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back to article WTF is... HbbTV?

Connected TV is all the rage. Every major brand has its own IPTV platform, such as Panasonic's VieraConnect or Samsung's Smart TV, offering a mix of catch-up services and additional content like movie trailers and YouTube access. As it stands, content providers need to work with TV and set-top box makers to integrate their …

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Anonymous Coward

HbbTV?

Hogs Back Bitter on TV Naturally.

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Bring it on

I for one love freesat. Anything that extends it and makes it more relevant can only be a good thing.

Ps Freesat - more HD channels pls.

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31st February?

No wonder YouView is struggling with delays.

From the UI screenshot they're planning on February 31st - it could be a while before that date comes around :)

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f*ck off, and NO

>That has caused friction among UK content providers, some of whom feel they,

>not a consortium, should be free to define the UI that fronts their IPTV services.

Fuc* off, and NO. Consortiums usually produce shit results, but it will be consistent.

I do NOT want the retards who build menus on DVDs to build IPTV menus, thankyouverymuch.

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So what are you asking for? If not the morons who build menus on DVDs, then the morons who produce the devices (see Panasonic and its adverts in its EPG)? Or if not the HbbTV consortium, how about the YouView consortium?

Face it, there are precious few people who can build a decent UI (for reasons that are quite frankly beyond me) and the ones who are good at it will probably have a good stab at getting the HbbTV experience as good as they can.

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Anonymous Coward

This is nothing new

So - having looked after the running of Ceefax several years ago, I know that it was indeed a very popular system....I bemoaned the Interactive service, because people wanted bigger better content; and quite frankly, there was never enough bandwidth to offer anything other than a 'basic information' service. A lot of services that were on Ceefax went off to bbc,co.uk; and the quickness of accessing information means that we probably don't miss the teletext services quite so much....

There was a real art of ASCII art that both teletext and ceefax offered; but what I really wanted to say was the delivering content to the TV / computer across the 'airways' is nothing new. Back in the heady days of 1984-1991 [I think], Ceefax used to offer download programmes for the BBC Micro computer - you needed a special teletext decoder for your BBC Micro, and these programs were not generally larger than about 10k in length [remember your average BBC Model B had 32k of RAM], and this process was clunky to watch [there was a status bar even - and your code was retransmitted every minute!!!]

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Mode 7

PRINT CHR$(141);"I MISS CEEFAX"

PRINT CHR$(141);"I MISS CEEFAX"

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Thumb Up

@AC

Telesoftware actually started in 1983, although it wasn't until several years later that I acquired the teletext decoder for my BBC Model B :-)

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Even weirder if you only did one of those lines... :-)

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We have it in Germany...

But I haven't seen it demonstrated or advertised anywhere. Even Level 2.5 teletext decoders are hard to find.

Speaking of Teletext, I still think the best teletext service ever was the one of the ORF (austrian broadcasting). They were the first european station to get teletext and they had special programmes for geeks. For example They regularly transmitted user transmitted programmes, plus they had a variety of different programming courses on their pages. For example 2 assembler courses and one for C I think.

Plus they had an in depth course on Teletext.

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Meh

Pages from ceefax

Brings back memories of many sleepless nights :)

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FAIL

JavaScript?

So now my new TV is at risk of being pwned by any skiddie who fancies a pop?

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Not quite that straightforward

There are potential exploits or ways of fiddling things, but there are quite a few hoops to jump through. Typically, a brand's TV service will connect to a server specific in the firmware and fetch specific files for the home screen; for instance, in VieraCast, it's at vieracast.eu.

So you'd either have to subvert the server that holds all the data for a specific brand, and get your own scripts in there, or hope that a particular vendor doesn't check things you upload to their marketplace, or you would have to subvert the DNS on the home user's network, redirecting and requests to the various TV portals to alternative addresses (and hoping there's no additional checking going on).

And then, what could you possibly achieve if you do that? Display some porn instead of the video the user wants? It's not likely they'll have all their banking credentials stored on the TV, after all. Even services like LoveFilm don't require you to enter anything more than a linking ID code on the TV set.

So, while HbbTV may give a common platform with which to code mischievously, you still have to get your application onto someone's TV, which is still probably going to require brand-specific techniques.

You can read a bit more about how VieraCast works at http://customvieracast.blogspot.com/ and I also talked about the security issue on my blog a while back at http://gonedigital.net/2011/04/27/security-in-a-connected-tv-world/

The HbbTV spec does include a section on security, and it's possible for applications to be considered trusted or untrusted, and for TLS/SSL to be used.

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Fixed it for you

It's not likely they'll have all their banking credentials stored on the TV, yet.

There that's better.

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Anonymous Coward

Press 'reveal'

Press 'reveal' - Ceefax and Oracle quiz pages - happydaze.

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Go

Bamber Boozle often filled advert breaks in 15 to 1 and Countdown in my student household

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FAIL

Youview

Isn't that a misrepresentation of Youview? They're defining the UI of the platform wide aspects (EPG, setup, browsing OnDemand providers, etc), but each content provider still gets to define their own portal?

The picture you showed is Youview-consortium defined, but then that's be it's the EPG for freeview (all Youview boxes will also be Freeview boxes). You can see the link to access ITV-Player, that'll lead you to a UI that is unlikely to be the same as the BBC iPlayer.

How is this different to HbbTV?

HbbTV: Overall UI defined by the hardware manufacturer. You use this to select an individual content provider from a list. Only then do you reach a UI defined by the content provider.

Youview: Overall UI defined by Youview, implemented by hardware manufacturer. You use this to select an individial content provider from a list. Only then do you reach a UI defined by the content provider.

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At least part of what YouView is planning is the 'backwards' EPG, which should integrate catch-up and broadcast in the same interface, from that point of view it's more unified in terms of presenting the main TV platform, which is what I was getting at.

So, for the content from the main channels that appears in the EPG and as catch-up by scrolling backwards, YouView will be defining a platform in a much stronger way - if you scroll back to last Tuesday's EastEnders, my understanding is that that's what you'll get when you select it, rather than a sudden jump into an iPlayer UI.

Yes, there will still be individual VoD deployed through YouView, but it will also have that unifying wrapper around the main free to air channels and their catch-up services, which isn't something that you'll be getting from HbbTV.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Coffee/keyboard

Argh another horrible hybrid offering

PC + TV will always trump! Anytime i have tried a media-center type experience it is always found to be left wanting. TV Dinner on the KB...

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User Interface

Surely from a consumer's point of view, a common user interface would be more appreciated than a different one for each manufacturer?

If the EPGs on existing STBs are anything to go by, if the YouView consortium can produce a decent UI and get it through consumer testing, it'll be much appreciated. Some existing EPGs are horrendous, not to mention the car crash that was Teletext Extra (horrendous colour scheme, banner ads littered everywhere)

Not to mention the dozen-or-so different routes STBs / digital TVs made by different manufacturers offer for retuning - how many other consumer devices require you to RTFM and navigate through a minefield of menus to perform a task required every couple of weeks or so (or whenever a new channel appears / old channel disappears / existing channel changes frequency or LCN)?

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Anonymous Coward

Uniform

Thing is it looks so much better and offers a better user experience when every thing is the same, I hate the way the BBC force me to use the shitty iPlayer interface to the Virgin Media on demand service, the Virgin one works better and faster than the BBC one every time.

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