HbbTV and FreeviewPlus: Everything you need to know

Against the competition

FreeviewPlus is set to go up against the likes of Foxtel's IQ box and Fetch TV, though both of the above require paid subscriptions.

In its early days, FreeView Plus has been limited to simply combining catch up TV services with traditional broadcasts.

It's also suffered a fairly major setback before it has even really taken off, with SBS announcing it is withdrawing from the FreeView platform because of budget restrictions.

That said, we're finally starting to see set-top boxes offering FreeView Plus support arrive on shelves, although they are a tough sell without integrated hard drives for PVR functionality.

The future of HbbTV and FreeviewPlus

The technology behind HbbTV is still in its infancy, so the implementations we've seen so far limited. The SBS beta service, for example, was simply an overlay of their current On Demand service over a traditional broadcast.

SBS on FreeviewPlus

In the future, the overlay could include anything that can be delivered via the internet. That could be a news ticker, a Twitter stream or even multiple camera angles of a sporting event.

The good news is that the FreeViewPlus standard allows a uniform approach for all the Australian networks, rather than having rival technologies compete for similar markets.

With the arrival of streaming services like Netflix and Stan, the combination of streaming services with traditional broadcast is an necessary step for traditional broadcasters to maintain relevance.

Having spent the past decade editing some of Australia's leading technology publications, Nick's passion for the latest gadgetry is matched only by his love of watching Australia beat England in the rugby.