From the 2011 IP&TV World Forum in London. Ian Smedley is Altia’s European Product Manager.
After browsing the aisles of this year’s IP&TV World Forum in London, I have synthesized some impressions and thoughts on the mid-term outlook on this market and Altia’s role therein. After a couple days at the show it’s obvious that our product is just as relevant and effective as ever.
According to the Broadband Forum, Internet Protocol television (IPTV) subscribers reached 45 million towards the end of 2010. Last year has since been declared a ‘banner year’ for the IPTV industry. These subscribers benefit from features such as Interactive TV, catch-up TV (like Hulu), video-on-demand, and other emerging ‘connected services’ from companies like Facebook, Google etc. I mean, come on, who doesn’t want to tweet from their TV?!
The growing demand for these capabilities along with general migration to free-to-air HD Digital Terrestrial Transmission–and the impending need to upgrade existing hardware to IPv6 — means that the Set Top Box (STB) market is doing very nicely, thank you very much. “Cutting the Chord” is increasingly possible thanks to new wave of products like the Boxee Box or Roku.
So speaking as a consumer who is probably going to be buying one of these boxes in the not-too-distant future, what am I looking for? Here are my requirements, in priority order:
- Functionality – It must do what I want, and it must do it well.
- Usability – The UI needs to be slick and intuitive.
- Price – I know I will have to upgrade in three years or so, so I don’t want to be spending too much every time.
- Green credentials – Recyclable and (more importantly) minimal power consumption.
Knowing the capabilities of our own tools, it’s easy to see where we (Altia) can make a difference for STB OEMs to maximise future profits:
- Functionality – C Code implementation with direct-to-hardware access allows for more “bang for your buck” from your processor.
- Usability – Slicker UIs that can be dreamt up and implemented in minimal time. This acceleration cuts time-to-market in half.
- Price – Reduce the size, power and price of the main processor while maintaining performance and customer satisfaction.
- Green Credentials – Lower end and slower processors save power stations if rolled out across the World.