HbbTV expands DASH DRM Reference Application with multiperiod DASH and SL3000 tests

Geneva, June 20, 2022 – The HbbTV Association, a global initiative dedicated to providing open standards for the delivery of advanced interactive TV services through broadcast and broadband networks for connected TV sets and set-top boxes, is pleased to announce a significant addition to its DASH DRM Reference Application – multiperiod DASH (as may result from server-side Ad Insertion (SSAI)) and PlayReady SL3000 as is being required more and more by US content providers.

The HbbTV Association introduced the HbbTV DASH DRM Reference Application in 2017, after recognising that DRM and DASH playback raised interoperability issues which were not covered fully in the HbbTV Test Suite. During its lifetime, the functionality of the application has been constantly improved under the guidance of the Improving Interoperability Task Force (IITF) of the HbbTV Association.

The HbbTV DASH DRM Reference Application offers PlayReady, Marlin and ClearKey protected test content, Live DASH content created with LiveSim from DASH-IF, multi-track audio streams, important elements for low-latency DASH, two alternatives for support of subtitles, MPD events, and much more, all in different resolutions and frame rates, up to 4K.

Among the most recent additions are multiperiod DASH tests with both live and VOD content. The development was closely tied to the ongoing development of the open-source video player library developed by DASH-IF, dash.js. Multiperiod DASH content covers a variety of use-cases of Server-Side Ad Insertion (SSAI) and offers alongside a simple example also more difficult scenarios complete with subtitles, multiple ad breaks, multi-track audio switching, and timeline gaps in component streams.

Another important new addition is enhanced content security tests in the form of Microsoft PlayReady Security Level 3000. This content, along with multiperiod DASH content, is now freely available for device and end-user testing at https://refapp.hbbtv.org.

At the centre of the project since its beginning has been comprehensive testing. HbbTV Association’s supplier compiles a monthly anonymised testing report, which provides a detailed overview of the current status of the implementations in the field while avoiding identifying any particular manufacturer’s product.

The HbbTV DASH DRM Reference Application is developed for the HbbTV Association by Sofia Digital, a Finland-based company specialising in video streaming and hybrid application development. New features being planned for the year 2022 include cbcs encryption mode for compatibility with Apple, key rotation examples, and persistent DRM licenses.

The HbbTV DASH DRM Reference Application is a valuable tool for TV set manufacturers, broadcasters, and national testing regimes for testing TV sets and content regarding their support of different DASH video streams and DRM encryption decoding. The application implementation guidelines call for the code to be easily reusable for anyone to implement their own DASH video streaming application, and as the code is available under the MIT license, there’s no obstacle to achieve just that.

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FOKUS Media Web Symposium 2022
The latest additions to the HbbTV DASH DRM Reference Application will also be discussed at the 9th FOKUS Media Web Symposium on June 21-22, 2022 in Berlin. The international conference organised by Fraunhofer FOKUS provides insights on new developments in internet-based media delivery.

HbbTV Webinar on new developments in DASH
The recent developments relating to DASH including PlayReady SL3000, multiperiod DASH, and other features were also addressed in a webinar hosted by the HbbTV Association on June 13, 2022. The session, which featured speakers from Fraunhofer FOKUS, Sofia Digital, and Digital UK, is available as replay. The presentations can be downloaded here.

About the HbbTV Association

Hybrid broadcast broadband TV (or “HbbTV”) is a global initiative founded in 2010 developing a specification enabling the delivery of advanced and interactive TV and entertainment services to consumers through a combined use of both broadcast and broadband networks. The HbbTV specification is developed by industry leaders to improve the video experience of consumers on connected TV sets, set-top boxes, and multiscreen devices. The HbbTV specification uses elements of existing specifications from other standards including OIPF, CEA, DVB, MPEG-DASH, and W3C. With the incorporation of activities from the Open IPTV Forum (OIPF) in 2014 and Smart TV Alliance in 2016, HbbTV is able to address service providers and technology suppliers for IPTV services as well as the combined scope of broadcast and over-the-top (OTT) services.

HbbTV is organised as a non-profit association registered in Switzerland and has around 80 members which include all global TV manufacturers, the large European broadcasters and TV platforms as well as a vast array of global technology and chipset vendors. More information: www.hbbtv.org

About the Czech Association of Commercial Television

The Czech Association of Commercial Television (AKTV) was formed in 2017 as an association of terrestrial television broadcasting operators with the goal of defending, supporting, and promoting the common interests of commercial broadcasters in the Czech Republic. The founding members of the Association are the Nova, Prima, and Óčko television networks. More information: www.aktv.cz

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