CES '16: Nagra Shows a Unified Operator/Streaming User Experience
Despite what some cord-cutters might wish, pay TV operators aren't going away anytime soon. While operators face erosion due to streaming service competition, the major cable and satellite companies aren't ready to throw in the towel. The plan now is to adapt and provide access to streaming services in ways that make those services feel like channels.
To help operators adjust to consumer demand, multiscreen television solution company Nagra has debuted the IntuiTV system, which combines an operator box with an attractive unified experience. With IntuiTV viewers can freely move between their cable or satellite channels, subscription and transactional video-on-demand services, and popular apps. There's no switching of HDMI inputs and no password prompts. Instead, the viewer's full viewing (and listening) options are combined in one smooth interface.
The development of IntuiTV began six month ago, says Anthony Smith-Chaigneau, Nagra's senior director of product marketing. The goal was to create a turnkey platform that combines live TV streaming, VOD, SVOD, and services like music or other apps in one package, and do it in a way that can be customized for operators in various countries. All options needed to be blended in a seamless manner.
"This is about one single user experience, with a singe device and single remote control. This allows for the blending of live TV and services where the consumer logs in once has access to all their services all in once place," says Smith-Chaigneau.
The IntuiTV remote offers a touch screen with an e-ink display. Viewers call up different menus by scrolling in different directions. Dedicated buttons bring them to key areas, such as the guide page. The e-ink display creates contextual buttons where needed.
Nagra is at CES shopping the system to tier 1 and tier 2 pay TV operators, and is in discussions with several. This isn't an ad hoc product designed in the lab, Smith-Chaigneau emphasizes, but one borne from the company's experience in the market. While streaming services are gaining ground, he thinks pay TV operators have a big advantage in their support systems and quality of service. There's no number to call when Netflix goes down, he says. If operators are flexible and sensitive to consumer demands, they can retain their businesses, he believes.
"If the satellite operators embrace the new landscape, their longevity and their experience in the TV business gives them a strong customer-facing position. They need to adapt, and we've seen that they've started to do than. Nagra Kudelski is enabling them to make that transition, and IntuiTV is an example of that," Smith-Chaigneau says.
Part of the Nagra IntuiTV interface
Many cable and satellite subscribers will upgrade their receivers for 4K in the coming years. It's the perfect time to upgrade the user experience, as well.