The battle of operating systems is raging ferociously without an end in sight. When it comes to Pay TV market, Linux has been dominating the Set-Top-Box marketplace. However, the Android Set Top Box has been making headway recently and edging into the lead, as operators look to deploy a Hybrid DVB-C/T/S solution.

There are 10 main reasons why operators, developers and any vendors should consider opting for Android:

1. Familiarity

The Android STB provides a superb user experience familiar to many users from other products that operate with Android, including their HD technology and Android tablets, which makes it very user friendly, easier to adapt to, and reduces the need to learn a new system.

2. State of the Art Technology

Android equips operators with the latest and most sophisticated technology, allowing them, and consequently their users, to constantly update the service with new apps, developments, state-of-the-art features and the already familiar user experience (UX) used for Android mobile phones.  An operator who will have presence within the multi-screen market and has the correct middleware to supports open API for applications’ development, most likely won’t have any concerns finding new clients for their solutions.

3. Ahead of Developments

The smart TV Android system is the choice for the consumer who wants his device to always be ahead of the times. TV control devices other than remote controls, such as body gestures and voice commands for example, can be incorporated. There is every chance that such devices are more likely to be developed rapidly for an open platform. The same is valid for video conferencing devices (e. g. microphones and cameras). This all enables operators to offer additional services and a comprehensive and attractive user interface.

4. Better Applications

Features and services for OTT Android STB have a significantly better array of applications compared to Linux STB. Operators seeking excellent OTT services and who wish to expand to multi-screens should ponder the possibility of Android. Operators can also predefine a set of applications they consider particularly attractive and useful for end-users. These apps can already be preinstalled on the operator’s Android STB and they can then promote certain applications and even contribute to revenue sharing with service providers.

5. System Integrity Minimizes Risk Factors

Android Set Top Boxes have been talked about since 2009 and recently many vendors have started to look into Android as a potential operating system for the OTT. Android’s Sandbox model isolates applications to allow Android to cover a wider environment when it runs apps thereby allowing it to maintain system integrity and thus minimize risk factors. This is due to the fact that SoC vendors implemented security measures to their solutions and permitted users to use DRM-protected content.

6. Secure Operation

Based on the recent market development, Android devices have become highly adaptable because they operate securely and safely even when new apps are introduced. The hardening of Android devices restricts the ability to install any external unsigned application on the device. In this way the Android box is as hardened as any other Linux box.

7. Rich Eco-System

Due to its rich eco-system, Android offers a wide range of applications and games which can be used on the big TV screen. In contrast to proprietary STB’s Operating Systems, it doesn’t require setting a dedicated developers’ community.

8. Support for Multicast Linear TV

Support for Multicast linear TV playout is high on the operators’ wish list. Interactive TV middleware vendors should equip their products and solutions with support for this functionality support by an Android-based STB.

9. Long Term Higher Value

Android boasts far-reaching APIs, built in- security, web browsers and several incorporated applications. Vendors and operators who are planning to start investing in solutions today would be well-advised to opt for Android. This means having sophisticated services that will offer higher value and superior experience for their viewers and subscribers in the long run.

10. Free OS license

Permissive licensing allows the software to be freely modified and distributed by device manufacturers and other platform developers.

So it seems that despite the fact that Linux is currently more common in the Set-Top-Box market, operators entering the OTT/IPTV market and traditional TV Service providers looking for their next generation Set-Top-Boxes, are now evaluating the adaptation of the Android platform and the above reasons make it clear why the trend is growing towards Android as the operating system of choice.

To stay ahead of the game and lead the competitive TV industry market, operators should have the right tools and technology, and the Android Set Top Box (STB) is without doubt becoming a must- transforming the TV viewing experience into a very personal, social and interactive encounter.

Learn more about the Android Set-Top-Box (STB) capabilities and see how an Android STB operates by using any handheld device as well by a remote control – supporting IPTV live channels, OTT video, VOD, DVB-X, external USB hard drives, and streams personal content stored on the home network.

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