Swisscom highlights TV 2.0 progress

Swisscom has already signed up 100,000 customers to its Android-based TV 2.0 platform ahead of starting its marketing campaign for the service this week, according to Dario Vieceli, head of TV software development, Swisscom, speaking at the Verimatrix-organised Multi-Network Solutions in the Real World event at IBC this morning.

Swisscom decided to build its new IPTV solution two years ago. TV 2.0 replaced Swisscom’s former Microsoft Mediaroom-based deployment. The company decided to move to cloud based DVR among other new functionalities. The operator wanted to shrink its set-top box and eliminate hard disks and their associated cost, said Vieceli. While the cost of set-top boxes is not as signficant as it once was, an Android box without a hard disk, possibly moving to an HDMI dongle, will drive the price down again and still enable operators to keep the experience under its own control.

While Swisscom has benefited from being able to do this on the basis of shared copies rather than one copy per user, legal restrictions on cloud DVR included one that limited subscribers to recording only as much content as they could on a hard drive-enabled DVR.

The remote control for the service is Bluethooth based so that Swisscom can at some point migrate to HDMI dongles in place of set-tops.

Vieceli said Swisscom wanted to use the power of an Android based platform  to design and develop easy and light mobile-like user interfaces.

Viecieli said the new set-top box used a video chip with security capabilities using Verimatrix’s solution on Android. “We did a lot of work on this,” he said.

There are a number of restrictions on how far DVR can be moved to the cloud. Pause live functionality still requires a certain amount of recording capability on the client device, said Vieceli.

Vieceli said that Netflix is a threat to be taken seriously and it is important for companies such as Swisscom to own the customer and prevent him or her adding other boxes in the living room to enable him to do things that he wants to do. “You want to avoid people putting new devices into their living rooms,” he said.