Pace Delivers Building Blocks for Sky New Zealand's IGLOO

Monday, July 16th, 2012
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Pace to provide software and services with hardware to support new IGLOO TV service, bringing free-to-air and on-demand content to new audiences in New Zealand

SALTAIRE, England — Pace plc (LSE:PIC) today announced that it is providing the services and technology behind SKY New Zealand and TVNZ’s innovative new TV service, IGLOO. IGLOO will run Pace’s new and innovative Elements software platform on a Pace DVB-T2 Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) hybrid IP set-top box to offer consumers digital TV services, Video on Demand (VOD) and a dynamic user interface for navigating and selecting content. Pace is also providing systems integration and consulting services to support the new service platform’s development and rollout to New Zealand’s TV viewers.

The IGLOO service, which soft-launched to a group of customers at the end of June, delivers a fully integrated broadcast and broadband TV solution. Once installed, IGLOO provides consumers with all terrestrial free-to-air channels for free. In addition, they get access to a pre-paid premium channel pack, pay-per-view sporting events and a transactional video on demand (TVOD) catalogue of over 1000 items. In providing these options, the IGLOO pre-pay model is designed to offer consumers unparalleled flexibility and content choices.

Chaz Savage, General Manager of IGLOO, said: “We wanted to develop a flexible new service that catered to households who want access to the great content they associate with SKY and TVNZ, but without the commitment of a long-term contract.

“We came up with the idea for IGLOO, but knew it would need a technology platform that made it not only exciting to look at, but easy to use, good value and flexible for consumers. The Pace solution ticked all the boxes – a superb user experience thanks to the Elements software, delivered via a high-performance, reliable set-top box.”

Shane McCarthy, President of Pace International, said: “Having partnered with Sky New Zealand for many years with set-top box solutions, it is incredibly exciting that Pace has been selected to support IGLOO, especially given its potential to transform how New Zealanders consume home entertainment. The combination of our Elements software platform and our hybrid IP/DTT set-top box hardware will ensure that consumers can find the content they want, when they want it, helping IGLOO meet the business goals behind its launch.”

IGLOO incorporates the following from Pace’s Elements platform:

  • Cobalt – An advanced head-end solution that facilitates convergence. Cobalt powers IGLOO’s advanced search and recommendation functionality. This is done via intelligent metadata management which results in a richer UI experience for the consumer, making it simpler to view and navigate through VOD titles, and selection of appropriate content.
  • Oxygen – Pace’s User Interface solution supports an exciting and dynamic user experience and reflects the IGLOO brand. Based on HTML 5, Oxygen gives operators control of the User Experience and accelerates time-to-market. Oxygen enables the IGLOO’s User Interface to be updated and refined by Sky New Zealand themselves as and when required, bringing a flexible and rich service from Sky New Zealand into their consumers’ homes.
  • Tungsten – Pace’s middleware and device software solution, leverages the architecture, hardware performance and flexibility of the IGLOO set-top box. Tungsten reduces the time and cost to implement new features giving the operator the freedom to innovate when they want, how they want.

The Pace T2 hybrid DTT/IP set-top box, which deploys IGLOO, includes WiFi and Ethernet connections for on-demand content access, and features two USB ports, one to play consumers’ own home media such as family movies, photos and music on their TV, the other to enable them to pause live TV. As well as offering access to on-demand movies and TV shows via broadband streaming, IGLOO includes access to all terrestrial free to air channels, as well as the option to purchase a 30 day channel pack for NZ$24.99, which delivers 11 IGLOO premium channels.