Ericsson Extends Mediaroom Platform With 4K, HEVC, Unified Search

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Ericsson acquired IPTV platform Mediaroom from Microsoft a year ago, and at this year's IBC it's extending it to offer new features for viewers and new revenue tools for operators. This year's release includes consumer-friendly features such as Restart TV, a unified search tool, a revamped user interface, and a more visual guide.

The next Ericsson Mediaroom client for ARM-based system-on-a-chip (SoC) set-top boxes will support 4K and HEVC video. That will be available in the second half of 2014.

Capitalizing on another of its acquisitions -- Azuki Systems, acquired earlier this year -- Ericsson is pushing the Mediaroom platform into the delivery space with the new Mediaroom Reach. This scalable solution should offer a cost-effective way to stream over-the-top (OTT) video to any device. Mediaroom Reach supports adaptive bit rate (ABR) streaming.

Ericsson will use the technology behind Mediaroom Reach to create hybrid offerings for cable and satellite operators. Working with iWedia and other partners, Ericsson will combine Mediaroom Reach's ABR streaming with traditional broadcast TV offerings to create hybrid platforms for consumers. Ericsson is demonstrating these hybrid offerings at IBC as a proof-of-concept.

But even that isn't Ericsson's entire IBC story. It's also introducing the MediaFirst platform, a cloud-based solution that works with all content sources and delivery networks. MediaFirst is for the next generation of pay TV, Ericsson says, where consumers access cloud-based services on any device. The software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform is currently in trials with select operators, and should be available in the second quarter of 2015.

The MediaFirst platform combines traditional pay TV and OTT content in the same interface, offers personalization for different family members, and includes a unified search. The platform is built on Mediaroom 2.5.

Finally, Ericsson is debuting end-to-end cloud-enabled media management services at IBC. These services will help broadcasters manage, archive, and process their assets in both the public and private cloud. 

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