IBC 2010 – AMSTERDAM. UPC’s implementation of the NDS Snowflake user interface will run across three distinct set-top boxes, Broadband TV News can reveal.
Speaking during an NDS initiated lunch at the IBC technology expo and conference, UPC CTO Eric Lennon, confirmed that in addition to the cableco’s plans for a six-tuner receiver, manufacturer Samsung would also be responsible for a ‘slave box’ that would pull content from the main device and a third box that would carry the Snowflake User Interface, but not personal video recorder functionality.
The devices will launch initially in the Netherlands, but will also be rolled out in Germany (Unitymedia) and Switzerland (Cablecom) before joining the rest of the UPC network, itself enabled by a programme to bring all elements up to a single technological plane.
Lennon said that there had been no decisions on how the receiver might replace the current OpenTV middleware, adding that the operator had only just introduced a new EPG in the key Dutch market and that there remained plans to support it for some time to come.
However, it was clear from his presentation that the ability of NDS to develop the receiver to the Liberty Global company’s own specifications was key to its technology decisions. “It is now possible to converge services without having to build them yourself,” Lennon said of the gateway product. “We didn’t believe there were ready made solutions, but we saw the elements were there. If the company we chose didn’t share our vision we didn’t want to develop it by ourselves again.
The new device slated for deployment in the middle of 2011 would combine high speed internet with telephony and video functionality.
Lennon said the new devices would be “allowing innovation” through enabling content providers onto the platform. “Our aim is to bring new services and we want them to come onto our platform as they are available”.