Liberty Global and Comcast to use STB browser enhancements from Metrological

Thursday, September 10th, 2015
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Liberty Global and Comcast to Leverage Browser Enhancements from Metrological

  • Metrological to contribute open-source browser enhancements to RDK community

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands — Metrological announced today that Liberty Global and Comcast will leverage new, open-source browser enhancements to improve their ability to support enhanced Internet Protocol (IP) browser-based services and applications for set-top boxes (STBs). Metrological created the new open-source browser enhancements, and will contribute them to the Reference Design Kit (RDK) software stack for use across the pay TV industry.

The browser software resides in the set-top box, and enables high performance rendering of HTML5 apps and next-generation user interfaces (UIs) across STBs. Notably, the new software will help increase browser performance, with a smaller software footprint, and requires significantly less memory usage. Technically, it relies upon open-source “WebKit for Wayland” components to render UIs, and provide better windows management to control multiple applications and resource management.

Liberty Global, which currently uses an earlier version of Metrological’s browser, plans to upgrade to these new enhancements for its RDK-based Horizon TV platform. Comcast plans to trial the STB browser software enhancements for use on its RDK-based X1 Platform™ later this year. Metrological has more than a decade of experience in developing device-agnostic software frameworks, including its Application Platform, is a leading contributor to RDK, and is a key supplier to operators such as Liberty Global.

“At Liberty Global we set out to optimize the browser to deliver a high performance consumer experience with support for rich UIs and HTML5 apps on Horizon TV,” said Balan Nair, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Liberty Global.”This browser capability will enable us to more easily customize user experiences and offer high performance TV services, such as our integrated app experience based on the Metrological Application Platform, to our customers in ways that weren’t previously possible.”

“I am very excited to incorporate the open source enhancements Metrological has made to Webkit. With these enhancements for the RDK, we hope to see HTML5 experiences with the visual fidelity and graphics performance normally reserved for native apps,” said Sree Kotay, Executive Vice President and Chief Software Architect, Comcast Cable. “Under the hood, we’re constantly looking for ways to enhance our X1 Entertainment Operating System, and we believe Metrological’s contribution will have significant impact.”

“Our customers have been looking for ways to solve the performance challenges of embedded browsers on STBs,” said Albert Dahan, Co-Founder and CTO of Metrological. “As operators embrace more open-source browser technologies, they have experienced a lack of performance and features; we contributed a suite of enhancements to open source that makes apps run as if they were developed natively.”

Metrological Browser Contribution to RDK

Metrological will contribute the browser optimization to the RDK software stack, making it available to the entire RDK community of more than 250 companies.

“These innovative new browser enhancements are a prime example of how RDK member companies are using modern technologies to help accelerate the deployment of new TV services,” said Steve Heeb, President and General Manager of RDK Management, LLC. “Metrological is bringing this contribution into the RDK, and thanks to their efforts, it will be available for the entire RDK community.”