TELE-satellite International — The World‘s Largest Digital TV Trade Magazine
— 1 -12/2012
Spark Receiver Software
TV and Internet
Combined in HbbTV
Thomas Haring
restrial antenna as well as
the Internet. Contrary to
the three classic reception
methods, the Internet is
always return-channel ca-
pable which in turn opens
up for the user the ability
to request specific content
from the programming pro-
vider directly via the re-
ceiver and also to receive
from them as well.
For the engineers at re-
ceiver manufacturer Fulan
it was essentially an obliga-
tion for them, considering
the advantages of HbbTV,
to make these interactive
services available to users
of their Spark software.
As it turns out, Fulan was
one of the first companies
to integrate this new tech-
nology in their software.
The HbbTV function in the
Spark software can easily
be activated or deactivated
through its own menu en-
If a programming provid-
er makes HbbTV available,
the Spark software identi-
fies this with its own sym-
bol in the Info bar and af-
ter the Info bar disappears
from the screen, a freely-
selectable graphical dis-
play also lets the user know
about any HbbTV offerings
from a broadcaster. A sim-
ple push of the red function
button is all that’s need-
ed to activate HbbTV in a
Spark software equipped
Keep in mind though that
the presentation, appear-
ance and content of HbbTV
is determined completely
by the programming pro-
vider. The Spark software
merely provides, similar to
a web browser, the plat-
form needed to display
HbbTV content.
For our tests we searched
for a number of channels
In 2010 several European
programming providers,
software companies and
the SES-Astra satellite op-
erator came together and
developed the HbbTV (Hy-
brid Broadcast Broadband
TV) standard. To put it in
simpler terms, it makes
possible the linking of con-
tent that can be received
via satellite, cable and ter-