Intel, Adobe and CBS Tout IPTV Widgets

Kudelski Group Jumps on the Intel Bandwagon Selling DRM Licenses

Intel’s New IPTV SoC for the Digital Home: In announcing their new IPTV SoC, Eric Kim, Senior VP and GM, Intel Digital Home Group said, “At the center of the TV evolution is the CE4100 media processor, a new architecture that meets the critical requirements for connected CE devices.” then followed up by saying:   “This is the tip of the iceberg. With widgets and Flash on the TV you’ll see a similar effect to that which we saw with smartphones.”

Adobe Flash Player 10 Port: According to their latest press release, Intel is working with Adobe to port Adobe Flash Player 10 to the family of Intel CE media processors to optimize the playback of graphics and H.264 video to enable for the first time a wide array of Flash-based content on the television.  “As TVs become more interactive, Adobe Flash is an important enabling technology to help content developers blend together video, 3-D animation and rich graphics.”

Widgets = The Next Killer App? The combination of a capable processor and interactive Flash widgets could spark a growing subset of TV-specific apps for accessing premium content, games, music, and the web. Intel wants developers to target the new chip and use it in conjunction with Flash, which Adobe is making easier to use on such devices.

CBS Extols the Virtue of TV Widgets and Interactive TV Applications: Broadcast networks such as CBS are exploring TV widgets to help their viewers find and connect to premium content.  “Navigation is the No. 1 challenge for today’s television viewers,” said George Schweitzer, president, CBS Marketing. “Intel’s CE technology and our new TV Widget platform are designed to help people find the shows they want and discover new programs that are relevant to their interests. What’s more, the TV Widget gives us another platform to connect and interact with our audience while delivering an exciting new television experience.”

Kudelski Licenses DRM to Intel: Nagravision, a Kudelski Group company, announced they have signed a technology licensing agreement with Intel on Sept. 25.  According to the release, the agreement will see compatibility between Nagravision’s NOCS technology and Intel’s CE media processors, allowing Intel’s CE industrial customers to design hybrid IPTV set-top boxes and secure digital video home products for service operators.

Devices licenses sold through Intel is a very smart move for Kudelski.  There are lots of choices for DRM and chips.  Having your DRM already coded into a SoC is a sure way of reaching a much larger audience with a better known brand name.

Intel Still Needs to Make the Sales:  Even with this stellar lineup of partners and features, Intel still must make the case that they can beat Broadcom, Motorola, NXP, ST, Sigma, TI and a host of fabless semiconductor houses in an IPTV market which is getting very crowded.

Time to Market is the Name of the Game:  If all SoC offerings are perceived as having a similar suite of features, then it comes down to service, price, and availability.  As most of us know, press releases and marketing hype fall flat if working production units with debugged software are not available for building your CE prototypes and conducting your lab trials.

Keep pushing forward

Jeff Vinson

[Jeff is available for consulting and full time employment opportunities.]


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