NDS Makes Strong shift from One Screen to Two Screen TV App Solutions

written by: Richard Kastelein

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EDITOR'S NOTE: (I first saw NDS's one screen solutions with their proof of concept TV widgets at IBC 2008 and they were perhaps, along with Samsung and Yahoo at the time, providing the greatest innovation around single screen TV apps solutions - noticably, at IBC 2010, they were making a hard shift to multiplatform).

NDS, a leading pioneer of technology solutions for digital pay-TV, today announced the launch of the NDS Service Delivery Platform, a fully scalable platform that enables TV operators to extend their offering to companion devices through third-party applications.

The NDS Service Delivery Platform (SDP) provides an open API that acts as an interface between apps on devices, a service provider’s TV platform and social networks or other internet content. Providing a standard web services interface, the SDP enables the development of a limitless number of applications to complement or control the TV viewing experience.

"Simultaneous TV and internet device usage is a growing phenomenon and presents opportunity for pay-TV operators, studios and app developers to create companion content and services. The potential lies in enhancement of the audience experience, the chance to reach the customer outside of the television viewing period, and in providing new avenues for advertiser engagement.” commented Adrian Drury, Principle Analyst, Ovum Media and Broadcast. “The NDS Service Delivery Platform takes an interesting approach to solving both issues. Ovum looks forward to seeing audience response to the first applications that exploit the web services exposed by SDP."

Enabling a multi-device ecosystem, the SDP places the TV operator at the core of the multi-screen entertainment experience, utilising the untapped creative potential of the app developer community and facilitated by a fully featured developer portal.

“The NDS SDP enables operators to harness the creativity of the thriving app developer community. The key to the platform is the two-way communications model, enabling not only content on devices, but that crucial link between the device and the operator platform – including the set-top box, so that it becomes a companion to the viewing experience.” said Nigel Smith, VP and Chief Marketing Officer, NDS. “The SDP fosters a symbiotic relationship that allows operators to drive service adoption through the apps, whilst enabling developers to generate revenue and providing subscribers with an enriched experience.”

Broadband News had some excellent coverage of the shift from single screen widgets to multiplatform delivery.

Beavon showed Broadband TV News an application that worked in tandem with an IP-enabled set-top box, bringing up additional information relevant to the on-screen programme, and changing channel if required.

NDS has also launched the Infinite TV Exchange, designed as a global business-to-business content marketplace, feeding special interest channels through over-the-top delivery. Explaining the concept Yoni Hashkes said the exchange would allow everyone from Jamie Oliver to Rolling Stone magazine to build their content into a TV channel. “Big brands such as National Geographic would be able to use this to create ancillary channels.” NDS is providing a hosted service that ingests, builds and schedules the content, adding in commercials, and collecting any subscription fee. “We will pre-integrate our technology making it very easy for the customer to just flick the switch and turn it on,” said Hashkes.

To provide a multi-faceted companion device experience, the SDP facilitates the contextual delivery of additional content, information and social networking features from online sources. The platform uses intelligent mechanisms to ensure that content and metadata are retrieved from the most appropriate source, whether the operator platform or web-services such as movie databases or catch-up TV sites. Devices and individual subscriptions are recognised by the SDP, allowing the delivery of appropriately formatted content, to device specification and in keeping with the user’s pay-TV subscription.

The NDS SDP is compatible with existing TV platforms and STBs. Utilising device SDKs and app stores, it negates the need for per-device and per-service integration, enabling the operator to present their brand, new services and content on a rapidly expanding number of connected devices.


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