NDS Launches EPG Framework to Give Pay-TV Operators Control of the User Experience

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009
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  • EPG Framework simplifies and speeds up EPG UI creation and management
  • Puts the pay-TV operator in control of the EPG User Interface
  • Gives the pay-TV operator the flexibility to update the EPG look-and-feel and to introduce new revenue streams with EPG-based ads and promotions

LONDON, UK — IBC Hall 1, Stand A71 — NDS Group, the leading provider of technology solutions for digital pay-TV, today announced NDS EPG Framework™, an end-to-end infrastructure developed to enable broadcasters to design, deploy and manage their own Electronic Programme Guides (EPG) cost-effectively. EPG Framework also gives pay-TV operators the flexibility to update the EPG as needed, and to introduce new revenue streams via EPG-based ads and promotions.

NDS customers including Get, Viasat and Bharti Airtel have already started using EPG Framework.

The EPG has evolved beyond the programme guide and is now a portal to interactive and on-demand entertainment services. With EPG Framework, broadcasters can design a branded EPG that encourages viewers to book and view more content and helps reduce churn and increase ARPU.

EPG Framework allows operators to update the EPG on-the-fly without having to download software to the STB. They can create new revenue streams by incorporating seasonal promotions, advertisements and sponsorships in the EPG, as well as by targeting audiences with personalised messages and content.

NDS EPG Framework supports EPGs in multiple languages and allows viewers to customise their EPG with a choice of different designs or ‘skins’.

EPG Framework runs on NDS MediaHighway™ set-top box software. It consists of:

  • EPG Designer™, a visual drag-and-drop authoring tool that uses a robust set of UI building blocks, or widgets to create EPG themes in both SD and HD
  • Data Publisher, a head-end tool that enables the operator to update targeted STBs with the changes made in EPG Designer
  • EPG Runtime Environment, the client software that manages the EPG Framework themes and updates on the local STB.

NDS continues to offer broadcasters comprehensive EPG support, including design, development and delivery. More STBs run NDS EPGs than any other EPG, and NDS EPGs currently support more than 30 languages.

Mr. Sugato Banerji, Chief Marketing Officer – DTH, Bharti Airtel commented: “NDS EPG Framework is already proving to be a powerful tool that allows us to engage more effectively with our DTH customers on Airtel digital TV. We have designed and branded our EPG using NDS EPG Framework and have also used the EPG Updates feature to promote our PPV movies and to make seasonal greetings to our DTH customers.”

“A compelling EPG enhances user experience and has a positive impact on ARPU. Advanced graphics, home networking and broadband are changing the way we interact with our STBs and are making it even more important for the EPG to be up-to-date, relevant and easy to use. EPG Framework places operators in control of their EPG futures, while also providing subscribers with an unrivalled user experience,” said Bo Valsted, product marketing manager, NDS.

NDS has extensive experience in EPG design and integration. As well as the design tools provided by the EPG Framework, NDS’ in-house design studios have developed a number of high-end conceptual User Interfaces (UIs) including the Master UI™ (deployed by Comstar-UTS in March of this year) and Snowflake™, a UI based around a minimalist 3D grid overlaid on live TV.

Visitors to the NDS stand at IBC will be able to see how the NDS EPG Framework gives operators the flexibility and tools to build, deploy, and modify EPGs. NDS will also be showcasing Snowflake and will demonstrate how the Apple iPhone can be used to interact with the EPG.

NDS EPG Framework currently supports Java EPG application engines and will support multiple application engines, such as Adobe Flash, HTML/JavaScript, Native and others, from 2010.