The boundaries between television and the Internet continue to dissolve. Diversified usage scenarios become available as part of the new HbbTV standard. The IRT accompanied the development of new features and tested them. The new HbbTV 2.0 standard was released in February 2015 and submitted to the European Standards Institute ETSI a short time later. In October 2015, HbbTV 2.0 was adopted as ETSI TS 102 796 V.1.3.1. The first devices can be expected beginning of 2017.
The HbbTV 2.0 standard offers an entire series of innovations that essentially focus on the following four areas:
HTML5 browser profile
HbbTV 2.0 closes the gap between the former HbbTV browser profile based on HTML4 and the currently most often used HTML5 – television and the Internet will merge even more. HbbTV 2.0 defines an HTML5 profile that, alongside the HTML5 video element, also makes CSS3 animations, web-sockets, web storage and loadable fonts usable by HbbTV applications.
Tablets and smart phones – similar to the familiar Chromecast method – can start apps on the HbbTV 2.0 device and, in return, an HbbTV 2.0 application can start an app on the companion screen. A communication interface between the apps on both devices, which is also included in the standard, allows for the implementation of diversified cross-device services.
Synchronisation of A/V streams
In this area, the HbbTV 2.0 standard intends for the possibility to synchronously play back a TV video signal with an audio signal (e.g. with additional language versions) transmitted via the Internet on the TV device. In addition, such an additional audio signal can also be synchronously played back with the TV picture on a companion screen.
The new standard enables the use of UHD resolution and the more efficient HEVC codex in HbbTV applications on UHD-compatible TV devices. Furthermore, the integration of the DVB-DASH profile for adaptive video streaming – live and on-demand – allows for the use of several additional video resolutions. Last but not least, the EBU-defined subtitle standard EBU-TT-D was integrated for the transmission of subtitles for on-demand offers and live streams via the Internet.