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SoftAtHome extends partnership with Zappware

Digital home platform specialist SoftAtHome and TV paltform provider Zappware have extended their partnership to jointly provide a hybrid end-to-end cable platform, initally announced at IBC last year.

According to the pair, the HEVC-capable joint platform will be deployed by a top-tier cable operator in Europe in next few months.

SoftAtHome’s SOP7 set-top-box and home-gateway software has now been integrated with the Zappware platform to produce a hybrid IP/Cable DOCSIS 3 compliant HTML5 solution on the set-top side. This enables  features such as decoding Ultra HD 4K content, recording via up to eight parallel tuners or building video libraries with PodcasTV, and also supports UI concepts including smooth animation and remote control from connected devices, accordiing to the two companies.

“This partnership shows Zappware’s capability to deliver our best-of-breed user experience and service delivery platform across multiple devices and on different networks. The flexibility of our partner SoftAtHome’s underlying SOP product ensures that features can be ever evolving compromising neither time-to market or budget,” said Patrick Vos, Zappware’s CEO.

“SoftAtHome’s unique Universal Player and embedded software expertise combine with Zappware’s intuitive, content-driven UI to enable cable operators to deploy latest generation TV solutions to embrace OTT sources without losing control or compromising quality,” said Michel Degland, SoftAtHome’s CEO.

Speaking at the Verimatrix-sponsored Multi-Network Solutions in the Real World event at IBC yesterday, Wojtek Makowski, CTO of SoftAtHome, said his company always had a vision of hybrid delivery. The company has 20 million licences in the field, he said.

For some, said Makowski, the promise of the cloud is to get rid of set-top boxes. However, he cautioned that operators often don’t look at all the costs related to innovation and replacement cycles. HEVC holds the promise to reduce bandwidth requirements to deliver services. With a set top that operators control they can decide when they want to deploy HEVC to get this bandwidth reduction, said Makowski. “If you base your model on smart TVs, you have to wait for the deployment of smart TVs with HEVC built in,” he warned.