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ABOX42: Third generation smart STBs

With ABOX42, a supplier of third generation smart STB platforms for OTT, IPTV and DVB-payTV operators we have looked forward to IBC2014. As major trends from the operator market we see that cable and satellite pay TV operators want to deliver new services like network PVR, VoD and OTT delivery of specific channels to free up bandwidth in their traditional DVB networks.

IPTV operators who started several years ago need to upgrade their user experiences from inflexible first and second-generation STB platforms to latest third generation. This new generation platforms allow the fast development of modern user interfaces, compelling services and the integration of third party services based on HTML5.

As a further trend we recognise that Fibre-To-The-Home operators are starting to deploy unicast IPTV solutions to avoid the challenge of complex operator managed multicast networks. Last but not least we see new operators who start to deliver pay TV packages completely OTT – without owning their own network infrastructure.

With these new requirements we see a major shift in the STB market. Traditional closed STB platforms are not any longer able to handle the complex requirements of innovative operators. The market will move from old integrated, proprietary STBs to smart STBs where the focus is moving to the software layer.

This is a similar shift to what we experienced in the last few years with the move from traditional feature phones to modern smartphones. We’re seeing the same trend in the TV middleware segment, where operators want to move from closed proprietary systems to open solutions based on modern internet technologies and open standards.

The new smart STBs will be able to handle many different standards side by side, such as streaming protocols, DRM and CAS systems. This new smart STB generation is HTML5 browser based and much more easy for development. A new focus will become the management of the software lifecycle and cloud services to manage the SmartSTB during the entire lifecycle, like we are all used to nowadays with, for example, the iPhone.

With our new ABOX42 smart STB line and our ABOX42 SmartSDK, operators and systems integrators are for the first time able to mix TV service delivery between DVB-C, S2,T/T2, IPTV and OTT without limitations. IBC2014 will demonstrate to operators that Smart STBs have arrived and that delivery of live HD TV channels over the internet with OTT technologies is a market-proven technology ready for mass deployment.

A new concept of OTT DVB allows not only live TV signal delivery over the internet but also includes multiple audio tracks, classical TeleText, DVB subtitles combined with modern HbbTV application via HLS streaming.

A new generation of hardware encoders reduces the size and the cost of traditional headends by the factor 1:10 and thereby is helping to build much more cost-effective business models for many operators. ABOX42 will showcase at IBC2014 a new line of third generation hybrid DVB/IP smart STBs for cost-effective development and deployment of new high-end services for pay TV subscribers.