HbbTV and FreeviewPlus: Everything you need to know

Don't know anything about HbbTV? Confused by FreeviewPlus? TechRadar explains all

SBS on FreeviewPlus

For the past few years, Australia's free-to-air networks have all been working on a new broadcast technology called HbbTV, or Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV.

The new service has now finally launched in Australia under the guise of FreeviewPlus, bringing services offered by free-to-air networks up to the same standard as those from Pay TV services like Fetch TV and Foxtel.

But you may be wondering what HbbTV even is? How will you get it? What will it mean for free-to-air TV? Will it cost you? TechRadar has you covered with this guide to HbbTV in Australia.

What is HbbTV?

HbbTV stands for Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV, an industry standard for hybrid digital TV.

In simpler terms, it is basically a mixture of digital free-to-air broadcasting and IPTV through a set top box, broadband connection and connected devices.

At it's simplest, it provides an overlay of content delivered through the internet over a traditional free-to-air broadcast.

It also provides an avenue for more content from TV providers to be made available, including traditional broadcast TV, video on-demand and catch-up TV services.

It will all work through either a set top box or an internet-connected Smart TV, with the former having the added benefit of being able to access and store your own digital video content.

While you might be thinking that this sounds very similar to Foxtel's IQ box or Fetch TV, those are limited to paid subscription or which internet provider you use.

HbbTV can also provide enhanced teletext, personalisation and games, as well as having more interactive functions such as voting, interactive advertising and social networking.

In Australia, HbbTV has landed in the form of FreeviewPlus – which has been developed by all the free-to-air broadcasters, including the ABC, SBS, Seven Network, Nine Network, Network Ten, Southern Cross Television and Imparja.