CSI Prize for Best Consumer Area Technology go to Aferian: Android Hybrid Android solution

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CSI Prize for Best Consumer Area Technology go to Aferian: Android Hybrid Android solution

The television landscape is evolving. Traditional linear TV is no longer the only option for video consumption and consumers are seeking alternative methods of accessing video content. It no longer is one size fits all: rather, it is about choice.

Amino, a pioneer in IPTV since 1999, recognizes the issues that operators and consumers face. Amino’s Operator Ready Android TV solution gives operators the ability to seamlessly offer streaming apps and linear channels side by side, fulfilling the demand for consumer choice.

Cablenet, the leading cable operator in Cyprus, delivers fixed and mobile telephony, broadband, and video services to over 76,000 customers. With business goals to increase customer acquisition and retention, Cablenet faced two problems: legacy cable and DTT network architecture and lack of interactive network services.

Google’s Android TV Operator Tier was designed with operators in mind. Simply put, it gives an operator the ability to create a branded video service – including integration of DVR and VOD content – while assuring operator data is safeguarded. However, the solution on its own does not furnish everything an operator needs and that is where Amino Operator Ready Android TV fills the technology gaps to ensure that operators like Cablenet can efficiently launch compelling video services.

Story Highlights

  • As Pay TV providers migrate from legacy networks to modern IP networks, they often face unforeseen challenges. Amino’s expertise in IP delivery solutions allows it to anticipate and deliver Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) solutions designed to address these challenges. Amino’s Operator Ready Android TV solution leverages the AminoOS powered Amigo 7XC hybrid device making it a holistic solution addressing the complex needs of hybrid delivery. The Amino hybrid CPE technology supports both an operator’s cable and fiber subscribers, such as Cyprus’ Cablenet, enabling transparent distribution using the same set-top box regardless of the different access technologies.

  • The challenge for many operators is how to deploy something meaningful that provides the “stickiness” required to keep the subscriber-base satisfied. How can they retain subscribers who no longer want traditional linear services, and instead prefer the on-demand flexibility of streaming services? The challenge for Pay TV providers is delivering a compelling service that offers the range of content valued by the consumer while also giving them the flexibility to enjoy it when and where they like.

Cablenet had migrated to IP delivery, but still needed to deliver video content via legacy DVB-C and multicast. This required a set-top box capable of supporting DVB-C. Amino’s Amigo7XC Android TV device fulfilled that basic requirement, but also provided additional, equally important capabilities, via AminoOS and Amino Engage.

Operator Ready Android TV brings together three key capabilities to simplify Cablenet’s deployment and ongoing management of hybrid Android TV devices. The foundation is the Amigo 7XC itself, a 4K UHD Operator Tier certified device with DVB tuner support. However, it is AminoOS that enables the critical support and integration with relevant security software and middleware as well as existing infrastructure such as multicast, MPEG-2 and more.

In addition to providing the technology to address Cablenet’s unique requirements, Amino also managed the end-to-end Android TV Operator Tier certification process incorporating the SeaChange launcher. Amino understands that the key to a successful launch of an Android TV service is a commitment to adhering to the Android TV Certification process. Any device running Android TV is certified by Google and releases must be maintained in accordance with Google’s guidelines. This means that a certification is updated quarterly to incorporate the latest security patches. Not only does Amino manage the end-to-end certification process on behalf of Cablenet, Amino will also provide 3 Google OS upgrades over the 4-year certification lifespan to Cablenet. Cablenet’s selection of Android TV Operator Tier was in part driven by the ability to create a custom, branded user interface that allowed it to position its logo, promote its brand and pin key apps and channels. The Google Play Store retains a prominent position. Amino facilitated certification of Cablenet’s custom launcher ensuring that Cablenet’s service preserved its strong operator brand.

The final component of Operator Ready Android TV, as deployed for Cablenet, is Amino Engage. This cloud-based platform simplifies lifecycle management of deployed managed devices, including the provision of Android TV updates. The benefit of managed devices vs BYOD is the ability for the operator to validate video service quality with insight related to video stream quality and video performance (e.g., channel change time). Amino Engage gives Cablenet new levels of control over the Android TV OS and configurations. Engage’s features and configurations for Android TV help Cablenet by accelerating support call resolution with virtual support functions and simplification of tasks such as: customization of boot screens and boot animation, updating its operator launchers and apps separate from the firmware, and accessing deployment analytics and metrics.

Operator Tier Android TV utilizes the power and flexibility of Amino software to provide next-generation services that converge OTT and Cable on Android TV. The solution helps Cablenet reduce OPEX and improve functionality by providing a modern Android TV user experience for accessing linear or streaming content over hybrid networks. This merges cable, multicast IPTV and OTT content with a single program guide and modern UX. Amino’s ability to identify and resolve the challenges related to features not addressed by a basic Android TV set-top box, resulted in the launch of a modern Android TV-based cable service that enables interactive services and IP delivery for Cablenet’s cable and DTT subscribers. “Being able to deploy a single set-top box that allows us to manage our TV service, overcoming any restrictions imposed by the physical mediums of cable, fiber or pure OTT, will have a really positive impact on the performance, efficiency and quality of service offered to our subscribers,” said Charalambos Moyseos, Chief Commercial Officer – Retail, Cablenet Communication Systems Plc. “I’m also highly excited that we have been able to launch our Next Generation TV services. The combination of the Amigo 7XC and AminoOS enables us to be highly flexible in our network architecture and business model.”