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thePlatform Debuts Virtual TV Framework for Pay TV Operators

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Responding to customers' desire for any screen access, as well as competition from streaming services, pay TV operators have launched a variety of initiatives to provide online content. Fragmented efforts aren't enough, however, says thePlatform, which today released its Virtual TV Framework, offering a complete toolkit for creating live linear and video-on-demand (VOD) offerings, and also providing subscribers with a TV-like experience online. The framework lets operators launch new products quickly, says thePlatform, as well as gain new revenue through targeted advertising.

The framework grew out of thePlatform's work for parent company Comcast, creating its X1 service, and uses thePlatform's MPX video publishing system. Elements include metadata management for improved program guides, policy management for content and subscriber entitlements, and the ability to blend subscription and transactional video-on-demand (TVOD) services. Electronic program guides (EPGs) in the Virtual TV Framework are fluid and can reflect sudden changes, such as a ball game running long. The VOD system allows for large libraries and gives operators a way to promote popular movies as well as the back catalog. The system allows subscribers to mark favorite content, view recommendations, and bookmark video that they can finish watching on another device.

thePlatform has also built in advanced video commerce features that give operators the freedom to market content in a variety of ways. They can create bundles of content and cross promote them across services, market content for any device, offer extras with subscription services, and sell full-season or full-series packages.

thePlatform created its framework with help from a variety of partners, including Accedo for the device UI, FreeWheel and BlackArrow for the advertising features, ThinkAnalytics for the recommendations, Adobe and Microsoft for the content protection, Rovi and TMS for the EPG data, and Alcatel-Lucent for the system integration. The next generation of TV will need to take a best of breed approach, says thePlatform.

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