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Set-top boxes

Azuki, LG Counter Google Chromecast

Move over, Chromecast. LG Electronics Inc. and Azuki Systems are teaming up on a streaming stick solution of their own. And this one's for pay-TV providers who want to stream live and on-demand video straight to subscriber TV sets.

Azuki has announced the integration of the Azuki Media Platform with the Android-based TV dongle that LG introduced at this year's Cable Show two months ago. The dongle from LG plugs into the HDMI port in a TV and operates as a mini set-top box for IP-based content. The Azuki platform hooks into existing back-office systems to enable pay-TV operators to tie over-the-top video delivery with billing and rights management solutions already in place.

Both Azuki and LG are trying to expand into new markets. Azuki is attempting to make the leap to the first screen (i.e. the TV set) after focusing primarily on mobile devices, while LG is crossing into the cable industry with a raft of new set-tops for cable operators. (See LG Shows Off Its Cable Credentials.)

The HDMI dongle runs on the Android operating system version 4.2.2 (aka Jelly Bean), and supports 802.11ac WiFi.

LG has already shown interest in partnering with middleware providers in the cable ecosystem, including Nagra and Cisco Systems Inc., both of which demonstrated their platforms on LG hardware at the Cable Show. LG also teamed up with Entone Inc. recently to introduce a new streaming media player capable of supporting both OTT and live video services. (See Entone, LG Blend OTT with Live TV.)

The new integration with Azuki suggests that LG is trying to offer maximum flexibility to MSOs still sorting out the best options for upgrading to IP video delivery.

— Mari Silbey, Special to Light Reading Cable

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