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Video/Media

Android TV biz picks up at Evolution Digital

The US pay-TV business may be in decline, but the demand for Android TV streaming devices among cable operators opting for IPTV upgrades appears to be on the rise.

Evolution Digital, one of the suppliers benefitting from that uptake, announced Tuesday that TDS has selected its eSTREAM 4K box, an Android TV-based streamer with built-in voice navigation, for an IPTV service that utilizes TiVo's platform/user interface. TDS's IPTV implementation, which taps Evolution Digital's eDM backoffice system for device monitoring, diagnostics, analytics tools and connections into the operator's billing system, also integrates several third-party streaming apps.

Evolution Digital's eSTREAM 4K is an Android TV-powered streaming device. The TDS implementation pairs the box with the TiVo 'Creek' remote for Android TV.  
(Source: Evolution Digital)
Evolution Digital's eSTREAM 4K is an Android TV-powered streaming device. The TDS implementation pairs the box with the TiVo "Creek" remote for Android TV.
(Source: Evolution Digital)

Evolution Digital confirmed that TDS's implementation uses the Android TV Operator Tier, which enables service providers to supply operator-managed streaming devices that boot up to the operator's pay-TV app.

Evolution Digital's deal with TDS appears to build on a TDS TV+ service that runs TiVo on devices from CommScope/Arris.

Update: Evolution Digital confirmed that the eSTREAM 4K will also be used to run the TDS TV+ service.

The TDS agreement expands a growing Android TV device business at Evolution Digital. The vendor also outlined a group of other operators that have deployed or have plans to deploy the device, including Liberty Latin America, Blue Stream, Cincinnati Bell, Grande Communications, Metronet and RCN. Those operators add to previously announced eSTREAM 4K agreements with Midco, Blue Ridge and Service Electric Cablevision.

Although the pandemic slowed down the pace of some next-gen video products, it appears that activity is perking up again.

"We are seeing an acceleration of deployments at customers," Marc Cohen, EVP of marketing and sales at Evolution Digital, said, noting that operators are eager to take advantage of the bandwidth flexibility of an all-IP video platform and the ability to deliver a more advanced (and competitive) video offering. "I think that the partners that you're seeing us work with today on the TiVo platform, especially, believe in video. They're making an investment to do this."

For now, video represents the largest piece of business for Evolution Digital, a supplier that tends to focus on independent tier 2/3 operators. However, the company has expanded into broadband and whole-home Wi-Fi products with a lineup of CPE and a software and services partnership with Plume.

That expansion has come in handy as cable operators continue to move toward a "broadband-first" posture that is centering their businesses on higher-margin high-speed Internet services and less so on pay-TV.

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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