Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Alticast Demonstrates the “Future of TV Simplified” at IBC 2014

Alticast’s Latest Solutions Simplify the Delivery of New Multiscreen Services

Alticast, a global partner for the delivery of media entertainment, will show attendees of IBC 2014 how its latest solutions can simplify the development and delivery of new, more personalized, multiscreen TV viewing experiences.  The demonstrations will take place at its IBC 2014 booth (Hall 1, Booth F36), September 11 – 16, at the Amsterdam RAI Exhibition and Congress Centre.

Alticast will showcase its entire line of solutions at the show, which range from components for home networking and security to those enabling multiple device support, with particular emphasis on its HDMI Media Express, AltiPlex™ Client-Server Cloud solutions and its collaborative development environment for Reference Design Kit (RDK) code integration.

“Alticast is driving innovation in the industry by offering compelling media entertainment software solutions for legacy and next-generation systems,” said Tiaan Schutte, Alticast’s President for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). “Our Cloud-based products, RDK UI/UX and pre-integrated packages are prime examples of Alticast’s ground breaking solutions that shorten time to deployment, are cost effective and deliver a enticing user experience.”

Alticast’s key demonstrations at IBC 2014 include:

·       The Alticast HDMI Media Express represents a new paradigm for IP video delivery by directly delivering content from the cloud or in concert with a home gateway. The HDMI Media Express enables service providers to securely deliver over the top content, live and on-demand programing efficiently. It also provides a TV Everywhere experience with it’s download-and-go, and plug-and-play capability. Leveraging RDK and Alticast’s TV Ready User Agent application framework, HDMI Media Express supports HTML5 and Android application delivery.

·       Alticast’s AltiPlex Server Cloud Solution provides a complete services platform, including back office integration, metadata delivery, big-data support and a number of cloud services.  A complete Cloud-based Personal Video Recording system and an innovative Cloud-based User Interface system are key offerings of the platform. Alticast’s Cloud UI application provides a thin client/server model for delivering the user experience to all devices in the home. This architecture reduces demands on the STB CPU and memory by pre-processing the UI in the Cloud. A web-based console enables the delivery of different UIs to different devices for user experience versatility and MSO testing and service.

·       Alticast’s collaborative development environment for RDK code integration is a Cloud-based solution that enables system-on-a-chip (SoC) vendors, open software providers, multi-system operator (MSOs) and system integrators to utilize a single workflow and release structure for RDK code development.

·       Alticast’s pre-integrated solutions end-to-end field-proven set top box software packages, are integrated with partner products and incorporate core AltiPlatform systems software, a customizable user interface and a variety of content security products. One of the demonstrations includes our award winning AltiView I user experience and another HbbTV design.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Moving Past CableCARD

Recent news has made it clear that it’s only a matter of time until CableCARD technology meets its ultimate demise. It’s an outdated technology that simply has not kept up with the times and is actually hindering the natural progression of the industry, which is increasingly leaning towards mobile.

While there was reason for CableCARD implementation in the first place, the industry’s technology has advanced and most MSOs are ready to move on. Security was one of the primary reasons CableCARD was introduced and there are currently a plethora of more effective offerings available. Downloadable conditional access solutions, for example, eliminate the need for CableCARDs while maintaining condition access (CA) independence and have been deployed for many years.

Two available solutions that utilize downloadable conditional access strategies are OMS and XCAS. Check out their respective merits below.

Open Media Security (OMS) – Already deployed in North America since 2010, OMS can support a variety of CA systems, however they must conform to the OMS Key Ladder. A key benefit of OMS is that it allows for multiple companies to provide solutions and maintains interoperability between CA and the STB. OMS is already proven an effective alternative to CableCARD.

Exchangeable Conditional Access Solution (XCAS) – Developed in Korea and deployed internationally by many service providers, CA systems and STB manufacturers, XCAS uses KLAD
technology and offers more flexibility than the OMS as well as some additional security, though            at the cost of some added complexity.

There are additional CA strategies that do not offer the benefit of being downloadable. One strategy involves Digital Transport Adapters (DTAs). DTAs have recently seen improvements to allow some interactivity but they are still much simpler and less powerful than STBs. DTAs are currently prohibited under the FCC’s Integration Ban but an active petition is seeking to change this.

There are many alternatives at the ready to be widely adopted once CableCARD requirements are officially removed, which is likely to happen in September when the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Reauthorization Act of 2014, also known as STELA, goes before the Senate. The bottom line is that it’s time for CableCARD to go and for widespread adoption of other, more effective strategies, like OMS and XCAS, to take place.