HTML5 remains king of the connected entertainment castle

The connected entertainment industry is currently under pressure like never before: there are more devices than ever, but time to market is shrinking – making it virtually impossible for operators to develop services that cater for all screens without spending months in testing before services are truly ready.

Unfortunately for operators, the consumer thirst for readily available video is far from being quenched, and the latest Over-The-Top (OTT) services are complicating matters by enabling updates to happen on the fly.

So how can operators compete?

The answer is simple: adopt a universal solution that adapts to all the devices they want their service to be compatible with. Luckily for them, this is readily available as a worldwide standard, and it is called HTML5.

HTML5 has been around for a few years, starting in the online world before moving into the broadcast space as digital TV started to become more prominent and connected applications became mainstream. Today, HTML5 is the only technology deployed across all chipsets and for all types of devices, independent of the underlying OS. When used for app development, it enables developers to provide a bridge across diverse hardware and software and can provide a unified platform for linear broadcast and full-IP services.

As the industry embraces IP-delivery of content to satisfy the consumer need for their content, their way, whether through smart TV portals or OTT platforms à la Netflix or Amazon Prime, HTML5’s hegemony is likely to become even more obvious in all parts of the world. In June, NBC News announced that 95% of all its videos are able to load within three seconds – achieved as a direct result of moving to HTML5 from older technologies. While this is only one example, it demonstrates how HTML5 can impact the accessibility of content, so it’s easy to imagine how big of an impact it can have, and is having, on the wider TV industry.

ACCESS has always strongly believed that standards have a central role to play in changing the way we consume entertainment, so it’s little wonder that we have invested so heavily in HTML5 for our NetFront™ Browser family. The launch of the Chromium Blink engine based NetFront™ Browser BE Software Development Kit (SDK) v2.4 for Linux and Android platforms only reinforces our commitment to HTML5, which we strongly believe to be a key component in the future of the video industry – from 4k to 8k and beyond.

The new HTML5 SDK supports features needed to quickly integrate a high performance Chromium based solution into a consumer product. It includes the Chromium Embedded Framework v3 for Linux platforms, an Android browser SDK for embedding into branded apps, an external media player API so that proven media solutions can be leveraged, and an external decoder framework enabling high performance hardware assisted rendering even when supporting standards such as EME/MSE. We deliver SDKs to our development partners and customers for a range of System on Chips (SoC), including Broadcom, MStar, Intel, Renesas, Amlogic and Socionext. Add to this support for the latest standards such as HbbTV 2.0.1, ARIB STD-B62/TR-B39, Freeview Play and YouTube on TV 2017 plus the in-built content protection with the Encrypted Media Extensions (EME). It is clear to see that the solution provides the answers to the industry’s current challenges – making content accessible as easily as possible, across as many platforms as possible and in the best possible format.

Now is the time for operators to fully embrace HTML5 and start to reap the benefits of a cross platform worldwide standard rather than developing and maintaining for a multitude of OS specific solutions. If you’re looking for insight into how HTML5 compatible browsers can help improve your services or launch additional ones, we would be happy to hear from you. From smartphones and tablets through to e-Readers, games consoles like the new Nintendo Switch, smart TV portals including Foxxum, 4K capable TVs like the new Hisense range, and automotive head units, we have shipped our technology in over 1.5 billion devices so we know what it takes to deliver the products that consumers desire.

To see NetFront Browser BE v2.4 live in action, please arrange a meeting with us at IBC 2017 (stand #14.D14) by contacting

Published by Robert Guest

Robert is VP Product and Content at ACCESS Europe, with a focus on HTML5 platforms and media sharing solutions, including industry specific extensions such as HbbTV and W3C Vehicle APIs, so that ACCESS customers can deploy standards based state of the art products. He has been involved in projects with major customers in both automotive and TV and ensures a customer focused development strategy for ACCESS. His role involves working with telcos, middleware suppliers, STB OEMS, automotive tier 1s and automotive OEMS to ensure that ACCESS products deliver the features needed in these fast evolving markets.

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