Inview Technology

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For the BFI online history project "InView", see JISC Digitisation Programme.
Inview Technology Ltd
Broadcast and OTT solutions
Industry Media & Telecoms
Founded 1996
Rebranded 2006
Headquarters Northwich, United Kingdom
Key people
Nick Markham (Chairman)
Ken Austin (Vice Chairman)
Julie Austin (CEO)
Products Inview Inside, EPG, Video on demand, set-top boxes, Smart TV, analogue switch off
Number of employees
85
Parent Private company
Slogan "More than Just TV"
Website http://inview.tv/

Inview Technology (Inview Technology Ltd or simply Inview) is a UK based digital TV software company. It specialises in advanced EPGs,[1] 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. They claim this cloud based platform has an extremely lightweight footprint.[3]

They have been involved in digital TV in the UK since the late 1990s, providing software for set-top boxes manufactured by Digifusion, Thomson and Sony, alongside the Teletext Extra EPG (later re-named Radio Times Extra). Nick Markham, Inview's Chairman, developed the concept of Freeview alongside the BBC and previously worked for Top-up TV.[4]

In March 2015 Inview Technology was appointed by Nigeria's government run National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to enable digital switchover from analogue[5] throughout the country and provide a Conditional Access System, set-top box software and services including full EPG, Push Video-On-Demand, a range of broadcasting applications such as news, public service information and audience measurement services over the digital terrestial and satellite networks in Nigeria.[6]

In 2014-5 their partners include Humax and Skyworth, China’s largest set-top box company,[7] and silicon partners include Mstar and Broadcom. They have recently signed a deal with Pico Digital, Inc. to develop the next generation set-top box for the Latin American market.[8] 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.[9]

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.[10]

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. It provided the first Freeview EPG service and the first Freeview PVR for the UK. These new products provided an EPG 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%.

It was one of the first companies to launch a broadcast TV listings service, known as 4TVInteractive. However, in 2010 Inview ceased support for this service without notice to end users. This affected a number of Digifusion, Inverto, Thomson and Sony Set-top boxes [11] and caused them to show only now and next information, rather than a full EPG.[12]

In recent years Inview platforms have 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.[13][14][15] The platform recognizes which country it's in and shows content relevant to that country as well as 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).

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.[16] 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.[17] 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 when they want to watch it. Operators are able to charge for interactive services and integrating advertising directly into the EPG and available applications.[18] As Internet services improve, Operators can easily upgrade each broadcast VOD user with an over the air update, to also offer connected functionality.[19]

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.[20] 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.[21]

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.[22][23]

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.

Partnerships[edit]

In 2014 their partners included: Kaon, Humax, Skyworth, Broadcom, Alitech, Mstar, Novatek, Farncombe, 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.[24]

In previous years Inview has been in partnership with companies such as Top Up TV, the On Demand Group (ODG) and Teletext.[25]

The company is based in Northwich, Cheshire, UK and is privately owned. The founder Ken Austin is a self-taught expert in the Electronic Programme Guide field,[26] who was Technical Director and Vice Chairman of Pilkington Micro-elec Ltd.[27] [28]

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. ^ "NBC Appoints Inview Technologies for Common Set-Up-Box System". www.talkmedianigeria.com. Talk media Nigeria. Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  6. ^ "NATIONAL COMMON SET TOP BOX SYSTEM AGREEMNENT". www.nbc.gov.ng. National Broadcasting Commission of Nigeria. Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  7. ^ "Skyworth to integrate Inview services". www.advanced-television.com. Retrieved 22 July 2014. 
  8. ^ "Farncombe, Inview deliver OTT solutions to LatAm". www.advanced-television.com. http://advanced-television.com/. Retrieved 22 July 2014. 
  9. ^ Editor. "CTH goes OTT with Irdeto, Inview". www.rapidtvnews.com. Rapid TV News. Retrieved 22 July 2014. 
  10. ^ "Inview Technology". Inview Technology. digitaltveurope.net/. Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  11. ^ "InView EPG death - boxes". 
  12. ^ ["http://www.digitaltvbanter.co.uk/uk-tech-digital-tv-digital/27870-inview-epg-withdrawn-digifusion-thomson.html" "http://www.digitaltvbanter.co.uk/uk-tech-digital-tv-digital/27870-inview-epg-withdrawn-digifusion-thomson.html"].  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  13. ^ "InView ready to switch on global market". Manchester Evening News. 02/03/2012.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  14. ^ Broadbandtvnews.com; Inview enters African market on Altech; 13 March 2013
  15. ^ Telecompaper; Farncombe, Inview partner on OTT services in LatAm; saw it on the web 10 June 2013
  16. ^ "Acetrax to launch online movie service with Inview platform". Digital TV Europe. 2012-01-20. 
  17. ^ "Inview signs German Smart TV deal". Digital TV Europe. 2012-09-19. 
  18. ^ "News - Inview to showcase its Broadcast Advertising and Push-VOD solutions at Broadcast Asia 2014". www.inview.tv/. Retrieved 22 July 2014. 
  19. ^ "INVIEW TECHNOLOGY". www.broadcast-asia.com. Retrieved 22 July 2014. 
  20. ^ "Inview gives new life to legacy STBs". www.advanced-television.com. Advanced Television Ltd. 
  21. ^ "ONLINE SHOW CATALOGUE". www.broadcast-asia.com. BroadcastAsia 2014. Retrieved 22 July 2014. 
  22. ^ "Inview to reveal next generation OTT solution at TV Connect 2014". http://advanced-television.com/. Retrieved 14 April 2014. 
  23. ^ "Inview website". Inview Technology. Retrieved 14 April 2014. 
  24. ^ "Inview collaborates with Kaon". www.advanced-television.com. Advanced Television Ltd. Retrieved 22 July 2014. 
  25. ^ "Radio Times to run Freeview EPG". Broadband TV News. 2011-01-31. 
  26. ^ "Inview’s own Oficial Website". Inview. 2012-03-19. [dead link]
  27. ^ "Kenneth Austin: Semi-conductor integrated circuits/systems". Patent Fish. Retrieved 2012-04-02. 
  28. ^ Nakamoto, Michyio (23 October 1992). "Pilkinton arm wins chips deal". The Financial Times. p. 14.