Five last SmartLabs projects during 2020 were based on Android AOSP

Another of the panels that took place last December 2nd during the Nextv Series Mexico’s virtual edition was entitled ‘Android migration: demystifying the challenges of integration and roll out’ There, Dataxis held a one-on-one session with Eduardo Campos, Regional Director for the Americas at SmartLabs.

Regarding the attractiveness of Android TV for pay TV operators, Campos reported that ‘first of all, it is important to highlight that Android TV offers many features for customers, and it is a retail offer for the market’. Later, the executive reported that Android TV ‘brings a very large offer of applications that are developed for this environment. Many times, these solutions are found in the retail market, generally in smart TVs from several brands’.

Regarding the Android TV ‘types’ currently available, Campos explained that ‘this is the main basis of our discussion; It is very common to discuss this point with all the operators and clients we have around the world. First of all, Android TV is a retail offering that is available on many devices on the market, not only smart TVs, but also other types of media boxes that inhabit the retail market. Android TV Operator Tier is a solution for big operators, where, from the point of view of the integration, the product, the certification of the launcher, the STB and the remote control, more development time is required’. In addition, the executive highlighted that ‘a very important point within the three variations of Android that exist is Android AOSP, an environment where it is very common to develop applications and solutions based on the STB. In Android AOSP, the operator benefits itself, because it can have full control over the applications. Android AOSP is the biggest trend we have in recent years, and the last five SmartLabs projects this year were based on Android AOSP’.

Regarding the risks and limitations of Android TV, Campos reported that ‘one of the main risks of Android TV is that the operator shares the scope with other content providers, and that is a point that must be considered by operators. At the same time, Operator Tier also allows to attract more third-party applications, and that point must be taken into account’. Regarding personalization, Campos stated that ‘Android AOSP is completely customized, and it is very useful for operators, because it allows them to make their brand and identity visible’.

The SmartLabs executive also spoke about the most important features that operators must implement on their STBs, and expressed that ‘the content search feature is important, and that of making voice commands’. The executive also added that ‘on Android TV, the voice command feature is already available, but on Android AOSP we must do further development. Android AOSP can be customized, but it does not have all the solutions that are available on Android TV and Android TV Operator Tier’. In addition, in relation to whether the STB will remain or not, the executive expressed that ‘those of us who work in the industry thought that the STB could at some point be replaced by another solution, but we are seeing that, today, control of content and access can also be offered with the same security using solutions that protect the content, and the STB can even be offered for self-installation, without the need for a technician to install it. Currently, the STB is considered a very important item in the negotiation between the subscribers and operators’.