NDS Enables Hybrid Functionality for Astro B.yond Platform

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011
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  • NDS MediaHighway set-top box software enables Astro service over IP in addition to DTH
  • Astro deploys NDS Progressive Download technology to enable uninterrupted viewing of on-demand content

LONDON — NDS Group, the leading provider of technology solutions for digital pay-TV, today announced that their technologies are enabling hybrid functionality for the Astro B.yond platform from Astro, Malaysia’s leading cross-media group.

The new solution will provide Astro subscribers with access to the best of international and local content, delivered either over DTH, IP or hybrid mechanisms combining both IP and DTH.

NDS’ MediaHighway™ set-top box (STB) software is the enabling technology for the Astro B.yond platform. The future-proof nature of MediaHighway has enabled Astro to adapt and enhance their solution since deployment in 1999, including the introduction of interactive features and services and the recent launch of their video-on-demand service over IP.

To enable the delivery of the new Astro video-on-demand (VOD) service, NDS progressive download technology has been implemented in both the headend and through MediaHighway STB software. NDS progressive download facilitates the delivery of content over IP, addressing the issues associated with low bandwidth connections for uninterrupted viewing. Once enough content is delivered to the DVR, playback can commence – allowing for the remainder of the content to be delivered in background mode. For pure DTH boxes, VOD content is delivered via push mechanisms to the DVR ready for consumption.

Commenting on the implementation of their new hybrid features, Shahrul Sultan, Director of Consumer Technology at Astro added: “We consistently strive to provide our subscribers with best in class experience, and to do so we embrace the introduction of new technologies and additional delivery methods to ensure the optimum reach of our offering.” He continued, “Throughout the years NDS have enabled us to enhance our platform, whether through the provision of tools to enable us to introduce our own interactive applications or their flexibility to provide us with the necessary technologies to offer hybrid services such as VOD with progressive download.”

Astro have been at the forefront of pay television in Malaysia since launch in 1996, the platform currently has over 3 million subscribers and reaches over 50% of TV homes in the region. The Astro B.yond platform from Astro is protected by NDS’ VideoGuard™ Conditional Access (CA) and utilises NDS DVR technology with a customised electronic programme guide based on the NDS EPG Framework.

NDS Senior Vice President and General Manager Asia Pacific, Sue Taylor, commented: “It is a pleasure for NDS to be involved in the innovative services offered by Astro B.yond and to assist in extending their technological vision. This will give far greater convenience and choice to their subscribers.”