The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers refused to respond to a claim made by independent media technology analyst Colin Dixon that the group booted his panel focused on Android TV out of last week’s official Cable-Tec Expo program.
“The panel was originally scheduled to take place as part of the official conference,” Dixon wrote on his nScreenMedia site. “However, at the last minute, the conference organizers decided it was ‘inappropriate’ to include such a detailed discussion of Android TV. Amino, the sponsor of the panel, hurriedly relocated the discussion to its booth on the show floor. Clearly, some cable executives are not ready to even discuss using Android TV.”
The panel included Google Head of America’s Partnerships Jon Stewart, Petr Peterka, CTO of Verimatrix, and Mark Evensen, CTO of sponsor Amino Communications. Amino ended up hosting the event to what Dixon described as a “standing-room-only crowd” at its show-floor booth.
“It was a shame the full conference did not get to hear the informative discussion. Cable operators should be seriously considering an open platform for their set-top boxes, and Android TV is an excellent candidate to fill that role,” Dixon added.
The resistance to Android TV is puzzling, given that one of the biggest vendors in the cable industry, Arris, just released a line of set-tops built around the IP video technology.
At the IBC show in Amsterdam last month, Arris showed off a trio of UHD/HDR set-tops powered by the Google technology. Duncan Potter, senior VP of marketing for Arris, told FierceCable at IBC that the boxes provide Tier 1 pay-TV operators, mainly in Europe and Latin America, with a means of entering other countries with ready-built OTT environments that can be packaged with linear services.
The new Arris boxes allow operators to deliver their own branded services in 4K/HDR video, while also delivering a full range of Google OTT services, including YouTube and Google Play transactional offerings.