FINCONS GROUP plays key role in the MPAT project to develop new HbbTV applications
The European Commission’s research and innovation project Multi-Platform Application Toolkit (MPAT), which started in 2015 and closed at the end of 2017, aimed to create a development environment for HbbTV applications. HbbTV (Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV) is the European standard for convergence between broadband and broadcast technologies and has already been adopted in many European countries. Thanks to this project, via a basic open-source platform, stakeholders and third parties are able to integrate additional modules and new graphic topics into the apps produced. In addition to contributing to the development of the MPAT platform, FINCONS GROUP actively takes part along with the other project partners in testing the system.
In addition to FINCONS GROUP, the project involved international players such as Mediaset, the leading Italian TV provider and Fincons’ client, the German research institutes Fraunhofer FOKUS and IRT, the Department of Media & Broadcasting Technology at Lancaster University, the Institut Mines-Télécom in Paris, RBB public television in Berlin, and the Finnish web agency Leadin.
The MPAT project was in fact a key milestone in the development of convergence expertise and, also thanks to this experience, the Group is today one of the first HbbTV-ready system integrators, having acquired the skills and tools required to guide its clients as they transition to the new standard and adopt interactive solutions in-line with market developments.
This expertise is ready to be leveraged in the United States, where the new opportunities provided by broadcast-broadband convergence are just starting to be explored through the ATSC 3.0 standard. Specifically, in the US the ATSC 3.0 standard encompasses a wide array of features and capabilities, while HbbTV is a global initiative aimed at harmonizing linear broadcast and broadband delivery of entertainment services.
Greater harmonization between traditional TV broadcast and OTT means that the advantages of each platform can be deployed by broadcasters to create new business models and revenue streams that were previously unimaginable. Both platforms bring important benefits to the mix: broadcast TV has particularly strong branding and a solid local base, while OTT has the power to break boundaries by enabling service provision across regions and by enabling interactivity and personalization of content. Real-time Contextual Content, for example is one way in which distributors can combine the power of traditional TV with online communication to create more engagement.
Convergence also critically enables new advertising paradigms, such as Personalized TV with Interactive Ads. Fincons Group has already launched brand new advertising applications leveraging convergence and running on connected TV screens.
The MPAT project is founded by the European Union Horizon 2020 Programme under grant agreement 687921. Duration: December 2015 – November 2017.