Monday, August 10, 2009

PiP on AmiNET110. What does it mean?

Basically, there are two types on STBs available today for IPTV deployments:
  • STBs like AmiNET110, old MPEG-2 and cheap MPEG-4 boxes with a hardware onboard to transcode only one ("main") transport stream.
  • modern STBs based on latest chipsets (say, ST71XX), i.e. AmiNET130, ADB3800, Sagem, Zyxel, etc., you name it... They have hardware to transcode few transport streams. This is good news :-) The bad news is to deliver this service to subscribers, STB vendors should support PiP fubctionality on a system software level. But they didn't yet.
It's very important to mention that, with our recent success, we can turn PiP on ANY IP STB. As we are transcoding the second stream with our UI client software component, we are agnostic to STB vendor :)

Well, the first practical good news is that all existing AmiNET110 customers can benefit with PiP service - definitely, it's cool to put new fresh air to old good STB :-)

And, the overall general good news is "All our customers will have PiP service on all STBs they use or plan to use"!

SmartLabs turnes PiP on AmiNET110 on!

Press release
Using innovative SmartTUBE UI client applications, IPTV service providers can deliver popular and comfortable PiP service to AmiNET110 installed base

Moscow,Russia, August 10, 2009 - SmartLabs LLC announced today the availability of the popular Picture-in-Picture (PiP) feature for service providers who use the company’s SmartTUBE UI client applications to deliver IPTV services to subscribers with AmiNET110 IP STBs from Amino Communications.

PiP has been a popular feature on digital TV screens for several years but until now has not been widely available for IPTV subscribers. Demand of the feature - which allows viewers to watch another channel at the same time as viewing their selected channel – is increasing, according to SmartLabs LLC. Viewers often use PiP when waiting for a movie or sports event to begin, or to watch two shows or sports events transmitted simultaneously.

Many new generation STBs have built-in capability to decode two separate transport streams, which means that supporting PiP can be simply enabled at the software level. STBs like AmiNET110 only has a single chip so SmartTUBE UI client applications use a specific software component to decode the second stream using general CPU power.

This innovative approach to client applications means that adding PiP feature to such IP STBs is now straightforward, making user interface with PiP navigation fast and easy for IPTV subscribers. With this technological breakthrough, almost all STBs using SmartTUBE UI client application can enable the PiP feature.

"We are always committed to deliver new interactive services to our existing and new customers," said Mikhail Grachev, CEO of SmartLabs LLC. " PiP is a popular and useful feature for all subscribers, and increases the overall quality of interactive TV experience and differentiates IPTV service providers from competitors."

Amino Communications Chief Technical Officer Dominique Le Foll said: “The AmiNET 110 is one of the world’s most widely deployed IPTV STBs and it’s great to see SmartLabs innovating in this way to improve product functionality and the end user experience. As an independent company we place a great deal of emphasis on developing and working with a broad and deep eco-system – and this kind of development is testimony to the added value this brings to what we collectively deliver to our customers.”

SmartTUBE UI client applications are based on available IPTV industry standards and universal cross-platform graphical engine, QT for Embedded Linux from Nokia, which supports a wide range of client devices, i.e. STBs, mobile multimedia devices, digital players, communicators, mobile phones, PCs, etc. They have a long list of instruments for building user interfaces from prebuilt components with 2D and 3D functionality, and they also have instruments to create new interface elements which immediately become available for all types of client devices where UI application might be installed.

SmartTUBE UI applications support a wide range of existing chipsets for digital TV STBs. It means that, once created, the UI applications might be easily moved to any new device within one technology (say, IPTV), and it also allows to build hybrid solutions (IPTV, DVB, satellite, etc.) assuming that subscribers will use the same interface experience regardless ways they have to access services.

About SmartLabs LLC
SmartLabs LLC is a leader in service delivery platform (SDP) for interactive digital television (IPTV, DVB, hybrid, satellite, Internet TV), innovative client applications and user interfaces for STBs. SmartLabs LLC is a part of ITG (Inline Technologies Group) holding group of companies. For additional information, please contact Visit SmartLabs LLC on stand 332 in IPTV Zone at IBC2009 for more information.

About Amino Communications
Amino specializes in digital entertainment solutions for IPTV, Internet TV and in-home multimedia distribution. Amino’s range of software and set-top box systems can be tailored for telecom, broadcast and hospitality firms to offer highly scalable and targeted services. The award-winning AmiNET™ and Mood range is used by leading service operators in over 80 countries. Amino's 'AssetHouse' technology opens the door for content producers, telecoms companies, broadcasters and web TV firms to maximize opportunities through better services, targeted content and greater choice. It takes IPTV to the next level by allowing clients such as BT Vision to think like retailers and package, personalize and refresh extra revenue-generating services to viewers. Amino Communications and AssetHouse are wholly owned subsidiaries of Amino Technologies PLC. Listed on the London Stock Exchange AIM, symbol AMO. Amino's HQ is based near Cambridge, UK, with offices in the US, China and Sweden.
PR contacts for Amino: Kate Cartmell, T: +44 (0) 1954 234 100,
©2009, SmartLabs LLC. All rights reserved. All trademarks owned by their respective owners.