Turkey's TRT launches HbbTV services with Sofia Digital

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015 
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Turkish public broadcaster TRT has launched hybrid services with Sofia Backstage HbbTV platform

The Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) has started hybrid TV services on their HD channels utilizing HbbTV technology by Sofia Digital. The “TRT ARTI” (ie. “TRT Plus” in English) services are available via TRT’s HDTV channels broadcasted via Turksat satellite, covering Turkey and most of the European countries for all HbbTV enabled DVB-S2 receivers.

TRT ARTI services are available via a “red button” and offer a wide variety of applications:

  • Service menu offering the access to all available applications
  • Rich Electronic program guide (EPG) with trailer videos and direct integration to catch-up viewing
  • Digital teletext services including News, weather and finance information
  • On-demand video services to offer video content from TRT online video services
  • During 2015 the services will be expanded with more applications

The hybrid platform and applications have been developed by Sofia Digital in collaboration with the local partner company Yol Digital. Technical solution Sofia Digital Backstage supports latest HbbTV 1.5 specification though the services are available also on selected HbbTV 1.0 receivers.

Chief Engineer Mr. Ruhi Tas working as the project manager for TRT HbbTV project comments: “Sofia Backstage HbbTV platform has been working reliably and enabled deployment of completely new integrated services based on the TRT’s online interfaces”. He adds “Since the launch TRT ARTI service has gain already more than 300.000 active users, which is a good number of connected TV viewers without any marketing efforts.”

Mr. Ari Pöyhtäri, CEO of Sofia Digital says: “TRT HbbTV project is an excellent case showing how broadcasters can bring new digital applications and Internet video services to regular TV channels without massive new investments, utilizing the deployed connected TV receivers already out in the market.”

Mr. Mehmet Can Hakli, HbbTV Product Manager of YolDigital, adds “Turkish TV viewers are avid followers of new media services which helps media companies to take bold steps to adopt new technologies. Usage statistics show that HbbTV enabled devices are well spread in the market and TV users are very comfortable to adapt to the HbbTV technology. TRT ARTI project is first-to-market in Turkey and its success will inspire new stakeholders and markets to adopt HbbTV services.”