Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Nokia Siemens Introduces Middleware SDK

Nokia Siemens introduced a software development kit (SDK) as part of its latest IPTV middleware software release. This SDK allows for third party customizable user interface development on HTML and Java platforms. Operators and third party developers can customize and enhance IPTV offerings.

This SDK has been used by both Belgacom in Belgium and KPN in The Netherlands to customize their IPTV offerings for the last couple of years. Nokia Siemens in December will make this capability available to its other middleware customers and its small U.S. telco customers, in particular.

Belgacom has used the SDK to give the broadcasters the ability to provide a customized interactive interface along with its programs. The Belgian Idol program uses this capability to give viewers the ability to vote through their TVs for a price of one euro per vote. It shows the real time results of the voting, which creates an auction environment that encourages viewers to vote multiple times to support their favorites.

Belgacom also uses the SDK to provide a mosaic based electronic program guide (EPG). When using this mosaic EPG, the program is viewed using 65 percent of the screen. A mosaic of picture in picture windows of 16 channels around the TV window in the remaining space on the screen. The user then can request the next group of 16 channels or select one of the channels being displayed.

Nokia Siemens is taking the right approach. What it is trying to do is difficult and there are often limitations in these SDKs that limit their applicability. The proof of the pudding will be to see how successfully its customers are in using it to customize and enhance their services and to add applications.

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