Ahead of Nagra’s appearance at Broadband and TV Connect Asia (12th-13th May 2015, Suntec, Singapore), IP&TV News’ Barry Killengrey interviews Simon Trudelle (Senior Product Marketing Manager, Nagra).
Barry Killengrey: Hi Simon. Can you start by telling us something about Nagra’s involvement at this year’s Broadband and TV Connect Asia…
Simon Trudelle: Our presentation is on Wednesday on monetising the connected home. We’ll cover similar topics as the ones we will address at TV Connect in London at the end of April, to provide some thought leadership on what’s really happening in the TV industry – cloudification, and the IP-ization of content delivery, two big trends transforming television.
StarHub is also going to be at the event. What’s the relationship between the two companies?
StarHub is one of our key customers. NAGRA has been StarHub’s security partner for over ten years when they launched their digital cable pay-TV services in 2003. To address today’s consumer demand for a more responsive and interactive viewing experience from their pay-TV service provider, StarHub needed a superior, next generation platform and wanted to be able to manage, secure and operate, from a single system, a wide range of media services across multiple delivery networks, devices and content types. Two years ago, we started a big project together to upgrade their platform to NAGRA MediaLive, providing StarHub with a flexible end-to-end multiscreen solution that enables rapid service innovation and multiple monetization options. StarHub also selected our OpenTV 5 connectware to power their advanced set-top boxes giving StarHub customers a rich user experience across a range of devices and access to a variety of advanced interactive services such as VOD, multiroom and multiscreen personal video recording, as well as HTML-based applications.
At the same time StarHub is moving a big part of its infrastructure to IP. They’re becoming more than just a cable operator, but a big telco provider of high-speed Internet access and services. A very typical play that we’re also seeing elsewhere in the world. NAGRA MediaLive and OpenTV 5 are two flagship products for our next generation clients and platforms, so it’s important for us to put forward what StarHub has and will accomplish with our technology.
Thanks Simon. Could you first of all share your thoughts on the convergence between the connected home and connected entertainment?
We’re definitely seeing a convergence of the two. Firstly from a business perspective – an operator will want to have the same brand across all these experiences and all these services. Some smart home services can definitely be used as a bundle option for high end TV packages; we’ve seen some customers doing that successfully.
And from a technology standpoint there are also convergences. Because you need software in the hub box, you have to have security on that box, you need to be able to move some of that data back to the cloud for processing and analytics, provide user interfaces on multiple devices – this is very much the same thing we’re doing now for multiscreen OTT TV.
That’s where NAGRA, as a security expert, as a solution provider, as a cloud service provider, is very much in position to bring in such additional service platforms to the market. We’ve already had some customers looking into this in further detail, and we are seeing a growing appetite from consumers to adopt these new services.
So from OTT to IoT…
We can really see it going in that direction. There are obviously big challenges for service providers and market take-up may actually vary quite a bit by region, by operator, across a single country even. It requires new skills in addition to providing media and television. Often there is a service dimension that goes beyond just having a subscriber call the customer care centre – especially if we look at home surveillance and security, where most of the time you need a local partner to provide a full value added service.
Service providers have to make a decision in terms of business model. Do they only want to provide a do-it-yourself type of entry level solution, or go higher up in the value chain with a more advanced service, or partner more? We’re already seeing different strategies, and obviously a lot of interest from operators for figuring out which options make more sense for them from a business perspective. So we’re also taking a position of advising customers to do their business planning upfront – their success is our success and they need to make the right business decisions before picking technology and just trying to go to market.