(No.196) HYBRID TV OR CONNECTED TV: WHICH IMPACT ON THE EXISTING MODELS OF RULES FOR MEDIA?
Broadcasters see great opportunities in the introduction of new platforms and devices which bring television and the Internet together ("hybrid systems"). They can expand the programme choice for viewers, simplify access to Internet content and enable broadcasters to provide new forms of enhanced content. Hybrid systems have the potential of combining the strengths of broadcast and broadband networks and services. This is particularly true if they are built on appropriate standards which allow European broadcasters and other content providers to link broadcast and on-demand content, such as catch-up TV. Whilst hybrid technology offers exciting opportunities to serve audiences through innovative services, it raises a number of questions about the relationship between different players delivering services through the same hybrid platform. In the interests of users and consumers, it is important to clarify in which way these questions will be resolved. Furthermore, European broadcasters are substantial investors in audiovisual productions and services, and it is important that the economy of hybrid broadcasting should continue to encourage this investment and allow broadcasters to deliver its full benefits to the public. European broadcasters are calling for all hybrid systems to be designed in a way which respects some basic principles as outlined here. These principles have been developed on the basis of a paper by the World Broadcasting Unions, which provides more background for discussion (WBU, Hybrid and Internet Television, January 2011).1 Respect for these principles is without prejudice to more detailed or stricter rules, guidelines or codes of conduct at the national level. Linkage between broadcast and broadband Hybrid systems open up a new era for media delivery with many ways for broadcasters to provide a wide range of new services. However, simply putting a television receiver and an Internet browser in the same device would fail to take advantage of opportunities to integrate linear (broadcast) and non-linear (on-demand) offers. Consequently, broadcasters and other stakeholders have been developing technical systems which provide for such integrated linkage (including the HbbTV, MHEG-5, MHP and YouView standards for the signalling of broadcast and broadband applications). For example, this will allow viewers to directly access Internet content associated with the broadcast content while watching a television programme. This brings together the mass appeal of broadcast TV and the convenience of the Internet on a domestic TV set.
EBU BBC NGO to be Determined
Will be provided after EuroDIG meeting