The two-pronged programme gives service providers the flexibility to use a versatile new RDK App Framework to build and manage their own solutions, or choose a RDK pre-integrated app store solution such as the Metrological App Store.
“Today marks a significant milestone in the history of the RDK,” said Steve Heeb, president and general manager of RDK Management.
“Since inception, the RDK community focused on bringing transparency and standardization to certain technical functions of video set-top boxes and broadband gateways, enabling service providers to focus on their consumer-facing applications and UIs. Thanks to the RDK community, this new open source RDK App Framework will make it even easier for service providers to develop, launch, and manage apps in a consistent way across RDK set-top boxes. To be clear, RDK Management is not in the ‘app business’ itself, but rather ‘app enablement’ with our partners.
“Our community also includes many operators who simply want their own white-labeled app store that works across RDK set-top boxes. To support them, we’re pleased to name Metrological as the first RDK pre-integrated app store. It’s a clear testament to Metrological’s capabilities and ongoing contributions to the RDK community.”
The new RDK App Framework allows service providers to integrate apps into the TV viewing experience, provides onboarding and life cycle management tools, and enables app portability across various set-top box models. Specifically, application developers and service providers can now easily create HTML5 and native applications on set-top boxes using the new RDK App Framework and RDK Firebolt App SDK.
Driven by the RDK open source community, with key contributions from Metrological, it provides a complete development, build, and test environment for Web and native apps across RDK-based set-top boxes. Service providers now have a common technical framework to support native premium video apps, such as Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon Prime Video, along with a wide-variety of niche or third-party HTML5 apps. Technical details are available at: https://wiki.rdkcentral.com/display/RDK/Firebolt.
For service providers seeking a more turnkey solution, Metrological’s App Store was named as the first RDK pre-integrated app store. Metrological’s App Store has been tested, integrated, and deployed on RDK-based set-top boxes to meet the rigorous performance standards of TV service providers. It includes access to a library of 300+ apps. In addition, the App Store can be used to launch premium video apps such as Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Prime Video; local and regionalised apps; and all of the back-office tools needed to launch and manage the lifecycle of an app store. Content providers are able to reach over 40 million households across operator networks by uploading a single app onto the Metrological App Library.
“Metrological is very proud of our contributions to the RDK App Framework and to be named the first RDK pre-integrated app store,” said Jeroen Ghijsen, CEO of Metrological.
“The Metrological App Store has a small footprint suitable for new or legacy implementations, with a back-office that allows operators to personalize the TV viewer experience by quickly responding to changing consumer interests. Our App Store gives operators complete control over which apps they wish to support and promote on their platforms.”
RDK Management has also partnered with Metrological and leading STB provider Arris International to provide a new support tool and IP STB reference integration that allows operators to expedite application development, testing, and ultimately service deployment. Application developers and service providers can now utilize an IP set-top box powered by RDK software and pre-loaded with the Metrological App store.
Broadband TV Views. RDK is making an important step forward by launching this app programme, especially since Android TV is making progress and small to medium sized operator are embracing Google’s technology in order to bring the fast increasing number of OTT services directly to the STB.
Having developed hundreds of apps, Metrological is now in a prime position to play an important role in this development.
At this year’s IBC in Amsterdam Google was present with a big stand, which shows the company is now taking TV very seriously. Meanwhile, Apple did not have stand, but a few top people involved with TV were around. With two European platforms, Canal+ and Salt from Switzerland now using the Apple TV box the company is making slow progress in the TV space, but its strategy remains clouded in mystery.