Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Alticast’s HDMI Media Express “Set-Top Box on a Stick” Recognized in Prestigious Diamond Technology Reviews


Alticast’s Latest TV Everywhere Solution Recognized for Innovation in
Coveted Product Review Program

Alticast, a global partner for the delivery of media entertainment, today announced that its HDMI Media Express has received an exceptional “4 Diamond” rating in the Broadband Technology Report’s 2014 Diamond Technology Reviews, a highly regarded product review program that recognizes the best products and solutions for the cable television industry. 

Alticast’s HDMI Media Express works in conjunction with a home gateway or cloud-based IP content to enable operators to securely deliver live and on-demand programing to the large screen.  The small footprint of the device provides a TV Everywhere experience with its download-and-go and plug-and-play capability. The Alticast software integration on HDMI Media Express leverages both the Reference Design Kit (RDK), the popular pre-integrated software bundle endorsed by leading cable operators, and Alticast’s HTML5 TV Ready User Agent application framework.  This framework allows seamless operation of HTML5 and Android applications, allowing operators to deliver a multi-functional and multi-screen entertainment solution.


 “Receiving such high marks in this coveted product reviews program shows that cable industry experts recognize the value of HDMI Media Express and how it can be used by operators to expand their TV Everywhere services,” said John Carlucci, CTO, Alticast US. “Our HDMI Media Express solution represents a new paradigm for multi-screen IP video delivery, enabling operators to fully leverage the Cloud and home-based gateways to deliver new and compelling TV Everywhere services.”

“Operators are continually looking to expand their multiscreen capabilities and the Diamonds judges recognize the potential of Alticast’s HDMI Media Express to help MSOs offer new and irresistible viewing experiences,” said Tim Hermes, Publisher and Founder, Broadband Technology Report.

About Broadband Technology Report
Broadband Technology Report (BTR), celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2014, is the cable and telecom industry’s premier source for product and technology news, and is the most successful and fastest growing online outlet for product information and deployments; reviews and rankings; technology expertise; and buyer/seller facilitation. BTR’s portfolio includes online, print and video assets, all designed to help network operators build, upgrade and maintain high performance communications networks. BTR, backed by more than 70 years of combined industry experience, delivers its email, online, print and video production services to more than 18,500 subscribers. If you are interested in subscribing, consult http://www.btreport.net/subscribe.html.

About the Diamond Technology Review program

The BTR Diamond Technology Reviews (“the Diamonds”) is a renowned industry program – now in its 9th year – that was developed to recognize some of the top products and solutions available to the cable industry as determined by a stellar panel of cable telecommunications engineering experts. Engineering executives from Bright House, Buckeye, Comcast, Boyer Broadband, Suddenlink, and Time Warner Cable were among the third-party judges for the 2014 Diamonds. Every year, BTR invites vendors to submit written information about products/solutions that have been released or upgraded since the previous year’s SCTE Cable-Tec Expo (October 2013). Criteria used in the Diamonds rankings include, first and foremost, unique technology or application thereof, innovation, ease of use, efficiency, reliability and contribution to profitability.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Alticast and Strategy & Technology Demonstrate Interactive TV Applications for ATSC 2.0 at IBC 2014


Companies Leverage ATSC 2.0 to Enable Broadcasters to Deliver new Interactive TV
and Advertising Applications

Alticast, a global partner for the delivery of media entertainment, and Strategy & Technology (S&T), an independent developer of interactive TV technologies, will demonstrate to attendees of IBC 2014 how the companies combined technologies enable broadcasters to deliver ATSC 2.0 applications by overlaying graphics onto their video content.  This combined tool set and complete framework brings together TV and web technologies to give broadcasters the means to deliver a new generation of iTV services and advanced advertising applications. The demonstration will take place at S&T’s IBC booth (Hall 1, Booth B22), September 12– 16, at the Amsterdam RAI Exhibition and Congress Centre.

This joint demonstration takes advantage of the triggers provided in ATSC 2.0 that enable broadcasters to synchronize applications with programming content.  The demonstration includes an Alticast enabled set-top box (STB) running the company’s TV Ready User Agent (TVRUA), which provides a robust browser and application life cycle control for managing applications.  S&T’s tools insert ATSC 2.0 triggers into recorded and live content, and Alticast has integrated the ability to recognize these triggers and facilitate the launch of web-based HTML5 applications.  These applications can be delivered from web servers to the screen providing a broadcast solution for interactive TV.

S&T’s new OnScreen Publisher and the Alticast TVPlay application store can be used by application developers to create, manage, monitor and release applications for broadcaster use.  These web-based applications can provide interaction to the viewer, and collect input response so results can be aggregated and reported back to the broadcaster. Reality TV voting, campaign polling and advertising call-to-actions are examples of the types of interactive applications broadcasters could deploy.  Tablet and mobile interactions can also be designed as part of the application.

“The new iTV capabilities of ATSC 2.0 are huge for broadcasters who are eager to offer a more interactive TV experience for viewers and advertisers, said John Carlucci, CTO of Alticast U.S.  “Together with our partner S&T, we are showing broadcasters how our joint solution enables them to take advantage of ATSC 2.0 to deliver a range of interactive TV and advertising applications.”

“We are delighted to be working with Alticast to bring this demonstration to IBC. The use of OnScreen Publisher and our trigger insertion toolsets has enabled us to provide a compelling demonstration of the interactivity that ATSC 2.0 makes available to broadcasters,” said Adrian Fowkes, Engineering Director at Strategy & Technology.

About Strategy & Technology

Strategy & Technology (S&T) is an independent software company providing development and deployment of interactive multi-screen systems using standardized technologies such as DSM-CC, MHEG-5, HbbTV, HTML 5 and CI Plus. S&T solutions include carousel generation and playout, middleware engines, and interactive multi-screen applications for TVs, tablets, smartphones, PCs, games consoles and digital media players. S&T operates internationally with offices in London (UK), Boulder (Colorado, USA) and Hong Kong. For more information on S&T, please go to www.s-and-t.com

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.