HbbTV Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV

HbbTV = Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV

HbbTV is an industry standard that provides an open and business neutral technology platform, which seamlessly combines television services delivered via the broadcast signal, with services delivered via broadband. With the HbbTV® standard, broadcasters are able to provide interactive service and content to the viewers on the TV screen.

HbbTV is short for, Hybrid Broadcast Broadband Television and was initiated by European broadcasters as they witnessed viewers churning from television to the Internet. HbbTV® was developed, as a way to turn the threat from the internet, into an opportunity by combining the two in one platform.

HbbTV broadcast and broadband

The hybrid set-top box or iDTV’s is simultaneously connected to the broadcast network and the Internet. In areas where Internet connection is not available, services like Enhanced EPG, Super teletext and other services with non-heavy content (text, images) are still possible and delivered via the broadcast network (Data-over-broadcast).

When connected to the Internet the hybrid devices can download non-linear content e.g. catch-up TV, Video-on-Demand, etc., receive linear content (TV/Radio), and get additional services and data from web servers. The Internet acts as a return channel and allows the device to interact with services hosted over the Internet to request content or send user data.

The main uses of the broadcast connection are the following:
  • Transmission of standard TV, radio and some data services.
  • Signaling of broadcast-related applications.
  • Transport of broadcast-related applications and associated data.
  • Synchronization of applications and TV/radio/data services.
The main uses of the internet connection are the following:
  • Carriage of On Demand content (VOD, catch-up TV).
  • Transport of broadcast-related and broadcast-independent services and associated data.
  • Exchange of information between applications and application servers.
  • Discovery of broadcast-independent applications.
Red Button

The Red button on the remote control acts as the launcher for all HbbTV services. E.g. A viewer is watching a travel TV program when the Red button information appears on the screen.

HbbTV red-button example

The viewer press the Red button on the remote control, and this takes him/her to the “linked” information. In this example a SONNENKLAR.TV a German travel portal.

HbbTV red-button example 2

The viewer can also access HbbTV® services available on the particular TV station via a portal, by pressing the Red button at any time. All navigation is handled from the TV remote control, which makes it very easy to use thus having a low learning curve.

HbbTV Service Examples

A wide variety of HbbTV® services and applications can be deployed including:



The portal is the window to all the available services. The portal can also include content like News, advertising, weather, trailers, sports news, etc.


HbbTV Enhanced EPG

EPG is used on daily basis by most of the TV viewers. The normal EPG provides text and time for the program, while with an HbbTV® Enhanced EPG images, catch-up content and video trailers can be added.


HbbTV Video-on-demand

Catch-up TV and Video on demand are solutions that allows viewers to select and consume video content on-demand i.e. when they want. The Catch-up application can be integrated with EPG.



Viewers with internet-connected boxes can access HbbTV® based time-shifting features. These include Start-over TV for catching up on the start of a program already broadcasting.



Rating/Voting application is for broadcasters that want to get feedback from their viewers. It enables them to do polls and voting, that are synchronized with the TV program.



Games offers a great way to keep viewers in front of the screen and spend that extra time on the channel. The games can be branded and include advertising.



Integration and interaction with social media networks services to keep viewers on TV instead of moving to other screens plus share, like, discuss (Viral marketing)



E-commerce either as standalone services or used as link to the TV programs “Red button” option, as “buy now, push the red button, to place your order”. I.e. together with shopping-TV.



As HbbTV® services is build-using standards known from the internet, it opens a whole range of additional services, already known from the internet, including the integration of external information via XML or http.

  • News, weather, sports.
  • Regional & Local TV.
  • E-Government.
  • E-Learning.
  • E-Payment.
  • E-Health.
  • Games.
  • Music.
  • Radio.
Example of HbbTV Enhanced EPG and Catch-up from Arte a Franco-German TV network

Other Video Examples of HbbTV (Playlist)

This is the first part of our mini-series on HbbTV, in case, you are interested in the two other articles, they are: “Revenue streams and benefits with HbbTV” and “HbbTV Devices, Growth, Footprint and Standards”.


Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV (HbbTV) | Wikipedia


HbbTV Video Examples (YouTube)

Introduction to HbbTV – Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV
Allan T. Rasmussen HbbTV presentation at Thailand’s Engineering Expo November 29, 2014

Author: Allan Rasmussen
Managing director at Yozzo. Allan is a MVNA/MVNE/MVNO specialist with hands-on experience from more than 60 projects in both competitive and greenfield markets. His expertise includes business case development, execution, launch and growth strategies. Advisor and consultant to mobile network operators, MVNA, MVNE, MVNO, National Regulatory Authorities, Government Agencies, Broadcast Companies, TMT Industry Associations, Innovation and Investment Banks.
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