Inuk Networks launches world's first PC-based virtual set-top box; delivering a true TV experience to the PC

Friday, September 7th, 2007
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igloo enables full functionality and service delivery for linear broadcast and video on demand television to PCs

Inuk Networks announced today the commercial launch of its igloo virtual set-top box software product. igloo enables IPTV platform operators to deliver a true television set-top box experience to a desktop or laptop computer or Mac using standards-based, technology-agnostic software.

Inuk’s igloo is designed to emulate the operation and user interface of a standard television set-top box (STB) on a Windows or Apple-based PC platform. All on-screen information and controls are displayed as a graphical overlay on top of the video image, enabling operators to offer their subscribers exactly the same service and user experience as they would get with a TV but on their PC or Mac. igloo delivers all the features and functions of any IPTV set-top box, regardless of browser, codec or conditional access (CA) system.

igloo supports both MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 encoded viewing, in both windowed and full screen modes, and has built in infra-red USB remote control capability. It also features sophisticated electronic programming guide (EPG) functionality, and can be easily customised or branded to incorporate any operator’s desired look and feel. In addition, it enables PVR features using a PC’s existing internal hard disk to securely store content.

Marcus Liassides, CEO at Inuk Networks, said: “To date, the middleware for delivering IPTV services to the PC platform has been severely restricted, having to rely on multiple client software products, embedding a video player into web pages or delivering proprietary solutions. igloo enables IPTV platform operators to provide compelling services on multiple devices, handing the choice of how and where to watch TV over to their subscribers.”

As with traditional hardware-based STBs, igloo supports the industry’s leading middleware, content encryption and DRM systems, including Widevine’s Cypher Virtual SmartCard and Industria’s Zignal Entertainment Delivery Platform.

Brian Baker, CEO, Widevine Technologies said: “We’re delighted to work with Inuk Networks to enable the acquisition of premium content and uniquely secure its delivery to PC and Mac platforms. Together Widevine and Inuk – with igloo – are bringing a viable television experience to the PC for the first time.”

Rupert Graves, Industria VP said: “Inuk Networks has broken new ground with its innovative Freewire IPTV service and the development of the igloo virtual set-top box is further proof of the company’s leadership in provisioning next generation TV. We are very pleased that Inuk has integrated support for the Zignal Entertainment Delivery Platform into igloo and believe that new and existing IPTV operators will find a PC platform an exciting addition to their customer proposition.”

igloo can be used to emulate any standards-based set-top box on the Windows XP, 2000, NT & Vista operating systems, as well as Intel-based Mac OS X Tiger and Leopard.