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Digital UK & Freeview Play

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Digital UK, a not for profit organisation owned by the UK broadcasters BBC, ITV and Channel 4, along with transmitter infrastructure operator Arqiva, wished to bring together free-to-view DTT content and IP-based catch-up services on a new hybrid platform. This would be marketed as ‘Freeview Play’, available on a range of set-top boxes and IDTVs and would feature the very latest HbbTV standards. It would be the successor to the original Freeview service launched in 2002, which is a universally available free-to-air service watched in three-quarters of UK homes.

Freeview TV

Digital UK provides operational support for the Freeview platform, including management of the EPG, and leads on developing DTT strategy, working with its broadcast partners and industry. It also provides viewers with information and advice about terrestrial TV channels, services and reception. It will continue to do so on the HbbTV based Freeview Play (Freeview having featured MHEG).

Digital TV Labs Announce World’s First HbbTV 2.0 Test Suite 

Eurofins Digital Testing was selected to develop the HbbTV testing materials for the Freeview Play platform due to our deep technical knowledge and expertise in all aspects of HbbTV. At the start of the engagement Eurofins provided a valuable analysis of the proposed testing coverage and then worked with Digital UK and their partners to help shape the new coverage which would provide a conformance standard commensurate with the Digital UK desire to retain a strong Freeview brand in the marketplace.

Freeview Play

Based on these initial discussions, Eurofins developed the necessary tests that covered Freeview specific tests such as DRM (PlayReady), TLS, robustness, redirects, terminal capabilities and user agent. Further development included HbbTV2.0 specified tests such as DASH (including: error handling, time, baseurl, resolutions), Ad insertion, HTML5, RCU and PMT, along with some HbbTV 1.5 errata tests.

To support the PlayReady and TLS tests Eurofins Digital Testing also developed and maintains licence servers for the platform. To ensure Digital UK could gain early value from the testing materials, Eurofins Digital testing worked closely with the two manufacturing launch partners ensuring that their development process could take advantage of early access to the test materials.

Eurofins have continued their working relationship with Digital UK beyond the successful launch of the platform through the support and maintenance of the testing materials, including additions to the testing materials. This role extends to ensuring the HbbTV2.0 test materials are submitted to HbbTV for inclusion in the official test suite. Eurofins is also a member of the Freeview Play Conformance Committee, where we provide an ongoing and valued view on any conformance issues.

Test materials developed by Eurofins for Freeview Play:

  • DRM (including ad. insertion)
  • DIAL
  • Robustness
  • Redirect
  • Terminal capabilities
  • TLS
  • User agent

HbbTV2.0 Features Include:

  • DASH (including: error handling, time, resolution, baseurl)
  • V1.5 errata
  • Ad insertion
  • RCU
  • HTML5
  • PMT