Amino adapts STB software to run on legacy boxes

Thursday, May 18th, 2017
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Amino Liberates Operators from Legacy TV; Launches Virtual Set-top Box Software

  • Amino’s Enable virtual STB software addresses multi-billion-dollar legacy market
  • Runs on Amino STB hardware and numerous third party devices
  • Enables operators to deliver advanced video services across old and new devices
  • Deployed globally with progressive operators such as Cincinnati Bell and PCCW Media

CAMBRIDGE, UK — Amino, the IP/Cloud video software and device specialist, announced today that its new Amino ENABLE virtual set-top box software is empowering TV operators to migrate to an all IP/Cloud future. By upcycling existing set-top boxes and eliminating installation costs, Amino ENABLE will save TV operators billions of dollars in CAPEX and help them keep pace with sophisticated consumer demands. It will have its public debut at Broadcast Asia and ANGA this month.

“As we move into the era of all IP/Cloud television and video, the massive barrier facing operators across the globe is the millions of legacy set-top boxes they are invested in,” says Donald McGarva, Amino’s Chief Executive. “It’s upcycle or die, as these installed STBs need to be brought into the modern multiscreen, multi-device, multi-service world – but the expense of doing so is chilling. Most players need a cost-effective way to provide state-of-the-art services across their entire customer base. Enable gives them the ability to do that and shift towards a world in which all applications and services can be delivered over IP, on-demand from the Cloud to any device, anytime, anywhere.”

The Enable platform has been tried and tested for over a decade as the software core for Amino VIEW, the world’s most deployed IP STB. The software is also widely deployed on third-party set-top box hardware platforms so that all operators can future-proof their offerings and deliver innovative, higher value services. These include over-the-top (OTT), subscription video on demand (SVOD), multiscreen UX, UHD video and Android capabilities, along with updated and unified user interfaces.

“Every day I am in discussions with operators who are seeking to modernize their TV service with advanced applications such as Android TV and streaming video,” remarked Mark Evensen, Chief Technology Officer of Amino. “In most cases, there is not a straight line from A to B because they want to maximise the value of their existing infrastructure. Enable is the essential tool we use to launch next-generation applications and services simultaneously on legacy hardware, regardless of supplier, and the latest device platforms.”

Third party STB hardware partners for Enable include ZTE, Samsung, Hybroad, and Xavi, with more to come. These legacy STBs are transformed by utilizing the Enable software to virtualize underlying hardware, providing portability of video applications across both old and new devices.

Proven deployments

Cincinnati Bell, a major US telecommunications service operator, is one of the first companies to rely on Enable for legacy transformation. It carried out a major infrastructure upgrade to support its high-capacity Fioptics network, so it could offer customers a rich media interface and advanced applications. PCCW Media, the largest Pay-TV service provider in Hong Kong and another early adopter of Enable, used the software platform when it launched its ‘Now One’ integrated 4K UHD all-in-one STB.

These first wave deployments of Amino Enable were completed at a fraction of the cost of a full hardware refresh. In deploying the software platform for operators, Amino applies the full breadth of its experience and expertise in IPTV/OTT to ensure tailored solutions that steer clear of teething pains. The outcome for the initial adopters was that they were able to:

  • Combat churn and grow subscriber numbers – boosting both retention and acquisition, with some operators showing more than 200% subscriber growth after implementing the platform
  • Increase return on capital – eliminating the need to replace legacy STBs, which involves both device and installation costs, operators can save millions of dollars, cutting as much as 80% off the cost of upgrading
  • Rapid time to market – upgrading STBs with software rather than replacing them means deployment of new services and capabilities take less than a quarter of the time, so a hardware swap-out that would normally take a year is cut to just three months

Tom Simpson, Chief Technology Officer at Cincinnati Bell, says: “We wanted to present our subscriber base with a fresh user interface and new media choices without the time-consuming logistics or major costs of a complete hardware replacement. The challenge was to extend the life of the set-top boxes we already had in the field. Amino worked with our team to transform the user experience for our customers through Enable. The result was huge savings on new equipment and installation costs.”

Amino will debut a new third-party version of its Enable virtual set-top box software at Broadcast Asia 2017 in Singapore May 23-25 (Booth 6J3-04) and ANGA, the cable, broadband and satellite show, in Cologne, Germany May 30 to June 1 (Hall 7, stand B31).