• Roberta D'Addario

HbbTV Symposium 2021 Recap: Serverside.ai ATV for Discovery


serverside ai team photo after winning last year's hbbtv symposium and award for best scale-up project
Nowtilus and Fraunhofer FOKUS team photo after winning the HbbTV Award 2021 for "Best Scale-Up Project"

After our successful contribution last year presenting the Discovery case study, Nowtilus is delighted to be joining the 10th edition of the HbbTV Symposium that will take place in Prague on November 9th and 10th 2022.

Following last year’s winning of the HbbTV Award for “Best Scale-Up Project”, it will be bliss for us to dive deep into conversations about the most recent developments and technological innovations, and also to talk about our progress with the integration of HbbTV Dynamic Ad Substitution in Addressable TV for Discovery in Poland and Italy.


From a business perspective, the needs of our client were clear from the very beginning: Discovery wanted to use its TV reach together with the best capabilities of the digital environment for existing and new advertising clients.

The main concept of this project is to use device, audience, and contextual data for targeting to provide relevant advertising in a brand-safe environment.


Nowtilus and Discovery worked together to establish full ad break replacement with scheduled broadcast spots being mirrored (with a digital copy) and replaceable spots being substituted with targeted ads, all being delivered via IP.


serverside.ai and discovery logos

This way, we achieved serving TV devices with a broad range of HbbTV standards in different territories, providing a unique, simple, and cost-effective solution for integrating with different head-end technologies and playout systems and allowing scaling for millions of viewers.


We developed a system that combines fully-fledged client-side substitution with highly scalable multi-format stitching integrated with Discovery's sophisticated ad pod manager.


An Ad-Pod manager allows for smart ad break management to import TV ad schedules and define replaceable slots in the mix with contextual inventory data, exclusion, and deduplication rules.


With hybrid dynamic ad substitution, we combine highly scalable server-side stitching of personalized ad breaks with client-side substitution in a broadcast environment.

Intelligent ad conditioning and stitching allow device-specific decisions and processes based on the HbbTV version.


Finally, we enable unified tracking and measurement of both mirrored TV spots and DAI ads to be measured with the same impression and quantity matrix as well as monitoring of all components and service interfaces.


All these mechanisms were explained in detail by our Managing Director Leander Carell at the 2021 HbbTV Symposium in Paris, whose full panel speech including Q&A is available here:



So what happened since our award win in November 2021? Here’s an excerpt with the chronological order of our key milestones for the Discovery project:


  • On April 1st, 2022, there was the official launch in Poland for HbbTV 1.5 and 2.0 devices (focussing on MPEG-DASH with MP4 fallback). You can read all about the Addressable TV debut in Poland on BroadbandTVnews.

  • On July 1st the ad tracking capabilities were extended to mirrored ads as well, measuring both Broadcast TV ads and DAI ads.

  • On August 1st we added Multi-Period DASH support (one break stitched out of multiple clips, conditioned in adaptive bitrates, highly available via CDN)

  • More recently, our solution was enriched by Client Side Analytics and we’re now providing superior analytics capabilities with SAND (see pictures below), helping clients to analyze playback issues on HbbTV devices.


sand analytics generic overview
A generic overview of a multitude of insights within SAND analytics

session-based metrics from sand
Session-based metrics from SAND to analyze and debug ad delivery

If you are a broadcaster, a telco, or a content provider and would like to know how the results we achieved with our HbbTV solution for Discovery Italy and Discovery Poland can apply to your specific case, we can have a chat at the two-day event in Prague.

Just book an appointment for November 9th or 10th, 2022, and our team will be glad to answer all of your questions in person. Otherwise, feel free to reach out to us via Email anytime!


While waiting to meet with partners and customers at this year’s HbbT Symposium, you can rewatch last year’s full coverage on YouTube.


Let’s catch up in Prague!



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