Switzerland's upc cablecom introduces HbbTV

Friday, December 14th, 2012 
upc cablecom logo

ZURICH — From January 2013, upc cablecom subscribers will be able to use the additional digital functions offered by HbbTV (Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV). TV subscribers can then benefit from attractive background information on programmes and can use content interactively via Internet.

From January 2013, upc cablecom will introduce first HbbTV services. In order to use this function, subscribers must have a DigiCard or receive unencrypted digital television without a set-top box. Since the middle of November, all 1.5 million active households can benefit from this new digital basic package at no extra charge.

Teletext of the future

Today, the majority of viewers use Teletext to follow the latest news, weather or sports results whilst watching television. HbbTV is the Teletext of the future an international TV industry standard established throughout Europe. HbbTV makes interactive television possible and offers more information and operating functions compared to the existing Teletext service. Each TV channel is responsible for their own HbbTV signal.

Viewers require a modern, Internet-compatible TV set to be able to receive HbbTV. Operation is simple: The viewer can navigate through the HbbTV menus for the individual channels using the coloured buttons, number keys and arrow keys on the remote control.

Interactive TV

An example of HbbTV in action: A viewer watches a documentary about France and would like to find out more about the country. With HbbTV, the TV channel can then provide the viewer with interesting information on France. By pressing the coloured buttons on the remote control, additional information on the country is displayed on the TV screen. It is also possible to display on-screen suggestions for a trip to France or recipes for French dishes all in high definition and enhanced with additional information and videos.

Gradual introduction phase

upc cablecom will introduce HbbTV gradually from January onwards. This means that the company will start the transmission of TV channels with the HbbTV signal one after the other in German-speaking, French-speaking and Italian-speaking Switzerland. A TV channel must offer the HbbTV signal in order for this to take place.