What options are available to operators for the next generation of products?
We look at the software ecosystem options available to operators focusing on the comparisons between two of the key industry leaders; RDK and Android TV.
Up until five years ago Linux-based set-top boxes (STB) were the main platform for pay-TV operators. However, the move towards IP delivered content, and the demand for premium applications such as Netflix, Amazon etc significantly increased the cost of developing Linux based boxes and just as important, the cost of maintaining these boxes. The obvious solution was to move towards platforms that incorporated many of the required STB features while still remaining open source.
“Choosing the right operating system and platform for new STB launches is critical for success.”
The RDK Platform
RDK is an open-source software platform for the connected home that standardises core functions used in broadband, video and IoT connected devices. It enables service providers to manage their devices; control their business models; and customise their apps, UI’s and data analytics to improve the customer experience and drive business results.
As we look back on the past year, RDK has made tremendous strides towards increasing the market adoption of its technology. RDK has seen considerable growth across product development, the number of devices deployed, member companies and community members.
Looking at the key milestones from 2022, RDK announced over 100 million devices deployed, an increase of 20 million from 2021. RDK is deployed and trusted by dozens of operators globally, including Comcast, Cox, Deutsche Telekom, Liberty Global, Sky, Stofa, Vectra and Ziggo.
Hosted RDK Tech and Global summit
2022 was the year RDK Tech and Global Summits saw record-breaking attendance and ratings from the community and members to bring together industry leaders to show the latest advances in technology. 2023 is set to continue the momentum; watch this space for RDK Summit and Tech news.
The community grew to over 600 member companies
The RDK community has seen strong growth and reached over 600 member companies. Not only that, but community members made more than 7,000 contributions to the RDK code, ensuring that the software is up to date latest technology and innovations.
DTVKit’s RDK-V Solution
DTVKit’s market-proven DVB stack has been integrated into the RDK-V framework. It provides users with a complete hybrid solution for Operators and set-top box makers. This integration provides support for DVB-S/S2, DVB T/T2 and DVB-C. It is fully compliant with the RDK methodology for CAS, enabling the implementation of RDK based Hybrid solutions with the minimum of R&D.
Android TV and AOSP
Android TV is the name for a complete build of the AOSP firmware including all of Google’s proprietary enhancements. The biggest benefit of Android TV however is that it is part of a much bigger ecosystem.
The number of devices using Google TV and Android TV is up to 150 million, as announced at CES 2023. During CES, Google gave an update on Android TV and Google TV as the company launched some new features on Android.
Google announced that its Android TV operating system has been installed on 150 million devices, which is a combined total for both Google TV and Android TV devices. Note, this does not directly convert to a user total because some users may own more than one Google TV device.
Android TV sees 35% YoY growth
As of January 2022, Google announced Android TV OS had 110 million monthly active users, an increase of 40 million in the space of one year and a roughly 35% year-on-year growth.
Google also notes that growth came from its partners, which now number over 250 globally. That includes over 170 Pay TV operator partners — up from 140 in 2019 — an area Google’s platform has been popular in since 2018. However, the growth isn’t solely from Pay TV, as Google also says that it is now working with seven out of the top 10 smart TVs OEMs worldwide, notably including names such as TCL, Sony, and Hisense, which all launched Google TV models at CES 2022.
Android TV OS is the underlying platform for both Google TV and Android TV. It has enjoyed growth in the smart TVs created in partnership with TCL and Chromecast, an increasingly popular technology that allows users to cast entertainment and apps from mobile devices to TV sets.
The DTVKit Android TV Solution
The Android TV Input Framework (TIF), is a part of the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and provides a mechanism to integrate 3rd party TV services with Android. To integrate DTVKit’s DVB stack with the TIF, DTVKit’s founding member, Ocean Blue Software, developed a high-level interface API which enables the DVB stack to be presented as a service within Android via the Binder IPC mechanism.
Find out more about our RDK and Android solutions, here.