Opera and Ocean Blue launch HbbTV solution for TVs and STBs

Oslo, Norway and Bristol, U.K. – March 22, 2010

Opera Software, the leading browser company, and Ocean Blue Software, supplier of world-class software solutions for the digital home, today announced the launch of a modular, scalable and integrated Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV (HbbTV) solution for connected TVs and set-top boxes (STBs).

This solution combines the Opera Devices SDK for Linux, Opera’s fully compliant HbbTV framework and Ocean Blue’s proven advanced DVB middleware, which incorporates HbbTV extensions. The resulting package gives full flexibility to OEMs, enabling them to give TV-viewers a premium and feature-rich experience with full support for next-generation Broadcast portals and services, such as ARD/ ZDF Mediathek, Tagesschau and ARTE.

The HbbTV initiative was announced in August 2009, and it aims to combine the richness of broadcast interactive services with broadband content. HbbTV technology is available for connected TVs and STBs, and delivers interactive hybrid services such as video-on-demand, catch-up TV, interactive advertising, personalization, digital text, games and social networking. Opera is a long-time leader in bringing the Web as a multi-usage platform to STBs and connected TVs, and by launching this HbbTV solution with Ocean Blue, Opera will make a significant impact in this market.

“At the moment there are different broadcast/broadband initiatives on the European market, including HbbTV in Germany and France, and Canvas in the United Kingdom, so there will be different market scenarios. However, Opera Software and Ocean Blue plan to offer a common technology platform to all of these developments, based on open Web standards,” said Christen Krogh, Chief Development Officer, Opera Software. “Our strategic technology and business partnership with Ocean Blue Software will help our customers bring the best of over-the-top (OTT) content and services directly to the living room on hybrid devices.”

“We are delighted to extend our partnership with Opera,” said Ken Helps, CEO of Ocean Blue Software. “TV and STB manufacturers want a feature-rich, low-risk solution; the collaboration between Ocean Blue and Opera provides a robust HbbTV solution that reduces time to market and therefore overall cost.”

The first public demonstration of Opera and Ocean Blue’s HbbTV solution will be at the IPTV World Forum 2010. Opera will host this demo from its meeting room (Meeting Room 7) and showcase the solution running on the popular STi7105 platform from STMicroelectronics, a long-time partner of both Opera Software and Ocean Blue.

“ST is proactively supporting key software vendors such as Ocean Blue and Opera who are delivering the key building blocks that will provide the consumer with the next generation, rich entertainment experience on television via broadcast and the Internet,” said Pascal Audiffren, director of consumer business line, STMicroelectronics.

The next milestone for Opera is to extend this joint HbbTV solution with pre-packaged broadband services, in collaboration with GooMe, Opera’s over-the-top (OTT) partner. By doing so, Opera will help further enrich the media experience for TV viewers.

About Ocean Blue Software

Ocean Blue Software is based in Bristol and Hong Kong and specialises in the development, distribution and support of world-class software solutions, which are incorporated into Digital TV consumer electronics products, present in the Digital Home. Ocean Blue’s software products stand out in terms of maturity, usability, operability and adherence to international digital broadcast standards, notably DVB and DTG. For more information visit http://www.oceanbluesoftware.com/.