers, research & development institutions, standardisation bodies as well as HbbTV app, HbbTV OpApp and DVB-I client developers.

Plugfest Date: June 24-26, 2024

Venue: Kineton offices, via Edoardo Bassini 56, 20133 Milan, Italy

Who: Free for all HbbTV members. Nominal fee applicable for non-members. Attendance is strictly restricted to participants only.

This Plugfest forms part of a week-long series of events, which also includes the HbbTV Testing Event, focusing only on the HbbTV Test Suite v2024-2 validation, and HbbTV Testing Group meeting from June 26th to June 28th. The Testing Event is open to HbbTV members only.

It provides an opportunity for the HbbTV implementers to execute tests on their devices and log those executions as part of the evidence required to approve test cases for the HbbTV Test Suite v2024-2 release. The representatives of test material providers will be available to discuss problems found with either the test material or implementation. The Testing Event participants will have temporary access to the test harness, necessary for executing the test cases at the event. The test plan will be distributed to the event participants a day before. Participants should be TRAA assignees to have access to the HbbTV Test Repository.

Event details:

Please register here.

For content-related questions about the Plugfest, please contact Angelo Pettazzi angelo.pettazzi@kineton.it.

For content-related questions about the HbbTV Testing Event or face-to-face meeting, please contact Nguyen Thi Thanh Van, Samsung Electronics: van.nguyen@samsung.com.

HbbTV releases Version 2024-1 of the HbbTV Conformance Test Suite

Geneva, 4 April 2024 – The HbbTV Association, a global initiative dedicated to providing open standards for the delivery of advanced interactive TV services through broadcast and broadband networks for connected TV sets and set-top boxes, is pleased to announce the release of a new version of the HbbTV Conformance Test Suite.

The v2024-1 Test Suite, developed by the HbbTV Testing Group, is the first major release in 2024 and includes a total of 3,273 test cases, 2,538 of them approved. 225 of the tests were approved during the HbbTV Testing Event in London, UK in February. The total size has increased by 154 test cases compared to the previous release.

The new release of the Test Suite includes 177 tests for features of the latest version of the HbbTV core specification, HbbTV 2.0.4, including Accessibility, Dialogue Enhancement and DVB-I, which are now available to the HbbTV Test Suite licensees.

“We are happy about the strong participation in the recent International Plugfest and HbbTV Testing Event in London, co-organised by the HbbTV Association, Digital TV Group and Deutsche TV-Plattform, with more than 40 developers testing interoperability across different devices and screens,” said Vincent Grivet, Chair of the HbbTV Association. “This clearly underlines the significance of HbbTV as the standard enabling advanced features on TV screens to ensure a compelling TV experience for viewers.”

The HbbTV Test Suite is an important tool for device manufacturers to verify compliance of their products with the most current HbbTV specifications and their features. The Test Suite is available through registered HbbTV test centres and, as a convenience, to HbbTV members for use in their own facilities.

More information on the v2024-1 Test Suite can be found here.

2024 HbbTV Plugfest and Testing Event in London

This year’s first International Plugfest and HbbTV Testing Event, co-organised by the HbbTV Association, Digital TV Group (DTG) and Deutsche TV-Plattform (DTVP), took place in February 2024 at the DTG office in London, UK.

Over 40 developers representing 15 device manufacturers and technology providers, nine broadcasters, platform operators and content providers, and four test equipment manufacturers spent two and a half days together testing UHD-4K/8K, HDR, HFR, NGA, HbbTV, DVB-I, and HDMI interoperability with sources (set-top boxes/streaming devices, sound bars, AVRs, laptops, encoders) and screens (TV sets, projectors, display monitors etc).

The Plugfest was followed by a two-day HbbTV Testing Event. The meeting is an opportunity for HbbTV implementers to execute newly developed tests, including DVB-I, Accessibility, Voice Control, and CTA Wave, and log those executions as part of the evidence required to approve test cases for the Test Suite v2024-1 release.

Many thanks to all participants for an intensive and fruitful week! We look forward to seeing you at the next event at the Kineton office in Milan, Italy, in June 2024.

Autor: Nguyen Thi Thanh Van, Samsung
HbbTV Testing Group Chair

DTG & DTVP International Plugfest 2024

The Digital TV Group (DTG) and Deutsche TV-Plattform (DTVP) are delighted to announce their joint International Plugfest 2024 in cooperation with the HbbTV Association. This week-long event will include the HbbTV Testing event.

The 14th edition of the Plugfest will take place from Monday, February 26, to Wednesday, February 28, at the DTG offices in London, UK. From February 28 to Friday, March 1, the DTG and DTVP will be hosting the HbbTV Testing Event and Testing Group meeting.

The established joint Plugfests provide a fantastic, controlled platform for all participants to collaborate towards achieving interoperability and delivering an excellent user experience.

Interoperability tests cover cutting-edge technologies such as UHD-4K/8K, HDR, HFR, NGA, HbbTV, DVB-I and HDMI (2.0/2.1a/2.1b) interoperability with sources (STBs/streaming devices, Sound bars, AVRs, laptops, encoders) and sinks (TVs, Projectors, Display Monitors etc).

The Plugfest is open to all companies interested in testing/validating their AV products/software/content/apps interoperability & compatibility with others’ implementations. Participants include TV device manufacturers, broadcasters, technology providers, platform operators, encoder providers, test equipment manufacturers, research & development institutions, standardisation bodies as well as HbbTV app, HbbTV OpApp and DVB-I client developers.

Date: February 26-28, 2024

Venue: DTG, 5th Floor, 89 Albert Embankment, London SE1 7TP, UK

Who: Free for all DTG, DTVP & HbbTV members. Nominal fee applicable for non-members. Attendance is strictly restricted to participants only.

This Plugfest forms part of a week-long series of events, which also includes the HbbTV Testing Event, focusing only on the HbbTV Test Suite v2024-1 validation, and HbbTV Testing Group meeting from February 28 to March 1. The Testing Event is open to HbbTV members only.

It provides an opportunity for the HbbTV implementers to execute tests on their devices and log those executions as part of the evidence required to approve test cases for the HbbTV Test Suite v2024-1 release. The representatives of test material providers will be available to discuss problems found with either the test material or implementation. The Testing Event participants will have temporary access to the test harness, necessary for executing the test cases at the event. The test plan will be distributed to the event participants a day before. Participants should be TRAA assignees to have access to the HbbTV Test Repository.

Event details:

Registrations for the DTG/DTVP Plugfest are now open. Please register here.

For logistics please contact Stella Molloy smolloy@dtg.org.uk

For content-related questions about the Plugfest, please contact Ranjeet Kaur rkaur@dtg.org.uk

For content-related questions about the HbbTV Testing Event or face-to-face meeting, please contact Nguyen thi Thanh Van, Samsung Electronics: van.nguyen@samsung.com

Save the date: HbbTV Plugfests and Testing Events 2024

The HbbTV Association wishes to announce the following calendar for HbbTV Interoperability Plugfests and Testing Events planned in 2024, so that interested parties can “save the date” and begin planning their travel arrangements and budgets:

  • In cooperation with Digital TV Group (DTG) & Deutsche TV-Plattform (DTVP), the first event will take place from Monday, 26 February, to Friday, 1 March 2024, at the DTG office in London, UK.
  • In cooperation with Kineton, the second event will take place from Monday, 24 June, to Friday, 28 June 2024, at the Kineton premises in Milan, Italy.
  • In cooperation with Deutsche TV-Plattform (DTVP) and Digital TV Group (DTG), the third event will take place from Monday, 7 October, to Friday, 11 October 2024, at the Fraunhofer FOKUS headquarter in Berlin, Germany.

Each of the 3 events will follow the same format, 3 days of Plugfest on Monday to Wednesday overlapping on the Wednesday with 3 days of a pre-release HbbTV Testing Event and HbbTV Testing Group meeting from Wednesday to Friday.

The Interoperability Plugfests and Testing Events are important opportunities to gather for application developers, broadcasters and operators, device and component manufacturers and ensure applications, services and devices entering or in the market work well together.

Further information on the individual events, including how to register, will follow.

Improved conformance tool helps ensure interoperability for DASH delivery

A freely available tool that validates the conformance of DASH content to relevant media specifications has been improved thanks to a collaboration between five industry bodies. The DASH-IF Conformance Tool is available as either an online service or open-source software.

While the MPEG DASH (Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP) specifications describe client behaviour, conformance of DASH content is important for interoperability.

The Conformance Tool was launched by DASH-IF over a decade ago and has been continuously updated and extended to test against relevant specifications from other bodies. A joint project undertaken over the past two years has improved the tool, making it more reliable and accessible. Along with DASH content conformance, the new tool has options to check for CMAF and WAVE requirements, and for HLS (HTTP Live Streaming) requirements as well.

The JCCP (Joint Content Conformance Partners) was funded by the HbbTV Association along with DASH-IF, the DVB Project, the Consumer Technology Association® WAVE (Web Application Video Ecosystem) Project, and ATSC. The project partners encourage the use of the tool by the industry and look forward to receiving feedback that can lead to further enhancements and improvements.

The DASH-IF Conformance Tool will be presented and discussed during the online OSMART Workshop #2 on December 6-7, 2023.

How DASH Works

Imagine you’re watching a movie on a streaming service like Netflix or YouTube. The movie starts playing right away, even though the entire movie hasn’t finished downloading. This is possible thanks to a technology called Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (DASH). DASH makes it possible to watch videos smoothly and without interruption, even if your internet connection is slow or unreliable.

When you watch streaming video using DASH, your device will automatically choose the best quality video stream based on your device’s capabilities and the speed of your internet connection. This way, you can enjoy the best possible video quality without buffering or interruptions.

HbbTV updates Operator Application specification

Geneva, November 24, 2023 – The HbbTV Association is pleased to announce the release of an updated version of the HbbTV Operator Application specification.

When there is agreement between a platform operator and smart TV manufacturer, the HbbTV OpApp acts like a virtual set-top box inside the smart TV set, enabling 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.

The new version improves support for operator applications to render IP-delivered linear channels, including enabling regular HbbTV interactive (“red button”) applications to appear alongside IP-delivered linear channels and operator-managed user interface elements. It allows for a consistent and seamless viewer experience across broadcast and IP-delivered linear channels.

The updated specification also allows an operator application to manage the streaming and presentation of a collection of IP-delivered linear channels discovered from a DVB-I service list or equivalent, enabling consistent flexible streaming approaches and fast channel change times.

A key driver behind many of these new features are the requirements of UK broadcasters and manufacturers of TV receivers who together will be launching the new Freely hybrid TV platform in the UK in 2024, underlining the relevance of the updated specification for market players. Freely is likely to be the first application using the new version.

The updated specification also includes improvements identified during the development and rollout of operator applications in Germany where they have been commercially deployed since March 2019.

More details on the HbbTV OpApp are offered in two webinars hosted by the HbbTV Association:

HbbTV OpApp – Best practice report by HD+ with HD Plus and SES (July 2020): Watch the recording on YouTube. Further details are available here.

OpApp as a virtual set-top box – Less work and more power than you think with Panasonic, Zattoo and TNO (March 2021): Watch the recording on YouTube. Further details are available here.

HbbTV-Kineton Plugfest 2023 in Naples

The HbbTV-Kineton Plugfest in October 2023 provided developers with a wide range of opportunities for interoperability testing of HbbTV technologies for two and a half days at Kineton’s headquarter in Naples, Italy. It was the third developer event in 2023 after the plugfests at the DTG in February in London and at Deutsche TV-Plattform in June in Berlin.

Developers from five TV manufacturers, five technology providers, two platform operators, five national broadcasters and six major regional broadcasters, representing more than 20 channels, attended the event in person, on average 17 people. The channel application providers tested their applications on the most recent software versions of brand new TV models – with some TV brands supporting DVB-I – and the technology providers tested their technologies, too.

The event provided a great, controlled platform for all participants to work towards interoperability to achieve an excellent user experience. It brought together HbbTV application developers and manufacturers from the whole of Europe to drive interoperability across all applications and devices.

The plugfest was followed by the HbbTV Testing Event, open to HbbTV members only and managed by the HbbTV Testing Group, and its Chair Ms. Van Nguyen (Samsung). It was the occasion to run tests with the new DVB-I specification which will be released in a future version of the HbbTV Test Suite.

HbbTV and Kineton would like to thank all participants who contributed to the success of the third plugfest in 2023. See you at next year’s events!

Author: Angelo Pettazzi, Kineton