NDS has shown how operators can use companion devices to deliver their content to subscribers while keeping up with changes to the operating systems of the growing number of tablets, smartphones and game consoles now available. The company has also given details of a ‘professional content marketplace’ that will provide platforms with a ready supply of virtual linear channels.
The NDS Service Delivery Platform (SDP) provides an open API that acts as an interface between apps on devices, a service provider’s TV platform and social networks or other internet content. The use of a standard web interface enables a potentially limitless number of applications to aid the TV viewing experience that can be shared between operators.
“A number of platform operators are beginning to integrate horizontal devices and the internet,” Jonathan Beavon, director of segment marketing at NDS told Broadband TV News. “As they go down that route they find every integration is a task”. Beavon explained the SDP worked by creating a pool of metadata that would be unique to the individual platform that can then be fed to set-top boxes and companion devices. The platform capitalises on the developer community that has sprung up around devices running the Apple iOS and Google Android. The SDP is compatible with existing TV platforms and STBs and utilizes device SDKs and app stores An alpha program for developers is scheduled to be launched at the end of March.
The platform was warmly welcomed by both customers and non-customers when demonstrated to US, European and Asian operators behind closed doors at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.
Beavon showed Broadband TV News an application that worked in tandem with an IP-enabled set-top box, bringing up additional information relevant to the on-screen programme, and changing channel if required.
NDS has also launched the Infinite TV Exchange, designed as a global business-to-business content marketplace, feeding special interest channels through over-the-top delivery. Explaining the concept Yoni Hashkes said the exchange would allow everyone from Jamie Oliver to Rolling Stone magazine to build their content into a TV channel. “Big brands such as National Geographic would be able to use this to create ancillary channels.” NDS is providing a hosted service that ingests, builds and schedules the content, adding in commercials, and collecting any subscription fee. “We will pre-integrate our technology making it very easy for the customer to just flick the switch and turn it on,” said Hashkes.
Viewers would be alerted to the existence of a channel through their existing spheres of influence. Hashkes showed how a banner on a website would alert a music fan to the existence of a Rolling Stone channel. The integration is such that the channel could be enabled on the fan’s cable or satellite receiver by mapping the IP address. Participating operators still get to select which channels appear on their system and a simple contract process has been devised. “We want this to be under the control of the operator. We certainly don’t want the platform to be jeopardised by bad content”.
Content owners including National Geographic, KidsCo, Speed, Revision 3, Watch Mojo, Red Bull Media have already committed over 100,000 hours of content to Infinite TV Exchange.