[webkit-dev] HbbTV support within Webkit

Mark Toller mark.toller at samsung.com
Mon Oct 8 07:11:51 PDT 2012


I'd like to ask the Webkit developers their opinion on providing some support for HbbTV [1] within Webkit. Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV or "HbbTV", is a major new pan-European initiative aimed at harmonising the broadcast and broadband delivery of entertainment to the end consumer through connected TVs and set-top boxes.  The HbbTV standard is proving to be very popular, TVs and STBs supporting HbbTV are shipping in huge numbers throughout Europe.  HbbTV is built on top of OIPF [2], which in turn is based on portions of CE-HTML [3].

Our lab, Samsung Electronics Research Institute (SERI), has been heavily involved in HbbTV and our current solution is based on Webkit. We would like to provide our changes back to the community.

I know that support requests for CE-HTML have been briefly touched upon in the past. As I understand it, the main objection to providing support within WebKit is that the CE-HTML specification is not freely available, and thus restricts the number of developers who can fully understand it and therefore provide fixes / support.

In reality, much of the CE-HTML specification simply profiles which parts of the W3C standard behaviour are mandatory, optional and/or recommended. OIPF then profiles CE-HTML (dropping some requirements, extending others to match W3C/HTML5), HbbTV profiles out even more of CE-HTML.

Other parts of OIPF and CE-HTML do not need to be implemented within Webkit itself. Some can be implemented as object plugins (e.g. AV Control and local video), while others, such as the JavaScript classes required, can be inserted into the JavaScriptCore at runtime.

What I propose is to provide the basic support required within Webkit in order to at least load the XHTML portions of HbbTV applications and provide the correct key handling to drive them. In order to provide 'full' HbbTV support, implementations would need to provide the plugins and additional JavaScript classes to complete the picture.

For instance, by simply adding support for the document mime type handling of application/vnd.hbbtv.xhtml+xml and application/ce-html+xml, many HbbTV applications will load and display the main page, and several will also correctly navigate around the application correctly.



[1] Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV - http://www.hbbtv.org/
[2] Open IPTV Forum - http://www.oipf.tv/
[3] CEA, CEA-2014-A, Web-based Protocol Framework for Remote User Interface on UPnP Networks and the Internet (Web4CE)

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