Inview Technology

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For the BFI online history project "InView", see JISC Digitisation Programme.
Inview Technology Ltd
Type EPG and Smart TV
Industry Media & Telecoms
Founded 1996
Rebranded 2006
Headquarters Northwich, United Kingdom
Key people Nick Markham (Chairman)
Ken Austin (Vice Chairman)
Julie Austin (MD Inview Solutions)
Products Inview Inside, EPG, Video on demand, set-top boxes, Smart TV, analogue switch off
Employees 85
Parent Private company
Website http://www.inview.co.uk


Inview Technology (Inview Technology Ltd or simply Inview) is a UK based software company. It specialises in advanced EPGs[1] for digital TV, interactive broadcast, and IP services and solutions for Pay-TV and analogue switch off markets.[2] Their OTT TV platform allows television broadcast and internet content to be simultaneously accessible to the viewer. In addition, this cloud based platform is understood to have an extremely lightweight footprint which removes a requirement for the operator to invest in cost heavy server and head-end hardware.[3]

They were involved in the analogue switch over in the UK since the late 1990s and continue to advise other countries worldwide. Nick Markham, Inview's Chairman developed the concept of Freeview alongside the BBC.[4]

In 2014 their partners range from Humax to Skyworth, China’s largest set-top box company,[5] and silicon partners range from Mstar to Broadcom. They have recently signed a deal with Pico Digital, Inc. to develop the next generation set-top box for the Latin American market. [6] In 2014 CTH Public Company Limited, a major pay TV operator in Thailand chose Inview and Irdeto to introduce OTT and hybrid versions of its cable services.[7]

Martin Edwards (Honorary Life President of Manchester United) and Koen Van Driel (ex-CEO of Thomson and Grundig Set Top Box Divisions) joined the Board of Directors in February 2014.[8]

History[edit]

Inview's roots go back to 1996 when Ken and Julie Austin built a team of engineers specialising in digital TV software.

Inview provided a chip based EPG, broadcast data service and a digital TV software platform for the free to air terrestrial market. These new products were developed to address the need for a class leading EPG in the UK that could be deployed on low‐cost set-top boxes without incurring additional costs. 10 million products have been deployed in the past 15 years and MORAR (Independent brand measurement company) established that the end-user satisfaction levels were as high as 96%.

Inview includes broadcast interactive bypass options whereby operators can launch a broadcast service with over the air services, VOD and advertising options. In the past they have worked with Virgin, Sky and ITV.

Inview, over the last 15 years, has been providing EPGs for the UK free-to-air market and is used by 24 brands with a total of 94 products.[9] It provided the first Freeview EPG services and the first Freeview PVR for the UK. To date, the company has 10 million products across 30 brands world-wide. It was one of the first companies to launch a broadcast TV listings service.

The platform has now appeared in retail outlets in a number of countries, including: Spain, Italy, Germany, France, Poland, Australia, Africa and the Middle East and in partnership with Farncombe in Latin America.[10][11][12] The platform recognizes which country it's in and shows content relevant to that country as well as the international content. At present, Inview's smart TV solution is the only smart TV solution available in the Tier 2 (low cost) TV sector.

Services[edit]

These include: Liberator, OTT services, Broadcast solutions, Advertising, EPG, Video on Demand, Push-VOD#Push video on demand, Catch-Up TV, PVR, Legacy Upgrades, Lolipop and Inview Inside.

Liberator[edit]

A set-top box with 'Inview Inside' which allows terrestrial TV and simultaneous internet connection.

In October 2012, Inview developed "Liberator 3", an OTT cloud-based platform for Pay TV operators and telcos wishing to equip their customers with tailor made connected set-top boxes for broadcast and broadband internet content. The Inview platform lends itself to this application due to its small footprint (low initial cost), cloud based system (low maintenance cost for large volumes) and modular design (easy adaptation). The Smart TV ecosystem provider has signed an agreement with Altech Multimedia to develop low cost broadcast and connected TV solutions for Africa and the Middle East.

Inview’s latest platform provides viewers with access to movies on a transactional video-on-demand (TVOD) basis, and a library of on-demand TV content available on an SVOD basis including TV series, children’s programming, classic movies and music videos.[13] In August 2012 Inview agreed to supply Altech SetOne with an IP platform that will be sold across its range of DVB-S products, which will give German consumers access to a range of smart TV applications.[14] Inview have also created a content management system (CMS) to manage the platform and support the integration with an operator’s existing delivery equipment, subscriber and billing systems and provide additional services, such as multiscreen functionality, search and program recommendations.[3]

Broadcast solutions[edit]

In territories where the broadband infrastructure is underdeveloped, Inview offers a broadcast solution with advertising, Push-VOD, catch up TV and PVR.  These services are delivered more cost-effectively on lower end set-top boxes using overnight broadcast bandwidth, meaning users can choose what they want to watch and when they want to watch it. Operators are able to charge for interactive services and integrating advertising directly into the EPG and available applications.[15] As Internet services improve, Operators can easily upgrade each broadcast VOD user with an over the air update, to also offer connected functionality.[16]

Legacy upgrades[edit]

Inview's solution for existing (older) deployed set-top boxes is to offer applications including an EPG, TV apps and content discovery in very lightweight code that can run in devices with limited memory and processing power.[17] This improves the user's experience and introduces revenue generating services, through an over-the-air update, creating a unified UI and services across all platforms.[18]

Lolipop[edit]

Inview has developed the platform for a low cost HDMI dongle streaming device called "Lolipop" which is controlled through a smartphone using gesture control. This allows content such as VOD, live streamed channels and social networking apps to be viewed on a mobile device or on another TV without the need of a set-top box.[19][20]

Board members[edit]

In February 2014, Martin Edwards (Honorary Life President of Manchester Unites) and Koen Van Driel (ex-CEO of Thomson and Grundig Set Top Box Divisions) were appointed Board Directors of Inview Technology. At Thomson, Koen grew the company to be the World’s largest set top box manufacturer. Martin Edwards was Chairman of Manchester United for 23 years from 1980-2003 and holds the position of honorary life president. Martin Edwards commented on Digital TV Europe, “Inview is making a major impact in digital television worldwide with a widely praised great user experience. They are actively winning business across the world and there continues to be a strong demand for their products.”[21]

Partnerships[edit]

In 2014 their partners included: Kaon, Humax, Skyworth, Broadcom, Alitech, Mstar, NovatekFarncombe, Goosat, Hopeful, ATech, Giec, MTC and MICO.

Kaon and Inview recently collaborated to provide a free-to-air set top box solution with features such as Push-VOD, interactive services, advertising and early warning services alongside live digital channels, ideal for regions that are still to undergo analogue switch off.[22]

Inview has deployed its software on set-top boxes for the retail market in Italy, Spain, Poland, Portugal, France and Germany without the customer being tied into a subscription service.[23]

In the past few years Inview has been in partnership with companies such as Top Up TV, the On Demand Group (ODG) and Teletext.[24]

The company is based in Northwich, Cheshire, UK and is privately owned. The founder Ken Austin is an expert in the Electronic Programme Guide field.[25]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Inview Technology Partner with Novatek to Launch Innovative Digital TV Platform". sys-con.com Media. 2012-04-16. 
  2. ^ "Broadcast Asia 2014". /www.broadcast-asia.com. Retrieved 22 July 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "LatAm / Advanced Television". http://www.joomag.com/. Retrieved 22 July 2014. 
  4. ^ The Guardian; 28 October 2003; accessed 14 February 2014.
  5. ^ "Skyworth to integrate Inview services". www.advanced-television.com. Retrieved 22 July 2014. 
  6. ^ "Farncombe, Inview deliver OTT solutions to LatAm". www.advanced-television.com. http://advanced-television.com/. Retrieved 22 July 2014. 
  7. ^ Editor. "CTH goes OTT with Irdeto, Inview". www.rapidtvnews.com. Rapid TV News. Retrieved 22 July 2014. 
  8. ^ "Inview Technology". Inview Technology. digitaltveurope.net/. Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  9. ^ "Inview Believes Tier-2 Connected TV Market is On Its Way". Parks Associates: Connections. 2012-01-19. 
  10. ^ "InView ready to switch on global market". Manchester Evening News. 02/03/2012. 
  11. ^ Broadbandtvnews.com; Inview enters African market on Altech; 13 March 2013
  12. ^ Telecompaper; Farncombe, Inview partner on OTT services in LatAm; saw it on the web 10 June 2013
  13. ^ "Acetrax to launch online movie service with Inview platform". Digital TV Europe. 2012-01-20. 
  14. ^ "Inview signs German Smart TV deal". Digital TV Europe. 2012-09-19. 
  15. ^ "News - Inview to showcase its Broadcast Advertising and Push-VOD solutions at Broadcast Asia 2014". www.inview.tv/. Retrieved 22 July 2014. 
  16. ^ "INVIEW TECHNOLOGY". www.broadcast-asia.com. Retrieved 22 July 2014. 
  17. ^ "Inview gives new life to legacy STBs". www.advanced-television.com. Advanced Television Ltd. 
  18. ^ "ONLINE SHOW CATALOGUE". www.broadcast-asia.com. BroadcastAsia 2014. Retrieved 22 July 2014. 
  19. ^ "Inview to reveal next generation OTT solution at TV Connect 2014". http://advanced-television.com/. Retrieved 14 April 2014. 
  20. ^ "Inview website". Inview Technology. Retrieved 14 April 2014. 
  21. ^ "Thomson Unveils Unique Mobile Set-Top Box With Antennas And LCD Screen". wi-fitechnology.com. Retrieved 5 November 2002. 
  22. ^ "Inview collaborates with Kaon". www.advanced-television.com. Advanced Television Ltd. Retrieved 22 July 2014. 
  23. ^ "History". Inview Technology Ltd. Retrieved 11 January 2014. 
  24. ^ "Radio Times to run Freeview EPG". Broadband TV News. 2011-01-31. 
  25. ^ "Inview’s own Oficial Wepsite". Inview. 2012-03-19. [dead link]