How HBBTV is set to revolutionise your TV experience
HBBTV brings the kind of functionality to your TV screen previously reserved for smart devices and computers. Although a relatively new idea, HBBTV will change the entire TV landscape, making it easier for viewers to enjoy TV and internet through the same interface – which in turn will lead to more integration between the two. But how will it affect the content we watch? How will broadcasters and advertisers adapt to TV’s brave new world?
In this article you will discover the ramifications of HBBTV and ultimately, how it will benefit you, the humble viewer.
What is HBBTV?
HBBTV stands for Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV. It’s basically the place where two vastly different signals: TV and internet, meet.
HBBTV combines your broadcast TV signal (the one that comes through the antenna or satellite) and your IP (Internet Protocol) signal (from your ADSL, WiFi, 3G or 4G). HBBTV devices (like Seebo) enable viewers to enjoy a broader range of content, including traditional broadcast TV, video on demand and catch-up TV services such as ABCiPlayer.
Why is HBBTV a game changer?
As well as enabling viewers to enjoy more content, HBBTV allows them to interact with more with shows via Over The Top (OTT) services. These include functionality, such as Gamification, allowing users to enter competitions or play along with a TV show, and Social TV where viewers can talk to friends about their favourite shows in real time, on Social Media or across a dedicated network.
The Government organisation Freeview (or FreeTV Australia) is working on the release specifications for Australia, and it’s likely that HBBTV will be launched in Australia this year. Several broadcasters in Europe have already adopted it as their standard, and its popularity is now growing across the world.
“From next year, Australian TV viewers will be able to enjoy one of the most sophisticated and yet easy-to-use free-to-air TV services in the world.”
Liz Ross, General Manager of Freeview.
Obviously, not all Australian TVs are set up for HBBTV, and with research showing that the average person changes their TV set every 4-7 years, it may be a while before many households are able to enjoy this new technology (unless, of course, they buy a Seebo).
Right now, there’s not much content for viewers to enjoy in this emerging area, but all that’s about to change.
HBBTV and the content producers
This new technology represents an exciting opportunity for content producers who can now create a truly innovative TV experience. Instead of simply ‘showing’ programs to passive viewers, HBBTV enables content producers to build TV experiences.
You can now become truly involved in the viewing experience, interacting with the show both in real time and when it’s finished. This interactivity means greater viewer engagement – fans now have a way of staying attached to the show even when it’s not on screen.
As TV shows become more like brands (think Biggest Loser, The Voice and House Rules), you can now form the same kind of attachment you feel for your favourite consumer goods and household products.
HBBTV and the broadcasters
Australian broadcasters are facing big challenges, especially with the arrival of US online giants like Netflix and Hulu. According to the experts, viewers are still watching TV, which is of course a positive, but they’re accessing content from alternative sources (including online services) and using second screens while watching. All this means that fewer people are watching any particular show at any time.
Since broadcast TV relies on advertisers to fund channels and clearly the 30-second ad spots don’t have the power they used to have, the big players need to find creative ways to monetise the content they pay for, as it seems that the traditional broadcast TV model is broken beyond repair.
In reality, broadcasters are in a prime position to reset their model and capitalise on this emerging platform. If they’re clever, they can continue to keep the money flowing. That’s why all the major broadcasters are working on HBBTV offerings as we speak. One of their focus areas is Event TV.
We believe Event TV will continue to grow in popularity, not just due to its ‘instantness’, but also because it plays into the growing culture of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) that our digital society has created.
Sports shows, reality TV, live broadcasts and even pre-recorded shows can all have some ‘live action’ element incorporated: a social feed, alternative views, a voting element or the chance to buy an associated product – as the show runs.
HBBTV and the advertisers
While this change could be seen as a giant threat to the traditional (and much hated) advertising break, it could actually be a huge opportunity for brands. HBBTV effectively closes the loop between the advertiser and the viewer. Now, rather than creating attention-grabbing ads, they can focus on associating brands with their favourite shows and integrating them into the experience.
There’s no longer a need to drive people elsewhere to purchase. Why go to a store, pick up the phone or visit a website when you can now access the brand or the product instantly on a second screen? (Or on your big screen TV via your Seebo.)
HBBTV and the viewers
The biggest group to benefit from HBBTV will be TV viewers, and here’s why:
- We’ll no longer need to be bored by ad breaks
- We’ll have a much larger range of content to choose from
- We’ll no longer be watching at the whim of the broadcasters schedule
- We’ll be able to interact with our favourite shows and become more involved
HBBTV gives us the chance to watch what we want when we want, but more than that, it allows us to have more flexibility in our viewing and creates a more immersive experience for those who want it.
HBBTV and Seebo
So, HBBTV sounds great right? And now you’re thinking: ‘How do I get to enjoy this?’ Well that’s where Seebo comes in. HBBTV requires your TV to be connected to the internet, and while some Smart TVs have this feature already, they offer somewhat limited functionality.
Seebo turns your TV into an ultra-smart entertainment hub that allows you to access HBBTV features including; interactive live TV viewing, super fast streaming of On Demand content, social interactivity with broadcast TV and the ability to have your second screen interact with the main screen.
The final word
Currently in Australia, while HBBTV technology is becoming available, there’s not much content for viewers to enjoy, but we think this will change – and change soon.
But who will drive the change? The broadcasters, the advertisers, the content producers or the viewers? We’ll have to wait and see.
Over to you
Who do you think will drive the biggest changes in HBBTV? The viewers, the broadcasters, the advertisers or the content producers? What changes do you foresee? We’d love to hear from you so please feel free to comment below or via our LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ or Twitter accounts or share this article.
About the author: Patrick Tyers – Sales and Marketing Manager at Seebo Networks
Pat Tyers is a marketing professional whose passion is finding innovative ways to take brands, products and concepts to market. Pat has experience with a wide range of marketing strategies and techniques deployed across different markets and industries. Pat has immersed himself in the entertainment industry, with a particular focus on new innovations in in-home entertainment and the revolution of the humble TV set.