Opera TV debuts first complete HbbTV 2.0 SDK for TV and set-top-box manufacturers

Opera TV maintains its pole-position in enabling HbbTV, with new 2.0 version.

Opera TV will soon start shipping its Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV (HbbTV) 2.0 software development kit (SDK) to TV manufacturers and set-top-box OEMs, enabling them to be the first in the market with HbbTV-2.0-compliant devices. HbbTV 2.0 is the newest standard for interactive broadcaster content. Aligned with other web standards, HbbTV 2.0 simplifies the task of creating interactive content on TVs.

Since the standard was launched over six years ago, Opera TV has enjoyed a long experience shipping various versions of its HbbTV SDK in numerous projects to over 20 manufacturers, enabling interactive broadcaster experiences on millions of devices. Furthermore, through active involvement as a HbbTV Association member during the past three years, Opera TV representatives have sought to represent customer interests, while leveraging its vast experience in HTML5 to contribute in bringing the new standard to its highest potential.

“With HbbTV 2.0 being HTML5 based, developing applications across all kinds of modern platforms is made simple,” says Klaus Illgner, Chairman at HbbTV Association, the institution responsible for setting global HbbTV standards and specifications, “The new version adds a range of new functionalities like second-screen support, which makes HbbTV even more attractive to develop and deploy new services.”

HbbTV becomes an internationally important technology platform for hybrid and interactive TV services

The HbbTV SDK allows broadcasters and content owners to reuse content across many platforms, saving money and reducing time to market. HbbTV 2.0 builds on HbbTV 1.1 and 1.5, which are already deployed in Europe. HbbTV has also started to gain traction worldwide, finding its way onto TVs in Africa, the CIS countries, Southeast Asia and Australia. Opera’s HbbTV SDK, built alongside Opera’s widely deployed, Chromium/Blink-based HTML5 SDK, includes video streaming, application management and all the application program interfaces (APIs) needed to create fully-compliant HbbTV 2.0 devices. TV manufacturers who integrate Opera’s HbbTV SDK will be able to deploy these HbbTV 2.0 interactive experiences in their devices as early as Q1 2016.

HbbTV functionality is already available on millions of devices in many countries. In Germany, HbbTV was on 92% of all connected TVs shipped in 2014, according to Deutsche TV-Plattform (data from GfK Retail and Technology GmbH).

“It is good to see companies like Opera integrating the latest features for HbbTV 2.0 into its products, positioning HbbTV 2.0 at the forefront of Smart TV technology. We hope to see more vendors taking part in the developments in the future,” adds Illgner.

How broadcasters can leverage HbbTV

Broadcasters can use their premium presence in front of viewers to promote services and content such as program guides, catch-up TV and their back-catalogs. HbbTV opens a world of possibilities for commercial broadcasters including displaying overlay advertisements that let viewers click on ads to learn more or sign-up for offers directly with their remote controls.

HbbTV is used to implement “start-over”, a connected-TV feature that allows a late-coming viewer to press a button and play the current program from the start, seamlessly replacing the running program. Broadcasters can also use HbbTV to add interactivity such as red-button services. HbbTV can enhance programming for people with disabilities with functions like audio descriptions of content or subtitles in large and contrast-rich formats.

“HbbTV is a way for broadcasters to engage with viewers and to lead them to their on-demand offerings, while increasing overall engagement on their channel. This keeps viewers from leaving the broadcasted content,” says Frode Hernes, VP of Products for Opera TV, and a member of the HbbTV Association board. “We’ve worked hard on building this new product to support the 2.0 spec and look forward to bringing this to market with our manufacturer partners.”

*HbbTV is a registered trademark of the HbbTV Association.

About Opera TV

The Opera TV portfolio powers rich web experiences on tens of millions of Smart TVs, set-top boxes, Blu-ray Disc players and chipsets for more than 60 customers, including Sony, TiVo, Samsung, Swisscom, Philips, Vestel and TCL.Tap into the complete suite of tools for creating compelling connected-TV experiences. The Opera TV ecosystem spans the Opera TV Store app platform with hundreds of entertaining apps tailor-made for TV, Opera Devices SDK (software development kit) for creating and rendering HTML5-based user interfaces, and the Opera TV browser for reaching the full web. Opera TV offers solutions for OEMs, pay-TV operators, broadcasters and content publishers. With the Opera Mediaworks advertising platform, Opera TV can help monetize and drive traffic to content through an end-to-end advertising solution.

Visit www.opera.com/tv/ to learn more.