Freeview Australia turns to MediaHQ for new HbbTV service | Infrastructure | News | Rapid TV News
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Online video technology provider Switch Media has revealed that it delivered Freeview Australia’s new integrated Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV (HbbTV) service, which launched on 12 April 2021.
SWitchMEdia Freeview 29 April 2021
Freeview Australia’s HbbTV service is supported by Switch Media’s MediaHQ online video platform, which provides support for the new HbbTV 2.0 standard. The new gateway is said to provide viewers with a “sophisticated and seamless” integration between broadcast and VOD services.

One of the key user experience features is the service’s always-on “miniguide” and EPG, which replace traditional Smart TV built-in EPG guides with Freeview’s enhanced version. Viewers are said to be not only able to navigate the broadcast schedule more easily but also browse and search for thousands of VOD titles including entire TV series, made available by Freeview’s member FTA broadcasters.

The new launch is the first of four phases. Each phase will target groups of televisions based on the specific requirements of different operating systems and hardware specifications used across device manufacturers, which differ from year to year. By targeting selected groups of TVs across a phased rollout, Switch Media says that it has enabled Freeview to launch its service faster across most devices with a smoother transition for viewers.

It’s not just viewers with new TVs that will have access to the new Freeview Australia HbbTV gateway. Media HQ’s application engine manages app features and displays across different power modes so that older TVs and devices get the optimum experience that their hardware can support.

In explaining why it selected the technology provider for the project, Freeview Australia said that prior experience made Switch Media’s technology the first choice. Switch Media had previously worked with Freeview Australia to deliver its Freeview FV mobile app as well as its Freeview Plus upgrade.

“We’re delighted that we can provide our viewers with a streamlined experience that allows them to watch a huge catalogue of free-to-air content across more than 35 channels as well as access to free VOD content of more than 50,000 individual programmes and episodes from back catalogues as well as current programmes and digital exclusives,” said Freeview Australia CEO Bridget Fair.

Switch Media engagement director Matt Moran added: “We’ve been working with HbbTV specifications for many years, and we have the knowledge to maximise the features available. It’s a complex process that we can significantly simplify for broadcasters and platforms so that they can deliver a sophisticated HbbTV service across as many devices as possible.”

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