GlobeCast, FRANCE 24 to expand HbbTV service to Middle East

GlobeCast and FRANCE 24 will expand their exploratory Hybrid Broadband Broadcast Television (HbbTV) service to the Middle East in fall 2012 with the support of Orange and Arabsat. The service, to be offered to satellite viewers of FRANCE 24 in the Middle East, follows a European deployment begun earlier this year with SES. The project will add a layer of interactivity to satellite TV programming by harnessing the capability of connected TVs, allowing satellite TV viewers in the region to use their connected televisions to interact with FRANCE 24’s linear and non-linear content.

This service will be a robust test of HbbTV’s ability to enhance the quality of DTH users’ viewing experience. It should also provide valuable insight towards building broadcast offers that combine the power and reliability of traditional broadcast delivery with the new possibilities offered by the latest content delivery networks (CDNs).

GlobeCast will use its broadcast experience and knowledge of connected TVs to lead this trial. It will also provide ground services and uplink from its Paris technical operations center. The satellite feed will be delivered via the BADR-4 satellite, Arabsat’s leading orbital position in the Middle East. Orange will use the CDN expertise of its Smart Networks Program to drive the broadband delivery of this service. The result will be an integrated solution that promises to deliver a robust experience for the end viewer.

“FRANCE 24 is always concerned with the quality of experience of its viewers worldwide. HbbTV is one technology which appears to be a promising way to raise the bar for these viewers. Expanding our experiment to a second region, the Middle East, means that we’ll have a reliable test to measure the benefits of HbbTV on a global level.” said Frank Melloul, Head of Strategy, Development, and Public Affairs at FRANCE 24.

Philippe Rouxel, Chief Marketing Officer of GlobeCast, said, “It’s our pleasure to work with FRANCE 24 to take its content further, in every sense of the word. We have a long-standing relationship with Arabsat and of course our parent company Orange who are the ideal partners to help us bring the convenience of connected television to Middle Eastern viewers.”

Khalid Balkheyour, President and CEO of ARABSAT, said, “We are delighted to be part of this new interactive viewer experience. We fully support FRANCE 24 and GlobeCast in introducing this new broadcast technology to the region and wish them the very best of success.”

HbbTV is an industry standard providing an open and business-neutral technology platform that seamlessly combines TV services delivered via broadcast with services delivered via broadband and also enables access to Internet-only services for consumers using connected TVs and set-top boxes.

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