UK based company IP Vision and Netgem will showcase one of the UK’s first High-Definition Freeview+ Hybrid DTT set top boxes (STB) at IPTV World Forum today. IP Vision develops, operates and manages FetchTV, the UK’s leading hybrid DTT/IP “over the top” connected TV service. Netgem is a leading provider of IPTV technology and services to telecom operators worldwide.
The FetchTV SmartBox 8320HD will be shown on IP Vision’s Stand #911 and features Netgem’s latest DVB-T2 hardware reference design. The unit benefits from a 320GB hard drive and access to Freeview HD broadcast channels.
The new SmartBox will be offered alongside the existing FetchTV 8000 box and supports all current FetchTV features. These include standard and high definition video on demand, upscaling of Freeview SD broadcasts, Wi-Fi connectivity, Freeview+ functionality and access to streaming video, photos and music from connected devices through the FetchTV media centre.
Eddie Abrams, CEO of IP Vision, said: “This is an important step forward for IP Vision. High Definition broadcast will be an important driver for consumers in the UK’s digital TV market. Freeview is now joining other digital TV platforms in enabling access to HD broadcast content and we are delighted to be one of the first vendors to deliver this content to the public. We believe that, HD broadcast, in conjunction with the exceptional support for video on demand and catch-up content within FetchTV and the forthcoming launch of Sky Player, will further strengthen our position in the Connected TV market in the UK.
As both a key partner and shareholder, Netgem has played an important role in supporting this next evolution of the FetchTV platform, working closely with us to tailor a hardware design and develop associated software and technologies to support HD broadcast within the FetchTV environment.”
Christophe Aulnette, Managing Director of Netgem said: “As demonstrated by our UK partnership with IP Vision, the SmartBox hardware and NetgemTV middleware products support the development of open, highly optimised and scalable connected TV deployments using standards-based solutions. The work that we have undertaken with IP Vision for FetchTV will benefit Netgem customers in other markets.”
Alongside exhibiting the SmartBox 8320HD IP Vision will also demonstrate a new user interface (UI) at the show. The new Fetch TV’s UI is designed for optimal usability, viewers select the content they wish to access by using two “cross-hair” intersecting navigation bars (see attached visual).
This enables users to quickly and easily bring up information about an on-demand movies, or a linear broadcast channel. The navigation style provide all the information that the user needs to make a selection within the UI without having to channel flick away from the content they are already viewing.
This next-generation interface represents a step-change in the FetchTV customer experience, combining ease of use with the improved visual appeal of a revised high definition UI and featuring enhanced search, navigation, recommendation and cross-platform services.
The new UI and associated service will be available to all new and existing FetchTV customers as part of a free firmware update.
FetchTV boxes are currently available at John Lewis, Carphone Warehouse and Currys online. IP Vision’s High Definition Freeview+ FetchTV SmartBox will be on sale in Q2 2010.