CloudTV: One core platform serving a family of products

Murali Nemani

It may be a long leap from my days as an automotive engineer to Cloud UIs, but stay with me on this: Whether it's the auto industry or software development, when you have a well-engineered core platform the application of it is limited only by the designers’ imaginations.


Just as the same core chassis design is used as the underbelly to create the Nissan Altima, Maxima and entry level Infiniti cars, so too is the technology behind Cloud UIs evolving to meet the demands of multiple markets. In our case, the guide capabilities that were the star of The Cable Show a year ago have been integrated into a full product family for navigation, monetization and online content delivery into pay-TV bundles. We’ve also evolved new business models – “options,” the automakers would call them -- that can be adapted to particular industry needs.


At The Cable Show this week, we’re showing just how quickly we’ve hit the gas in less than a year. What began as a technology platform anchored on HTML5 but has accelerated into three distinct products, each of which is designed with application-specific features to address the fragmentation and limitations of STBs and connected devices:

  • CloudTV™ GuideCast, which supports a full range of navigation applications – including linear guides, Cloud DVR, on-demand UIs and others – across the broad range of consumer devices;
  • CloudTV™ AdCast, which delivers lucrative, web-style interactive television advertising with the audience reach the ad community requires; and
  • CloudTV™ StreamCast, which delivers online web content libraries integrated into a pay-tv service. It solves the technical issues -- content format, digital rights management and the inability of most existing STBs to support HTML5 applications – thus opening up a rich service opportunity.


At the same time, the platform has evolved to support the flexible business models our customers need. To provide the different combinations of resources required for guides, advertising and online content, the CloudTV product family enables:

  • The option for hosted Software as a Service (SaaS) or enterprise licensing models; and
  • The ability to pay for services on a per-subscriber basis or on a per campaign basis.


What’s behind CloudTV’s success is this: a cloud-based technology anchored in HTML5 that solves one of the industry’s biggest problems, the availability of next-generation UIs to the fragmented universe of cable STBs and connected devices; the ability to easily adapt the cloud-based architecture to address new opportunities; and the recognition of the industry that cloud-based solutions offer cost,time-to-market and revenue-generation opportunities that cannot be equaled by device-based approaches.


Using CloudTV GuideCast, Ziggo, Charter, Liberty Puerto Rico and others are putting their own spins on the navigation experience. Cablevision and American Express are using CloudTV AdCast to solve the problem of “reach” in interactive TV ads. CloudTV StreamCast deployments that align online with pay-TV are just a press release away.


So whether you’re in the business of building Maxima’s or Cloud UIs, the bottom line is the same: The more sound and versatile the core platform, the simpler it is to develop platform extensions for individual markets. As Cloud UIs continue to gain traction in the market, a product family approach will accelerate service adoption built around unique market opportunities.