EXCLUSIVE – WATCH VIDEO Holland’s largest cable operator Ziggo has selected the CloudTV virtual set-top box platform from ActiveVideo Networks to offer interactive services to a large number of its existing cable tuners.
With the move, Ziggo is the first major European service provider to deliver an advanced VOD user interface entirely from the network cloud.
Cloud TV is currently running as a pilot in Beta and deployment is foreseen in the very near future, but the operator has not yet set a timetable. The Beta version is on show at this year’s IBC in Amsterdam, as well as navigation UIs that are in trial with Comcast in the United States (Stand 1.A52),
Under the agreement, Ziggo will leverage the ActiveVideo CloudTV H5 platform to enable rich, consistent user experiences to Ziggo subscribers. The initial deployment will include VOD navigation and guide functionality, including enhanced search, discovery and previews, to existing set-top boxes.
Designed to support all digital STBs, CI+ televisions and connected devices, the scalable CloudTV H5 platform utilises HTML5 browser technology running in remote servers to execute and render complete user experiences in the cloud.
The fully formed user experience is then streaming to the user’s device. Subscribers use their existing remote control to send key presses to the remote server, controlling the application. The latency between a customer key press and the UI response is minimal.
Ziggo will roll out Cloud TV in phases. The first step is to empower a limited number of recent “dumb” set-top boxes, including models from Humax. Further on the road map is the possible enablement of CI+ devices, but a lot needs to be done on various level before implementation is a real possibility.
“Service providers deploying advanced navigation, guides and other content need long-term, flexible solutions that will support any current or future device,” said Ronald Brockmann, managing director for ActiveVideo Networks in Europe.
“The selection of CloudTV will allow Ziggo to deliver rich, engaging services without replacing existing set-top boxes.”
Going into the cloud and having direct access to consumer’s CE devices seems to be the trend. Just last week, Samsung was showing its direct-to-TV OTT solution in con juntion with an Estonian platform (also on show in Amsterdam). For more on the subject, see Briel On.
The video shows a brief demo of the possibilities of Cloud TV by ActiveVeideo Networks.