ARRIS, which announced its support for Android set-top boxes at IBC last year, was demonstrating Android GMS operator tier on a Broadcom reference SoC at ANGA this week. This is the version of the Android operating system that allows platform operators to give more prominence to their own branded services, while still including Google services like the Google Play store.
Android is attracting interest from across the spectrum of television platform providers, including tier-one platforms. ARRIS is engaged with a variety of T1 providers who want to work with Android for their set-top boxes in future. There was interest in the Android OS for pure IP set-top boxes, Cable/IP hybrid and terrestrial/IP hybrid devices during ANGA. The company confirmed that Android is definitely of interest to the tier-one market and not just T2 operators.
Asked to characterize the companies who will not consider Android, an ARRIS spokesman said they are the ones who are concerned that they would end up tied to a Google experience or who are fearful that they could not filter out the other services that appear on the platform, like an app from one of their rival TV providers.
Jonathan Ruff, Senior Director, Global Product & Technical Marketing at ARRIS, added: “It depends on the level of control you want. That is a big question: how much control do I have over the design, the look-and-feel of the user interface, and the experience that you get on that device.”
The proof-of-concept showed that ARRIS can support Android on its devices and was showing the Android OS user experience on a Broadcom 7268 chipset with a 14,000 DMIPs processor and UHD support.
ARRIS is also a major supporter of RDK of course, the other major open source middleware initiative, and the company was showing off some of its RDK-based set-top boxes that have been deployed with third-party user experiences. The company supplied the 4K set-top boxes to NOS in Portugal with the Espial application framework on top, for example.
ARRIS believes there will continue to be a market for other operating systems and middlewares. The company provides its own KreaTV operating system, as seen on the VIP2952 IP DVR, for example.