May 06, 2013

HTML5 and TV: A Love Story

HTML5 is a hot topic of debate, and while it’s been pretty much agreed that it will be the future of mobile, The Drum blogger Justin Pearce reasons that it will be the future of TV, too.

Pearce tuned into the idea of HTML5 coming heavily into play in TV at an event hosted by Decipher on the emerging TV landscape last week.

Pearce writes that “for brands and agencies the emergence of HTML5 as the basis for new connected TV environments could be very significant in areas such as enabling EPGs to handle new ad formats, with far greater graphical and interactive input.”

HTML5 will also make the integration of third-party content and services into connected TV services much easier down the road. Freesat, an emerging player in the broadcast market that sold more than three million boxes sold in the last four years, has built its hybrid broadcast broadband system on HTML5.

One of the biggest threats to traditional TV, YouTube (NewsAlert), leveraged HTML5 to launch an app on the platform. The move put YouTube at an advantage – HTML5 is a dramatically improved integration process, making deployment far quicker than traditional routes. The app itself reportedly only took a few weeks to create.

There are a variety of industry-wide initiatives taking place that will drive the potential new norm of open Web standards into TV even further. There’s the European Hybrid Broadcast and Broadband TV (HbbTV) standard, to name a couple.

Then there’s the fact that open standards like HTML5 make global roll-out of content services far easier than having to develop for multiple proprietary TV platforms, so the world could easily be swept up in a heartbeat.

HTML5 is a way for the Web and the TV to marry, and as their paths forge together, Pearce advises that it is Internet-speed development time that needs to be taken into consideration instead of the pace of traditional consumer electronics which he describes as “languorous.”

Many who have been tracking the growth of HTML5 aren’t surprised to see this natural union occur, but momentum is at a particular high, and Web standards are definitively breaking down the barriers between the linear TV experience and an on-demand, Web experience.

Pearce reminds that “in the digital industry, it’s far too easy to become blinkered to anything happening on any platform, technology or media outside your day to day focus. Social media, e commerce, UX, content marketing, mobile, and so on – every area moves too fast to risk taking your eyes off your primary are of focus.”

That’s partly why this development is so rewarding. We can actually gauge and anticipate the challenges of connected TV and of the digital industry in general.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey


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