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TV-Apps, Red Button and OTT services on flat screens: German TV-Platform informs about interactive television
The latest publication "White Book Hybrid-TV/Smart TV" with an overview of different aspects of Smart TV is now available also in English
An increasing amount of customers are enthusiastic about the possibilities of multimedia networking of consumer electronics. According to GfK Retail and Technology GmbH in 2012 more than fifty percent of the TV devices sold in the German market were Smart TVs (4, 8 million). A similar trend is visible in most of the European Member States. Smart TV combine broadband internet connection via LAN / WLAN with broadcasting signals received over traditional means of distribution. Smart TV thus offers many additional attractive functions to the viewers. The possibilities include modern Videotext with moving images, interactive electronic program guides, online video libraries and catch-up-services. The devices also offer smart media portals with various TV-Apps. Often, home networking and easy connection with other consumer display devices (such as smartphones and tablet PCs) complete the Smart TV experience and a general internet access through implemented web browser.
In addition to "Hybrid TV" and "Connected TV", the term Smart TV has established a wording for the new type of devices allowing interactive TV-experience and an extended media diversity with digital television. Smart TV devices generally include four distinct functional areas:
- Use of interactive services offered by the TV-broadcaster along its linear program. This technology is realized with the European HbbTV Standard and can be activated by the user at any time during the current TV program by pressing the red buttons on the remote control.
- Use of TV-Apps offered in the media portal of device manufacturer and infrastructure provider. User are mostly able to select additional TV-Apps, and to costumize the portals according to their preferences. This includes the possibility to add, reorganize and delete Apps preconfigured by the portal.
- Internet navigation with an internet browser.
- In addition, user can connect companion screens to the Smart TV screen, using those either as extended remote control or in order to realize home networking.
The German TV-Platform supports the development of interactive television since 2009 with a dedicated Working Group. It is also particularly committed to the ETSI standard HbbTV (Hybrid broadcast broadband TV). The White Book on Hybrid Television was first published in 2011, in addition to the consumer booklet "Hybrid TV" (lately published as 3rd edition) and the information Flyer "Interactive Television: HbbTV on Smart TVs " (published at IFA 2012). The second edition of the White Book renamed "Smart TV" is now available in English on the website www.tv-plattform.de. "The Smart TV trend is highly dynamic and brings many opportunities for the market and the consumer, at a time when the consumption of audiovisual services is subject to changes due to the availability of a large choice of content over all sorts of devices," explains Jürgen Sewczyk, head of the Working Group and member of the Board of German TV-Platform: "Our organization will continue to analyze the challenges and opportunities for the audiovisual service market that of Smart TV market. We invite all interested parties to take an active part in this work."
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