Foxtel to Launch Hybrid Broadband-Broadcast Set-Top
FOXTEL is currently refining the functional scope and delivery timeline to launch a next generation iQHD hybrid broadband/broadcast set top unit. Speaking at the ASTRA Conference, Foxtel CEO Kim Williams said, “This set top unit will reflect a connected contemporary personality in its design, configuration and flexibility. It will be brought to market in the 2012/2013 fiscal year and after the last 18 months of rigorous scientific and market investigation I know it will provide a terrific consumer experience.”
The new HD hybrid broadband/broadcast STU will offer all the “smarts” of Foxtel’s current broadcast STUs but also feature IP centric intelligence. “Whereas today’s STUs are broadcast centric with strong IP functionality, tomorrow’s will be IP-centric with strong broadcast functionality,” said Williams. “The new STU is all about providing the flexible platform which meets consumer expectations as we mutually ride the digital wave. It will offer even greater personalisation, engagement and control over television viewing to our fellow Australians. FOXTEL’s next generation HD Broadband /Broadcast Set Top Unit will offer web based interfaces, fully integrated contemporary search and recommendation functions, better storage capacity and content management. It will be hotwired to the internet provisioning access to a magnificent ‘Cloud’ of tools and content goodies.”
Williams says the STU is but one part of a much broader strategy of “moving even more boldly into a wider broadband enabled, content rich world”.
“Consumers want to find things as easily as possible and then to either watch a superbly programmed service or pull single pieces of content down simply,” sasy the FOXTEL CEO. “And, they want to be enabled to watch what they selected on a smart device of their own choice. Of course, broadcasting will remain of critical importance for the foreseeable future. It remains an extraordinarily efficient way of delivering very large amounts of material to a broad customer base and will always have a place.
“But, The Cloud, and the application of the ‘wisdom of crowds’, will continue to grow in importance. What we know – from listening to customers and from modest but unusually clear crystal ball gazing – is that consumers will want to be able to seamlessly enjoy watching their favorite shows across the three screens of video and entertainment experience. These include wonderful HD television, personal computers, pads and tablet devices of rich assortment and, of course, ever better and more centrally important, smart phones.”
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