The HbbTV specification for targeted advertising, HbbTV-TA, is gaining traction in Europe. The annual HbbTV Symposium heard that the Addressable TV Initiative, founded by German media companies RTL Deutschland und Seven.One Entertainment Group, wants to achieve full technical interoperability of the HbbTV-TA and ADB2 specifications in smart televisions and set-top boxes across Europe.

The European Commission recently approved the creation of the joint venture for addressable television, which was announced in August.

The joint venture will involve offering central technical solutions to consumer electronics manufacturers and broadcasters to make interactive services on smart televisions more easily accessible for the innovative advertising form provided by addressable television. These solutions will be licensable for all European broadcasters.

The ATVI initiative is open to all interested broadcasters, platform operators and hardware manufacturers, stressed Andre Prahl of RTL, the co-managing director of the new venture, at the tenth annual HbbTV Symposium, co-hosted in Prague by the Czech Association of Commercial Television.

“One important trend which surfaced at the Symposium is the engagement by industry players in various initiatives to better use and implement the HbbTV specifications and make the HbbTV ecosystem more practical and efficient, as HbbTV is now a true business enabler for many companies and not just an innovation area. The foundation of ATVI is the perfect illustration of that,” said HbbTV Chairman Vincent Grivet.

The Deutsche TV-Plattform has published a white paper on ADB2 to describe requirements for HbbTV devices for a market introduction of ADB2+TA in Germany. This is closely aligned with the HbbTV ADB2+TA standard, which defines how to enable HbbTV Services and targeted advertising where a linear broadcast channel is received in a STB and passed to an HbbTV compatible television over an HDMI connection.

Other key topics discussed at the conference include the involvement of HbbTV in the new DVB-I standard, which combines linear TV channels and streaming services in a unified channel list.

The symposium heard how DVB-I and HbbTV can be used together to create next-generation television services based on open standards.