Smart Media Working Group

Juergen Sewczyk

The Working Group Smart Media of the German TV Platform was first established end of April 2009 as Hybrid Devices Working Group WG and from the beginning it has been headed by Jürgen Sewczyk (JS Consult/Eutelsat). She has since then promoted the development of Smart TV and the development of the German market. The activities includes in addition to numerous technical papers and consumer publications also workshops on discoverability of content or on privacy and security, to informat the public and our members about HbbTV, multiscreen scenarios, OTT and marketing opportunities. Due to the expansion of the range of topics on Smart TV the WG was renamed in 2016 as Working Group Smart Media.

An important part of the work in the WG is the preparation and publication of market data carried out in close cooperation with the GfK Retail & Technology GmbH. Until now in Germany over 25.5 million smart devices were sold - the majority as TV screens, but also increasingly receiver or DVD / Blu-ray players. The online content come with smart TVs either via apps (applications) or through HbbTV services of broadcasters on the screen.

The HbbTV (Hybrid broadcast broadband TV) specification was confirmed as a standard in mid-2010 and is being developed further by a European consortium, to which several members of the German TV Platform are actively involved. The strength of the Working Group is to discuss which parts of the new standards HbbTV 2.0 are ready for the market at what time, to then be used by viewers as corresponding services on different devices. Meanwhile the majority of Smart TVs in Germany has HbbTV 1.0 / 1.5 and 100 TV stations and broadcasters show corresponding additional services.

The WG Smart TV has been engaged for all questions around Smart TV and HbbTV in Germany as well as for the understanding of all those involved in interactive television. The changing media usage has now caused the WG to adjust their topics. Second Screen, VOD platforms, networking of all display devices and the increasing individual media consumption make it logical, that the WG now called Working Group Smart Media.

In addition to informing the public and the members of recent developments and trends also the discussion of relevant issues with other organizations or institutions on the agenda. Thereby the "constructive dialogue" with regional media authorities, data protection authorities and consumer organizations about privacy and security has been found as very effective.

"The rapid technical development and the change of user behavior lead to an acceleration in the changing media industry. The consumption of content can be done in many different ways and in an unprecedented diversity, that provokes upheavals in the market”, says WG-leader and board member Jürgen Sewczyk: "Germany is not an island: Smart TV and Smart Media allows especially the new international suppliers to move into the living room. For the German TV platform, it is important to promote through harmonization and clarification a balance for all market participants."

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