& cplSiteName &

Alticast Primps for Vegas Spotlight

Mari Silbey
1/8/2014
50%
50%

LAS VEGAS -- Although not as well-known as some other video equipment vendors in the North American market, Alticast is seeking to play a starring role at this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

In fact, in a suite off the main CE show floor here, Alticast Corp. executives are playing traffic cop this week, steering streams of visitors through two rooms of product demonstrations. In these rooms, the company is showing off: its new HDMI streaming stick built on the Reference Design Kit (RDK) software stack, the 2.0 version of its sophisticated Windmill program guide, a remote-storage DVR (RS-DVR) demo that includes a USB-stick solution for implementing live pause and rewind functions, and an Alticast-powered multi-tuner gateway.

Headquartered in Korea, Alticast has focused heavily on under-the-hood middleware solutions for years, making it a relatively unknown player in the US and Canada. Yet the company includes Videotron Ltd. , Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC), Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), and Bright House Networks on its North American customer list. Alticast CTO John Carlucci told Light Reading that "North America is a significant focus for us right now."

Most notably, Alticast is showing its new HDMI Media Express Stick for the first time at this year's CES. Unlike other media streaming sticks now flooding the market, the Alticast solution uses the RDK software stack originally developed by Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), and now managed jointly by Comcast and Time Warner Cable. In addition to RDK, the Alticast stick uniquely leverages Android drivers, making it possible to combine cable-driven software with Android apps on a unified platform. (See Alticast Plans to Demo Set-Top Stick at CES and 5 TV Tech Trends Heading for CES.)

At the Alticast suite Tuesday, Carlucci demonstrated several service provider program guides running on the HDMI stick -- including one from Cox Communications Inc. There were icons for the Google Play store and favorite consumer apps like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Netflix. Carlucci explained that some of the apps, such as Netflix, will only be available on the second-generation version of the product, but that the development work is well underway now.

On the hardware end, Carlucci demonstrated how the initial Alticast solution can be delivered on the Cotton Candy HDMI stick manufactured by FXI Technologies. Alticast is hardware agnostic, however, and willing to use other manufacturers according to operator preference. The Cotton Candy stick has an HDMI plug on one side and a USB plug on the other, allowing users to move the device around between TVs and PCs like a video identity key.

In a separate room from the HDMI streaming stick, Alticast is running a demo of its second-generation HTML5 Windmill user interface. The UI is heavily icon-driven, with a rounded design style and numerous options for personalization. A launcher screen lets users customize which icons they want immediately available and offers templates for consumers specifically interested in sports, kids content, and other genres.

The advanced UI automatically displays such information as recently missed programs based on a user's tastes and activity. It also includes the ability to create multiple user profiles for different household members. Alticast expects to bring the new Windmill guide to market in the second half of the year.

Also in the demo suite, Carlucci walked through an RS-DVR implementation with a unique USB twist. Traditional RS-DVR deployments can't support pause and rewind functions for live TV. However, with the addition of a USB stick for buffering (and encrypting) video, Alticast is making it possible for operators to put live pausing and rewinding in the cloud DVR experience. Because it uses a USB port, the Alticast Live Pause and Rewind solution can plug directly into legacy set-tops.

In addition, Carlucci confirmed that the USB stick could theoretically convert an old set-top into a full-fledged DVR if an operator wanted that option. The Live Pause and Rewind solution is headed into field trials now.

Finally, Carlucci briefly demonstrated an Alticast-powered multi-tuner gateway in his product walkthrough. The gateway includes eight inputs, along with the ability to decode two video streams at once for picture-in-picture delivery.

Expect to hear a lot more from Alticast this year as the company just closed its initial public offering last month. Alticast is now listed on the Korean stock exchange KOSDAQ under the symbol ATCAST. Carlucci sees the IPO as a positive sign for Alticast's growth potential, and believes both Europe and North America will be growth markets for the company going forward.

— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
albreznick
50%
50%
albreznick,
User Rank: Blogger
1/9/2014 | 6:04:39 PM
Re: Hardware-agnostic
I agree, Dan. That might be a real point of differentiation for them. Would be interesting to see a side-by-side comparison of all the streaming sticks on the market and their parent firms. 
DOShea
50%
50%
DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
1/8/2014 | 9:39:54 PM
Hardware-agnostic
Sounds lile it's in the thick of the stick market that is suddenly all the rage. Being hardware-agnostic might prove to be its best move.
From The Founder
The independent evaluation of Nokia's key virtual network functions (VNFs) was a defining moment for the Finnish giant.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat: Cisco's Yvette Kanouff

6|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


In Silicon Valley, Steve Saunders sits down with Cisco's Yvette Kanouff for an exclusive in-depth interview.
LRTV Interviews
Comcast: Prepping Next-Gen Video Services

6|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


In this LRTV interview, Comcast's Elad Nafshi outlines where MSO stands with cloud DVR, OTT video, college and gigabit services.
LRTV Custom TV
Energy 2020: Creating Unique Standards for Cable's Unique Networks

6|28|16   |   09:30   |   (0) comments


Cable's unique network requirements require a specific set of standards for operators to increase power efficiency, according to Dan Cooper, vice president of critical infrastructure for Charter Communications and chair of the SCTE/ISBE Standards Program's Energy Management Subcommittee, and Ian Oliver, managing director of the Trenchant Group and a member of the ...
LRTV Custom TV
It's Prime Time for NFV

6|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


At BCE 2016, Ray Watson of Masergy talks about the adoption of NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
Leading the NFV Capabilities

6|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


At BCE 2016, Tim Naramore talks about Masergy's role in deploying NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
Private Company of the Year - Affirmed Networks

6|27|16   |     |   (0) comments


At BCE 2016, Steve Saunders speaks to Hassan Ahmed about Affirmed's success.
LRTV Custom TV
Energy 2020: Growing Services, Not Consumption

6|24|16   |   07:18   |   (0) comments


Management of power requirements needs to be a key consideration as cable operators deploy new services, says Dan Cooper, vice president of critical infrastructure for Charter Communications and chair of the SCTE/ISBE Standards Program's Energy Management Subcommittee. In this video, Cooper discusses the importance of cable operators and technology partners ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei & TDC First to Launch DOCSIS 3.1 Trial in Europe

6|24|16   |     |   (0) comments


To meet the rising demands for high-speed broadband and to tackle fierce competition for 1.5 million household, TDC wanted to upgrade its network to use the latest technology. Using Huawei's DOCSIS 3.1 solution, TDC is now able to offer gigabit speeds to its customers.
LRTV Documentaries
OPNFV Summit: Key Takeaways

6|22|16   |   03:28   |   (0) comments


MANO shortfalls, an increasingly bloated open source ecosystem and the cultural challenges for network operators were among the key takeaways from the OPNFV Summit in Berlin.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Bringing Ultra Broadband to the South Pacific

6|22|16   |   7:55   |   (0) comments


At Singapore's UBBS 2016 summit, Light Reading speaks to Lim Chee Siong, Huawei's CMO in the South Pacific Region.
LRTV Custom TV
Juniper's NFV Platform

6|22|16   |     |   (0) comments


A telco cloud is a key enabler for service providers to deliver virtualized services to their customers. Juniper has a differentiated approach with an open and comprehensive NFV platform to build the cloud of the future for multiple use cases.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Infinera: The Glass Ceiling's Been Broken

6|22|16   |   4:34   |   (0) comments


Shannon Williams, an engineer by trade and now the director of sales for Infinera's major accounts, draws confidence from being a female in a male-dominated industry and hopes other women will too as industry dynamics swing in our favor.
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 6-8, 2016,
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
Hot Topics
'Brexit' Vote Hits BT, Vodafone
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/24/2016
AT&T Settles on LTE for Cellular IoT
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 6/22/2016
Qualcomm Readies Lower-Band 5G Testbed
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 6/27/2016
Google Fiber Buys Webpass in Wireless Play
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/23/2016
Sigfox Said to Face Customer Backlash
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/27/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
In Silicon Valley, Steve Saunders sits down with Cisco's Yvette Kanouff for an exclusive in-depth interview.
At the BCE 2016 show in Austin, ECI Telecom CEO Darryl Edwards tells Light Reading founder and CEO about the Elastic Network concept and the company's NFV and cybersecurity developments.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Our world has evolved through innovation from the Industrial Revolution of the 1740s to the information age, and it is now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technology. Technology is driving a paradigm shift in the way digital solutions deliver a connected world, changing the way we live, communicate and provide solutions. It can have a powerful impact on how we tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this radio show, Caroline Dowling, President of Communications Infrastructure & Enterprise Computing at Flex, will join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas to discuss the impact technology has on society and how it can be a game-changer across the globe; improving lives and creating a smarter world. Dowling, a Cork, Ireland, native and graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, will also discuss her experience managing an international team focused on innovation in an age of high-speed change.