Workshop: HbbTV basic training for Web Developers

For the third time, the DWX – Developer Week 2015 – took place, one of the largest independent developer conferences in Europe. More than 1.400 software developers attended the event in Nuremberg from 15th till 18th of June 2015. The participants could select among 200 sessions and 11 specialised workshops covering the latest trends and developments in the fields of .NET, Web and Mobile Programming. In this context, and under the umbrella of TV-RING, IRT offered a 1-day workshop called “HbbTV basic training for Web Developers”. In this session, web developers could learn how to implement interactive TV-Applications based on HbbTV and gain hands-on experience.

As an introduction, Matteo Harutunian from IRT presented a selection of current HbbTV applications from the EU-funded project “TV-RING”. He answered general questions about HbbTV and its application fields. He also explained the role of the HbbTV Association and presented the current state of HbbTV in Europe and beyond.

As a next step, the significant differences between HbbTV application development and regular web development were pointed out. Based on the HbbTV specification, he represented all key points of HbbTV programming. This prepared the participants – some of who just came to DWX for this session – for the following interactive session.

During this interactive session, the participants were encouraged to play around with provided code snippets and to design their own first HbbTV application. Besides the obligatory „Hello World“ example appearing on the TV screen, participant learned how to handle specific HbbTV functions, like the integration of broadcast und internet videos (Broadcast Video Object, A/V Object). Also the correct usage of the HbbTV application manager and the handling of key events were covered. The attendees were provided with access to a selection of appropriate development tools, including the HbbTV Broadcast Media Server of IRT called BRAHMS.

As a knowledge and support forum, the presenter introduced the website „hbbtv-developer.com“ to the audience. On this page, users can find further in-depth information and additional code snippets for HbbTV. As a wrap-up of the workshop, participants demonstrated their applications and jointly did some further troubleshooting. The feedback from the developers was very positive and participants showed interest in further HbbTV workshops.

Following the limited number of participants, it can assumed that HbbTV with its increasingly important role in today’s AV media landscape, is not yet well-known enough by most web developers. All the more, we hope to have drawn some additional attention to HbbTV in a large-scale community event.