Vendors Do Set-Top-Free VoD

Cable operators can slash capeex spend by delivering video on demand direct to the TV

March 12, 2009

2 Min Read

LONDON -- TANDBERG Television, part of the Ericsson group (NASDAQ:ERIC), Sony, Neotion and Strategy & Technology (S&T) have combined their industry expertise to deliver a Video on Demand (VoD) solution that enables cable operators to deliver network-based time-shift services and targeted adverts direct to the TV, without the need for a set-top box (STB).

The breakthrough industry collaboration allows standard TVs to support VoD right out of the box. This results in lower deployment costs for cable operators, who can avoid set-top box purchase and installation. Consumers benefit from reduced energy usage in the home and faster service availability – and they do not have to make time for an engineer’s visit.

Cable operators have the opportunity to generate valuable new revenue streams and offer a better customer experience with on-demand services, and hence reduce subscriber churn. They maintain full control over the applications offered and the look and feel of the user interface. Meanwhile, viewers gain full PVR functionality on the TV with no storage and no extra cost.

At the heart of the system is a new common interface specification (CI Plus), an emerging industry standard defined by Sony and Neotion and their partners in the CI Plus Forum, which will soon be supported within 80% of Sony digital televisions and approximately 70% of all new integrated Digital TV sets.

Coupled with more secure conditional access, this new interface enables applications ¬¬- once downloaded from the CI Plus module - to be launched from a browser in a CI Plus TV or other compatible receiver, thus opening the door to applications such as Video on Demand (VoD) and Targeted Ad-insertion.

TANDBERG Television and Neotion have implemented a standards-based VoD system that combines Neotion’s CI Plus module and TANDBERG Television’s OpenStream® Digital Services Platform. This handles the management of content, session control, billing, catalogue generation, ad-insertion and resource management.

“Consumers want to watch more television on their own schedules and cable operators with VoD and network-based catch-up TV are rewarded with higher service take-up and reduced churn,” comments Edward Allfrey, Cable Business Director, TANDBERG Television. “This solution makes it easier and cheaper for cable operators to introduce on-demand, while maintaining full control of the service.”

Tandberg Television

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