Netgem is pioneering the concept of an operator-supplied device that integrates the set-top box inside a soundbar. A European telco will make the soundbar STB available to customers before Christmas. Discussions with other operators are focused on three Pay TV strategies: provide value-add that means you can charge something for STBs; Get youngsters engaged with the brand when they stream music to the smart speaker; Encourage multiroom upgrades as the original STB is moved into a second room.
The Swedish triple-play provider is one of the first Pay TV operators in the world to deploy STBs based on Android TV Operator Tier, which provides a choice of user experience software. The company went open source for its new generation of non-PVR devices to improve time-to-market for hardware and updates, and viewed Android as a good environment if you want to be a super-aggregator.
A BHAG - Big Hairy Audacious Goal – is a bold ambition that can energise an industry or nation and has a clear finish line, like putting a man on the moon within a decade. For the cable industry this should be delivering the augmented reality, AI and VR experiences that will change our lives, and which will be made possible by super-fast and low-latency connectivity.
Netgem has unveiled its SoundBox proof-of-concept, which buries the set-top box inside a powerful soundbar featuring Alexa voice services. It means less digital clutter but more importantly gives IPTV providers a chance to take popular CE innovations to the mass-market with their subsidized CPE model. They can also become the touchpoint for streaming music services.
Broadband operators must use every consumer touchpoint, including retail stores, to educate people about the value of smart home services. They need to compete in the smart home hardware market, using their proven subsidy model. They should cross-sell and discount against quad-play. They must win the battle to provide the IoT hub. Then they can exploit what could become a huge market.
Amino has long been recognized as an IPTV pioneer but in an increasingly cloud-centric and software-centric industry it wanted to offer more. Now, thanks to two very strategic acquisitions, the company has transformed itself into a solutions partner for cable, IPTV and hybrid deployments and for operators who need TV Everywhere, smart home services and service assurance. Two Pay TV providers this year have deployed Amino STB software on their legacy devices. Amino’s CEO Donald McGarva discusses the journey that his company and his customers are on.
The new media over coax specification is for access networks, not home networks. It supports ultra-fast broadband from the point at which FTTH terminates in shared buildings to the individual households. MoCA claims G.fast over copper and G.fast over coax cannot compete, and expects a big market for the technology.
We investigate the potential role for broadband service providers in the smart home and Internet of Things, selling an experience more than bandwidth. They can provide the central hub, an open partner ecosystem and aggregation of third-party services. They could have the overall view of everything that happens in the home and possibly monetize their role as QoS guarantor.
Cable Europe has been outlining its ambition for the cable industry as we enter the Gigabit era. The trade body says cable is best-in-class when it comes to bundling, content, the UI and networks. The big opportunity now is to facilitate innovation in other industries in a borderless digital world.
It was hoped that RDK-V, the shared-source and common software platform for set-top boxes, would reduce the cost of STB development, hasten roll-outs for...