UMC, MStar and SERAPHIC to launch Freeview Play-compliant smart TVs in UK

Friday, August 19th, 2016 
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IFA2016: UMC, MStar and SERAPHIC to launch affordable Freeview-Play-compliant smart TVs in UK

  • UMC, MStar and SERAPHIC are about to cooperate to roll out affordable Freeview-Play-compliant smart TVs into the UK market

SHANGHAI — UMC, a leading designer, manufacturer and distributor for consumer electronics devices in Europe, announced further cooperation with MStar, the largest chipset vendor, and SERAPHIC, the leading digital TV browser and “TV+ Internet” solution provider, to roll out Freeview Play-compliant smart TVs into the UK market in Q4, 2016.

UMC is known for renowned brands, high quality products and stable supply chain, highly competitive in the global TV market.

Commenting on the cooperation, Aslan Khabliev, CEO at UMC, said: “We are delighted about this new collaboration with MStar and SERAPHIC. The pre-integrated Freeview Play solution provided by MStar and SERAPHIC will greatly minor R&D cost and accelerate time to market. We see a huge chance to massively introduce Freeview-Play-compliant smart TVs into the UK market and that’s exactly what we are looking for. The solution will be firstly adopted in a brand new high-end smart TV lineup for Sharp brand, targeting at the UK market.”

It is not the first time that the three parties have worked together. In early 2014, UMC introduced Sharp and Blaupunkt smart TVs, powered by SERAPHIC’s TV browser based on the DTV SoC platform provided by MStar, in Europe.

As the whole TV market faces ever more challenges from changing audience consumption needs, UMC decides to break the ice through high-end and rich-featured smart TVs with affordable price for mass-market and chooses to deliver Freeview-Play-compliant TV products in the UK, together with its close partners, MStar and SERAPHIC.

Launched in October 2015, Freeview Play, based on the latest HbbTV technology, is the next generation hybrid TV platform in the UK, quite challenging to pass due to its complicated specifications and strict certification process. It combines catch up, on demand services with live TV channels to present fabulous user experience to audiences. The service is only available on Freeview Play compliant devices, e.g. TVs, set-top boxes and etc.

Sharply realizing the crucial change that Freeview Play will bring to smart TV market, MStar and SERAPHIC started to collaborate on this ever since its specifications were released. Through joint efforts, the two companies successfully launched Freeview Play solution, pre-integrated with SERAPHIC’s leading Sraf® HTML5 Browser on MStar’s advanced DTV platform, in June 2016. This is the first ready-for-certification Freeview Play solution which could be massively deployed by device manufacturers, at affordable price.

MStar is the largest chipset vendor for DTV SoC in the world, offering TV manufacturers, STB manufacturers and operators solutions in the most efficient way to meet market needs.

“The process is never easy. Thankfully, we have such a reliable and leading partner as SERAPHIC to work together. SERAPHIC has been selected as our Freeview Play provider mostly because of their strong expertise in browser-based software. Their professional R&D team and proactive customer support are also significant factors to consider,” addressed Bill Hsiung, VP of marketing at MStar Semiconductor, Inc.

Ye Wang, CSO of SERAPHIC said, “It is a great honor to have comprehensive collaboration with UMC and MStar. SERAPHIC is always devoted to bringing more values to our customers by making TVs ‘smarter’. Freeview-Play-compliant products are considered innovative and qualified, bringing benefits such as enhanced band awareness, added value, etc., to TV manufacturers. One thing we should notice is that Freeview Play is gaining rising influence in countries such as Australia, Brazil, etc., besides the UK market. We believe the upcoming UMC products integrated with SERAPHIC’s Sraf HTML5 Browser will get its momentum in the European market.”