Planning for future shouldn’t be about Android TV versus Linux but having flexibility to do what’s right for your business

Amino’s David Groves looks at how operators can gain the agility they need to meet evolving customer expectations in today’s multiscreen, multi-app, modern UX world

Android TV is making significant inroads into the pay TV market and is a discussion topic for nearly every operator we meet – with many feeling they are now at a crossroads and need to make a decision to adopt the Google platform or not. But do they need to?

While some operators have analysed and reached a clear decision to go down the Android TV path, there remains a significant number that are still deciding on their future platform strategy. Many see Android TV as yet another element in the complex mix of decisions they are having to make to deliver modern TV experiences – as consumers increasingly look for access to apps and players for streaming services and video on demand, as well as features such as voice control, search and content recommendations.

What we say to operators is that they don’t need to worry about binary decisions such as Android or Linux or multiscreen – but rather focus on a TV delivery platform that supports them all.

Choosing this route gives an operator the flexibility of what user experience to deliver to their customers and they can be more relaxed as to when a specific device is introduced without constant costly re-designs.

After all, the risks of making the wrong TV platform decision are high and we often hear of the following issues in our operator conversations:

  • duplication of components doing very similar things
  • complex architectures from multiple suppliers that need to talk to each other
  • parallel solutions to support different end devices
  • difficult integration with their established business and operational flows
  • keeping pace with the ever-changing technology landscape that just seems to design in complexity over time
  • being locked into an inflexible direction for the future

Meeting modern consumer demands with AminoTV
With all these factors in mind, we have designed our AminoTV end-to-end content delivery platform with the flexibility to support any deployment environment – whether it’s Android TV, a Linux set-top box (STB) or multiscreen mobile devices. This is evidenced by the range of deployment models our customers have taken with AminoTV including:

  • going straight to an Android TV deployment
  • upgrading legacy Linux STBs to a modern TV experience
  • adding multiscreen capability alongside an existing IP or cable platform
  • transitioning to a fully IP capability

To provide this flexibility, AminoTV includes all the usual features of a TV platform for live, time-shifted and on-demand content delivery however, we’ve also included components that may not necessarily be the first items that an operator considers but are crucial in providing flexibility in the choice of end platform and avoiding those costly issues including:

  • Multicast, unicast and hybrid support – AminoTV supports multicast, unicast, and hybrid tuner sources
  • Rich metadata – AminoTV has pre-integrations with enriched metadata suppliers and re-uses this essential component in all clients - a crucial element in delivering a consistent user experience
  • Recommendations and Search – AminoTV is pre-integrated with an advanced recommendations engine for all clients
  • White label clients – Amino TV includes a suite of large and small screen clients that give a rich, visual, and consistent UX and can be quickly branded for operators
  • True end-to-end TV from one supplier – AminoTV sits seamlessly with our other offerings of AminoVU STBs and AminoOS, our software solutions for deploying and managing connected devices.

Operator feedback suggests that having a flexible approach to future TV delivery is a great option to have when their markets are undergoing seismic change. We are pleased to be trusted by many of them to help make the next significant step in service development.