Big-Screen Application for ZDF

//Starting Point

ZDF is Germany's leading television broadcaster. To remain future-proof, there is a need for a highly scalable and platform-agnostic backend and frontend solution for all OTT applications. Despite the significant mobile usage, big-screen media libraries remain the primary channels for TV broadcasters, and their usage continues to increase steadily.


TeraVolt is developing a future-ready solution for all CTV (Connected TV) broadcasts for ZDF. This includes HbbTV, Smart TVs and platforms such as Magenta or SKY.


1. Design and UX rebranding of the Big-Screen Media Library

To present ZDF's content more effectively, a clear and structured UI has been developed. These improvements contribute to an enhanced user experience and facilitate content discovery. The fast and easy-to-use UX is specifically designed for both high- and low-performance devices.

2. Frontend and Backend Development Using Current Technology Frameworks

Both the frontend and backend have been completely redeveloped using current technology frameworks. This establishes a future-proof foundation for cost-optimized advancements and operational stability.



1. Improved HbbTV start page

An attractive design and powerful animations entice users to explore the extensive ZDF offerings and discover new content.


2. Instant Restart and Recommendations during Live Program

Currently airing ZDF programs can be restarted regardless of whether they are available as on-demand content in the media library or airing live on linear television. Additionally, interactive overlays provide direct access to editorial highlights from the media library during the broadcast. This enables a seamless connection between linear programming and the interactive features of the media library.


3. Zapping Player

The Zapping Player is a seperate section within the media library that viewers can actively access. It displays channels created based on metadata and sorted thematically—some personalized. Similar to a social media feed, viewers can leisurely navigate through the suggestions in a relaxed 'lean-back' mode, scrolling and swiping to linger on particularly interesting content. Direct playback of shows during this browsing experience facilitates decision-making more than traditional static text-and-image displays.
With the Zapping Player, ZDF and TeraVolt won the 'HbbTV Award 2023' in the category 'Best Technology Innovation in an HbbTV Product or Service'.


4. Chapter Skip Markers in Videos

Key segments within shows and news broadcasts are equipped with chapter skip markers. This enables users to directly navigate to these sections through the player interface with just a few clicks.


5. Interactive Highlights in Live Sports

During live sports events, viewers can jump to the key highlights using markers in the player interface.


6. Improved Player Interface

The video player has undergone comprehensive improvements in terms of user interface (UI) and user experience (UX). Navigation is now clearer and the player responds swiftly even during live streams when fast-forwarding or rewinding. The seeking behavior is more consistent and seamless.