Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Russia prepares for HbbTV

We’ve seen strong growth in HbbTV over the last year, not least in Central and Eastern Europe. Poland and the Czech Republic have both launched HbbTV services this year, and Russia has just announced that it plans to launch HbbTV in the first quarter of 2013.

Each of these deployments shows a growing trend towards the harmonisation of digital TV markets, especially in free-to-air systems. The fragmentation that has been endemic in the industry finally seems to be abating, with more broadcasters and network operators choosing to follow HbbTV as a common standard.

There is still some fading debate about whether HbbTV is the best choice for interactive TV services because of supposedly “advanced” features that are missing. However, this debate is now largely irrelevant.  HbbTV was always envisioned as a pragmatic solution that offered rapid time to market while meeting the core needs of broadcasters and device manufacturers. The value of this is being recognised in an ever-increasing number of countries.

Ultimately, the best solution is the one that is widely deployed that also provides off-the-shelf products and economies of scale for consumers, service developers and network operators. As more and more countries adopt HbbTV, the value of HbbTV as a common solution becomes more and more evident.

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