Zodiac Unleashes Unified Set-Top Stack

Targeting both legacy and new, IP-capable cable devices, Zodiac Interactive has launched a unified set-top software stack that will essentially try to do it all.

The company’s PowerUP Video Broadcast Solution (PVBS) is a hybrid QAM/IP software platform that supports the legacy tru2way platform, including boxes from both Cisco Systems and Arris, as well as next-gen HTML5-based ecosystems, and the Reference Design Kit, the preintegrated software platform being managed by Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Liberty Global.

The all-inclusive stack starts with a new component that handles key middleware services, presentation engines, and drills down to the operating and business support systems, Brandon Brown, Zodiac’s CEO, said. Depending on their deployment requirements, operators, he said, can use all components of PVBS, or just a subset.

In the U.S. Zodiac’s known cable operator customers include Cablevision Systems and Charter Communications. On Monday, Charter noted that it’s using Zodiac’s software in a system that will underpin a cloud-based user interface that is capable of running on legacy  QAM-only boxes as well as a new breed of IP-capable set-tops and gateways.

Zodiac said it’s working with Charter toward interoperability on new managed devices, and more than 40 models of legacy managed devices. 

Zodiac’s stack, Brown said, can also enable MSOs to support apps and services on unmanaged devices that consumers purchase at retail.