HbbTV New Standard – new Visions?

Since 2010 there is a new standard for TV sets called HbbTV (Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV). This means that all TV Sets delivered in Europe (besides the UK where MHP is the choosen solution) will have access to the internet following the HbbTV standard. Some facts about this issues:
In Germany we have 4,5 Million HbbTV sets. It is expected that 23 Million HbbTV sets will have been sold in 2015.
What does this mean for the viewer? What can he do with his brand new TV Sets? Given the fact, that there is a connection to the web he can do everything, theoretically.
There will be access to the media centers of TV broadcaster, take part in polls and quiz shows in real time is possible, getting more information about a TV Show or having access to my social networks and my favorite websites and shopping pages, use interactive services and get personalized advertising on his TV screen would possible now!
Very nice, but, It won‘t work like this! First of all the good old „red button“ which is established as the trigger for interactive TV services in the UK and ASIA since more than 10 years, is not the kind of innovation the customer will follow. It‘s old fashioned! Even if this is a standard in the UK since years, we need to ask the question why this „dinosaur“ was raised to life by the HbbTV consortium again?

Up/Down Left/Right and OK is dead

And another important point: The classic remote control with  up/down left/right and OK navigation is not the tool to control websites, use search engines or write social media messages.
It is to complicated to use, customers won‘t like it and won‘t use it! So, if the new standard should work for the mass market there needs to be some more work done.

The solution is easy. We just need to open our eyes, sit down in front of a school, in the underground or a bus and look at young people, how they use their smartphones. Watching videos, writing messages, playing games, taking pictures and videos or doing the shopping (sometimes they also use it for a phone call). This is common behaviour, this is the screen which has become a part of the kids life. And this is the only way to keep HbbTV alive and make it a future innovation.

Learn from the kids

There must be a second screen, a tablet or the smartphone which controls my HbbTV at home.  This is a smart TV solution! The second screen controls the TV, all writing and searching action will be done on this screen. Further information, advertising and my social media activities will not affect the programme on my TV.
This is a smart solution with a lot of possible showcase and applications.

HbbTV is good, it was about time to get the web in the living room, but it is not smart if we do not connect the second screen with the TV!

What Will Be Smart About TV?

Today and in the future new TV sets will have access to the internet. This could be the start for a new TV experience. The question is how does the fact to have a TV set connected to the internet influence the consumer? Will there be a new TV experience? And how does it look like? Only more programmes and YouTube enters the living room? Will I use my TV like a personal computer? Is this the end of linear TV? What about on demand content? Will VOD be the future?
The answer to all this is no! There will be a change but it will be different from everything what the business creatives do expect. People change their behaviour and common habbits very slowly, that‘s a fact. We are not talking about the small group of early adaptors. This is about the mass-market.
In nowadays the TV set is the middle of the house, the appartment or a single room. It‘s like the fireplace in ancient times. People sit and watch and talk at the fireplace. Talking about classic TV, consumer habits have changed. Face to face communication did decrease because of a demographic aspect that many people are living on their own. In families kids have their own TV, PC or Laptop.
Watching TV can be a lonely thing. Communication starts may be the next day. Did you see this? How did you like it?  So, watching classic TV was a road with no return. No chance to restart my favorite programme if I‘m late at home. VHS and HDD Recorder did help, but I had to keep in mind that I want to record my favorite show and programme the my HDR. No chance if I‘ve been not at home. A remote for my HDR which I can use wherever I am was not available.
Today the opportunities we have with the internet and especially with our mobile web devices is about to change this. Twitter and facebook will be used to comment on programmes. And both are fighting for the pole position to be the favorite ominous second screen.
This blog is about TV, the web and mobile and how TV consumption will change. It is also about communication and society. Classic TV and next generation TV. In the text above there are so many keywords worth to discuss.  At the end there is only one question left: What was Steve Jobs thinking when he was talking about a complete new TV experience?

It‘s time for new visions!