New Zealand’s digital terrestrial TV provider Freeview NZ has developed an HbbTV service and app that allows viewers to connect from any device at any time.
Switch Media was commissioned to facilitate the creation and delivery of an end-to-end HbbTV service, allowing users to watch live streaming and on-demand content.
One of Freeview NZ’s requirements was that content from every channel on the platform could be viewed via one app rather than switching between individual broadcaster apps, creating a huge catalogue of content that can be accessed and viewed on any device.
To aggregate the data, Switch Media ingests the EPG schedules from each broadcaster on the platform, then associates the catch-up on-demand metadata and programme imagery via its content API (CAPI).
Broadcasters are given access to CAPI in order to publish their VOD catalogues. The app then directly interfaces with the CAPI public interface to present the catalogue as a unified library, displaying the content by popularity, featured shows, genre and channels.
The details for each show are displayed in a “Show Page”, featuring a description, the hero image, seasons and episode carousels.
Content carousels are a key component of the HbbTV app interface. They implement complex business rules to enable agreed distribution of broadcaster content amongst programmatically driven carousels.
Prior to Freeview NZ, Switch Media launched Freeview Australia’s award-winning app called Freeview Plus, allowing Australian viewers to watch live streaming of 16 TV channels and catch-up content from the free-to-air networks.
What differentiates the two is that when the users turn on their TV, the Freeview NZ app loads automatically and replaces the TV’s built-in EPG.
Since the launch of the Freeview NZ app, Switch Media has also continued to roll out new features. The company has just completed a reference app for HbbTV 2.0 specification, which TV manufacturers will use to test their devices to ensure quality and feature compliance.