Opera TV and Vestel are partnering to deliver next-generation entertainment and interactive television experiences to European audiences. Opera TV’s software will be incorporated in the new line of Vestel televisions, to provide customers with Ultra HD content and powerful interactive experiences using the latest Hybrid Broadcast and Broadband TV (HbbTV) specification, HbbTV 2.0. That means viewers will have harmonized access to linear and on-demand content, as well as interactive “red button” applications such as in-context-based advertising, personalization, voting, games, social networking, and other multimedia apps, to easily control their viewing experience.
“Vestel has included the Opera TV SDK on millions of devices since 2012 to provide our customers with the best television experience available today,” says Hakan Kutlu, deputy general manager at Vestel. “In Europe, HbbTV has been at the forefront of interactive television. In 2015, there were a total of 16.5 million HbbTV devices in Germany alone, which is expected to increase further in 2016. Vestel is proud to be leading the market in offering enhanced TV experiences, putting consumers more fully in charge of their viewing.”
This is not the first time Vestel and Opera TV have partnered to provide consumers with interactive entertainment options. Since 2012, Opera TV SDK and Opera’s HbbTV technology have been deployed in Vestel manufactured Smart TVs and set-top boxes. HbbTV 2.0 requirements are much more robust and require a trusted partner like Opera TV to bring this technology to the broader market. Opera TV was the first company to offer the ready-to-deploy HbbTV 2.0 SDKs to TV OEMs and set-top-box manufacturers. HbbTV 2.0 is based on HTML5, aligning with modern internet standards and enabling broadcasters to offer their viewers advanced experiences for digital streaming over linear programming. The Opera TV HbbTV 2.0 SDK is built on top of the Opera TV SDK, which is highly optimized for Smart TV and set-top-box hardware and supports a wide range of standards and use cases.
HbbTV is both an industry standard and a global initiative designed to harmonize the broadcast and broadband delivery of entertainment services to consumers through connected televisions, set-top boxes and multiscreen devices. HbbTV can deliver services ranging from VOD to interactive advertising to voting to games to enhanced teletext to web browsing and other multimedia apps. HbbTV is currently available on 25 million devices in 15 countries, with 100 available apps. Last year, HbbTV availability expanded to the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Senegal, Namibia, Bosnia and Estonia, with expansion planned to Norway, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, South Africa and Ivory Coast in 2016.
“The Smart TV market will continue its expansion in 2016, and technologies such as HbbTV are powering much of that growth, as consumers demand more choices and control in their television viewing,” says Aneesh Rajaram, CEO of Opera TV. “Opera TV continued our commitment to the HbbTV standard and was an early investor in HbbTV 2.0 technology, ultimately being first-to-market with our product. We are now proud to deliver this to Vestel who will ship this technology in millions of Smart TVs each year, enabling new consumer experiences in Europe.”