Will Android kill middleware as we know it?

Google’s Android operating system took just a few years to go from upstart newcomer to dominating the global mobile market. Can it do the same for TV?

In my last blog, a primer on Android for STBs, I described the options available to operators: the “plug-and-play” Android TV service, and the more customizable self-build route based on AOSP. Is this combination enough to kill-off the market in proprietary middleware?

Android for STBs: What every pay TV operator should know

Launching a pay TV platform typically requires 2-3 years’ development to create a customized user experience based on proprietary middleware with continuous updates throughout the STB lifetime. It’s slow, expensive and requires specialist developers, but operators get the UX they choose.

Google’s AOSP and Android TV are shaking up this status quo. Android rose from zero to global dominance of mobile markets in under seven years, so it’s little wonder this disruptor is being taken seriously.

CI Plus dongle will be a game changer

Imagine a world where Pay-TV operators are able to beat the OTT providers at their own game. Offering great content, better device reach and at a reduced operating cost. Making this reality isn’t that far away. The key is a new type of media streaming dongle.

Not all dongles are created equal
The popular HDMI dongle, e.g. Google’s ChromeCast, only allows the consumer to stream OTT content to a TV set using their smartphone, tablet or computer as a remote control. The CI Plus dongle, on the other hand, is more like a STB.