New NDS Solutions Bridge Pay-TV and OTT

--NDS SDP Enables Operators to Extend their Offerings to Companion Devices via Third-Party Apps
--Infinite TV Exchange Leverages OTT Delivery to Bring Special-Interest Channels to Operators' Line-Ups 

NDS on Wednesday unveiled two new offerings: its Service Delivery Platform (SDP), an application development portal that it says "marries" digital TV platforms with OTT content; and the Infinite TV Exchange, a B2B content marketplace that is designed to connect service providers with content owners, in order to enable the creation of special-interest programming channels.

According to the company, the NDS Service Delivery Platform is a fully scalable platform that enables TV operators to extend their offering to companion devices through third-party applications. It provides an open API, the company says, that acts as an interface between apps on devices, a service provider's TV platform, and social networks or other Internet content. Providing a standard Web services interface, the SDP enables the development of a "limitless" number of applications to complement or control the TV viewing experience, NDS claims.

By enabling a multi-device ecosystem, NDS says, the SDP puts the TV operator at the core of the multiscreen entertainment experience, utilizing the "untapped creative potential" of the app developer community and facilitated by a fully featured developer portal. "The NDS SDP enables operators to harness the creativity of the thriving app developer community," NDS VP and chief marketing officer, Nigel Smith, said in a prepared statement. "The key to the platform is the two-way communications model, enabling not only content on devices, but that crucial link between the device and the operator platform--including the set-top box, so that it becomes a companion to the viewing experience. The SDP fosters a symbiotic relationship that allows operators to drive service adoption through the apps, whilst enabling developers to generate revenue and providing subscribers with an enriched experience."

In order to provide a multi-faceted companion device experience, NDS says, the SDP facilitates the contextual delivery of additional content, information and social networking features from online sources. According to the company, the platform uses intelligent mechanisms to ensure that content and metadata are retrieved from the most appropriate source--including, for example, the operator platform or Web services such as movie databases or catch-up TV sites. It is designed to recognize devices and individual subscriptions, in order to allow the delivery of appropriately formatted content, to device specification and in keeping with the end-user's pay-TV subscription. NDS claims that the SDP is compatible with existing TV platforms and set-top boxes. Utilizing device SDK's and app stores, the company says, it removes the need for per-device and per-service integration, thus enabling operators to present their new services and content on a rapidly expanding number of connected devices.

Infinite TV Exchange, meanwhile, is billed by NDS is the first global B2B content marketplace and delivery system that brings together service providers and content owners in order to build special-interest channels and expand the operator offering by leveraging over-the-top delivery. It also enables monetization of these specialized channels, the company says. Designed to allow content owners to reach global platforms and to allow broadcasters to enrich their existing offering, NDS says, the platform provides "seamless" integration of specialized content, in the form of channels, with an operator's existing offering, in order to satisfy the individual interests of the subscriber and ensure that the operator remains the latter's prime source of TV entertainment.

According to NDS, the Infinite TV Exchange marketplace is open to a full range of professional content and provides a "complete ecosystem" of the components needed to transform individual content into OTT programming channels. Once a content owner--including mainstream studios and independent producers--uploads their content to the marketplace, the company says, they can then create their own channels with the provided tools and use a simple system that allows them to negotiate contractual and commercial terms with the service provider through the online portal. The service provider can then select from the specialized channels that content owners have created--or create their own channels from the programming that the content owners have uploaded--and integrate it into their existing offering, where it is "seamlessly" displayed on the EPG, NDS says.

A number of specialized content owners--including National Geographic, Kids Co., Speed, Revision3, Watch Mojo, and Red Bull Media--and specialty broadcasters--including the Dance Channel, Race Fan TV and Wild Earth TV--have already committed over 100,000 hours of content to Infinite TV Exchange, according to NDS. "Infinite TV Exchange enables an entirely new ecosystem for special interest programming," NDS's SVP of advanced products and markets, Yoni Hashkes, said in a prepared statement. "The marketplace is designed to give pay-TV operators the ability to build a branded platform at the center of the entertainment experience that satisfies the individual interest of its subscriber--bringing together what is currently a fragmented viewing experience. The feedback that we have had on Infinite TV Exchange has been astounding, and the 'eureka' moments in which service providers and content owners see the value in the platform have been universal."