The Digital TV Group in the United Kingdom has released the second version of its Connected TV technical specification and for the first time made it available to non-members. Known as D-Book 7 Part B, it references the latest version of the European HbbTV hybrid broadcast broadband television specification and includes additional features relevant to the national market. The DTG will also propose such requirements for inclusion in the next version of the HbbTV standard.

The document describes a platform in which television channels, on-demand media and applications may be delivered over a broadband internet connection to hybrid devices that may also include a broadcast receiver.

The specification builds on the specification for Freeview HD, extending this into the connected television world. It uses the latest version of the HbbTV specification as the minimum requirement, with additional features to meet the requirements of service providers in the United Kingdom.

The significance of this is that it enables harmonisation of requirements with other European hybrid platforms.

YouView and Freesat both references parts of the D-Book 7 standard but add further requirements and are subject to trade mark licensing agreements.

The D-Book 7 Part B will be available for anyone to implement without specific trade mark requirements and will effectively ensure the continued development of the digital terrestrial television platform, as promoted by Freeview, independent of YouView, based on HbbTV.

“D-Book 7 Part B reflects over three years of critical industry collaboration to meet the UK requirements for connected TV. The publication of Part B not only ensures world leading services for UK consumers but demonstrates our continued commitment to the harmonisation of standards across the European Union and the rest of the world.” said Richard Lindsay-Davies, the director general of the DTG.

“This latest development is particularly important because it clearly references and builds on the most recent HbbTV standard, currently with the European Telecommunications Standards Institute for ratification. The DTG will continue to develop the D-Book as new innovations are discussed.”

The Connected TV technical specification runs to over 200 pages. Other features, such as seamless insertion of advertising are currently being investigated and will be incorporated in subsequent releases.

The D-Book is built upon international standards, including those published by OIPF, ETSI and ISO/IEC, with extensions to cater for UK-specific features.

The Digital TV Group is the industry association for digital television in the United Kingdom. The Group publishes and maintains the technical specification for Freeview and Freeview HD in the UK, provides conformance testing services and manages the Engineering Channel, which allows over air downloads of software updates for the Freeview and Freesat platforms.

The DTG has skilfully balanced the requirements of its various member stakeholders to achieve consensus on the main technical requirements for connected television receivers, to the benefit of the whole industry.

Digital Terrestrial Television Requirements for Interoperability: The D-Book 7 Part B Version 2 is available for download from the DTG web site.