Promwad launches video conferencing solution for STB and Smart TV

Design firm Promwad has launched a video conferencing solution for set-top boxes and smart TV. 

Launching at a time when watch parties are becoming increasingly commonplace for streaming services, the company said that the platform allows TV subscribers to organise joint viewing of movies and sports programmes and launch stream-sharing with influencers.

The platform also allows users to make video calls from a set-top box, and can be integrated into the main content of TV operators without the need for video conferencing tech like Zoom or Skype.

The company said that the TV platform is based on the VideoCamera SDK, which integrates into the user interface of an STB and supports hardware acceleration from major chip vendors such as Broadcom, Amlogic, HiSilicon, Realtek, and Allwinner. The software part of the solution is based on open source components: Video4Linux, Gstreamer, OpenGL.

Despite the increasing proliferation of streaming watch parties, with everyone from the BBC to Disney launching such features, many of these options are fairly limited to mobile and PC devices. In its announcement, Promwad points out that video conferencing and stream-sharing services have only a small share in the market segment of applications for set-top boxes, with only a few similar solutions, such as Skype for TV, TrueConf, and Google Meet for Android TV.

The software platform is launching for Android and RDK-based set-top boxes, with future plans to add support for Windows and macOS.

​Ivan Kuten,​ co-owner, and CTO at Promwad, said: “During the second COVID-19 wave, we observe the growth of the OTT market, competition for an audience is becoming tougher, and a large segment of mass sports fans is switching to online viewing. In this environment, the new interactive video viewing services will help TV operators attract additional audiences and compete with online services.”

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