Thursday, 29 July 2010

Award track for our HbbTV platform

We’re delighted that our ANT Galio HbbTV Platform has been shortlisted for the ‘Best interactive TV technology or application’ category at the Cable & Satellite International awards.

The ANT Galio HbbTV Platform enables device manufacturers and service providers to develop and deploy HbbTV (Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV) related applications and services to the home. Since its launch in September 2009 it has been licensed by a number of leading set-top box manufacturers, including CreNova, Humax, INTEK Digital, Kaonmedia, Kathrein, TechnoTrend Görler and Topfield.

We’re looking forward to attending the awards ceremony at IBC, which will take place on Friday 10th September from 6 to 7.30pm.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Connected-TV catches up in France

A new report from Nouveaux Paysages Audiovisuels Conseil (NPAC) has shown that more than a quarter of TV sets in France will be internet-enabled by 2012. Only 5% of TV sets currently have the ability to connect to the internet but this is expected to grow to 14% in 2011 and then 28% by 2012.

This growth is expected to be reflected globally, NPAC has predicted that by 2014 59% of TV sets will be connected to the internet. This growth is driven by increased viewer demand for access to both broadcast and online content via one centralised experience. The TV provides an ideal channel for these sources of rich media content, bringing on-demand and interactive content straight to the viewer in their living room.

The report also states that the “biggest winners with the arrival of connected TV will [be] non-linear services, like VOD and catch-up TV”. It is essential that broadcasters provide viewers with access to this ‘must have’ content, as this is what attracts and retains subscribers. But the presentation and delivery of the combination of online and broadcast services remains vital, merging the two into one seamless experience, is the key to unlocking the TV experience of the future.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Set-top box switchover

A new report published by IMS research this week shows that 200 million set-top boxes (STBs) were shipped during 2009, an increase of 50 million from the previous year.

This has been partly attributed to the analogue switch-off in the US. Although the report suggests that potential growth has been inhibited by the credit crunch and a decrease in disposable income people have available to invest in new technologies.

Sales are expected to continue to increase globally in 2010, with digital cable and satellite projects to roll out in both China and Europe. We also expect to see an increase in sales here in the UK with the digital switchover fast approaching, as we saw last week May was the first month on record that no analogue TV sets were sold in Britain.

As consumers increasingly demand more from their set-top box than just traditional broadcast content, device manufacturers must rise to the challenge to deliver new, applications and services to stand out in a crowded market. Content is of course key, but must be combined with a powerful underlying platform to deliver the new services. The user interface (UI) will need to evolve in tandem with this growth. Simplicity is vital for the new, converged UI in order for viewers to easily navigate this wealth of new content.

Friday, 9 July 2010

The Digital Age

It was reported this week that May was the first month on record that no analogue TV sets were sold in Britain. The traditional TV format is fading out, as the UK digital TV switchover in 2012 fast approaches.

The rise of Digital TV with additional channels, HD, a variety of STB functionality and the imminent arrival of 3D TV means the consumer has never had so many choices. The switch to digital also provides viewers with a wealth of new content. The number of digital TV channels available through cable, satellite, Terrestrial, IP and hybrid STBs continues to grow. Add to that the on-demand content and you’re bound to find something you want to watch!

Thursday, 1 July 2010

HbbTV specification approved by ETSI

The HbbTV (Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV) initiative announced two major milestone results today. Firstly Version 1.1.1 of its open standards platform, has now been approved by European standards agency, ETSI (listed as ETSI TS 102 796).

Secondly, the consortium’s membership charter, covering all areas from operational framework to membership policies, has now been signed by all founding members. This signals the formal establishment of the HbbTV consortium and will open HbbTV membership, enabling new participants to actively contribute to the development of the specification.

HbbTV is a pan-European initiative aimed at harmonising broadcast and broadband content through connected TVs and STBs. As a founding member, ANT has been dedicated to the development of HbbTV so we are especially pleased to see it reach these milestones and the continued support from across the industry.