Standards

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HbbTV is (abbreviation of “Hybrid broadcast broadband TV”) a standard which allows to offer combinations of broadcast and broadband services on CE devices like TV sets or Set Top Boxes. Compared to the many proprietary browser based SmartTV platforms of individual manufacturers, HbbTV has two main benefits:

  • It provides a standardized browser environment which allows to offer web services on TV sets across all manufacturers.
  • It provides a number of functions to integrate deeply broadcast and broadband services.

HbbTV generally tries not to re-invent new technical specifications but to re-use components defined by other specifications which have been generated by organisations like ANSI, MPEG, OIPF or DVB[1]. Consequently, the HbbTV specifications link to many more technical documents. The aim of this is to align HbbTV as much as possible with other systems. The general entry point for the technical definition of the HbbTV system is the HbbTV specification. It lists and links to all used technology components and defines what is used as a part of HbbTV.

Standard overview

The drawing shows which main technical specifications are used and referred to by HbbTV. The basis specification HbbTV [2] takes over important parts of the browser specification of the Open IPTV Forum (OIPF). OIPF has specified a subset of the CE-HTML standard [3] and added a number of additional APIs. The basis of all browser definitions are the common W3C web standards. For the AV encoding standard and the allowed AV profiles HbbTV refers to the media formats defined by OIPF. These pick a subset of the encoding standards defined by DVB for DVB terminals. The reasons for this is to save implementation effort on the HbbTV terminals by aligning the video profiles for broadband with those for broadcast. On the container level HbbTV allows for video streaming not only MPEG2-TS but also ISO/IEC MPEG-File format. Signalling of HbbTV applications in the broadcast signals is covered by a DVB specification[1] which also addresses the aspects of transmitting HbbTV applications and synchronisation information via the broadcast streams. Furthermore, HbbTV support for HTTP adaptive streaming (based on MPEG-DASH), improving the perceived quality of video presentation on busy or slow Internet connections. It also allows to protect DASH delivered content with multiple DRM technologies based on the MPEG CENC specification.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 |ETSI TS 102 809 (V1.1.1): "Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB); Signalling and carriage of interactive applications and services in Hybrid Broadcast/Broadband environments" (Jan. 2010)
  2. |1.0 1.1 1.2 ETSI TS 102 796 v1.1.1 (June 2010)
  3. CEA-2014-A, (Including the August 2008 Errata) “Web-based Protocol Framework for Remote User Interface on UPnP Networks and the Internet (Web4CE)”