Europe has suddenly emerged as the test market for how video will be consumed by pay TV customers, at least what's left of them.
Oslo, Norway-based software company Vewd has announced a partnership with Vestel Group, Europe's largest maker of smart TVs, to make new OTT-capable sets for the pay TV market that don't need set-tops.
If the "Vewd Operator TV" initiative sounds familiar, that's because you just heard a similar scheme announced last week by Euro satellite TV company Sky and its parent, Comcast, the so-called Sky Glass initiative.
Vewd Operator TV combines Vewd’s smart TV operating system with Vestel’s TV manufacturing, warehousing and distribution acumen. Vestel produces TV’s for more than 100 of the world’s brands, including JVC, Hitachi, Telefunken and Toshiba.
Vewd Operator TVs include:
> Conditional access to ensure broadcast and IP content security
> Cloud-managed reference user experience (UX) or the operator’s customized UI
> Content including premium OTT and video-on-demand, FAST channels and full support for broadcast channels
Neither Vewd or Vestel have announced any pay TV operator clients for the new Vewd Operator TV initiative.
“By working directly with Vewd and the [pay TV] operator, we can leverage our vast manufacturing and retail distribution experience to contribute in reducing time-to-market, enabling substantial operator capex savings while delivering an experience that delights subscribers, reduces churn and improves subscriber satisfaction," said Barış Altınkaya, Vestel VP of marketing and product management, in a statement.
Added Aneesh Rajaram, CEO of Vewd: “Operators have tried different strategies to embrace Smart TV, but together with Vestel, we've made the first solution that seamlessly connects pay TV and smart TV. Consumers are streaming more and connecting fewer devices to the TV. As a result, operators are forced to fight for visibility among Smart TV apps. Vewd Operator TV ensures operators of any size can seize control from the start and win the home’s most important screen.”
Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. His reliable mid-range jump shot, deft ambidextrous post-up game and tough interior defense have been criminally overlooked.
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