After polling the pay-TV space with the Pay-TV Innovation Forum, Nagra is diversifying their own OTT service options, as shown at CES 2018. Nagra showed three particular offerings at the trade show in Las Vegas this week: the OpenTV Signature Edition set-top box package, AI powered data intelligence for recommendations and connectivity features, and expanded anti-piracy efforts.

The Open TV Signature Edition combines several of Nagra’s set top box features and is driven by customers’ need for continuous growth and integration of new technology, said Head of Product Management, Consumer and UX Rob Chen. Its UX for both the consumer-facing side and the provider dashboard were designed with two possible formats in mind, one electronic programming guide (EPG) format for users accustomed to the TV guide experience and one contemporary UX patterned after streaming services. It also includes a timeline UI, what Chen calls “the next way of channel surfing,” which shows both previously viewed content and recommendations on a single horizontal stream. 

In order to develop this, Chen’s team tested out a grid arrangement before settling on the single-focus UI that proved to be more comfortable for people accustomed to swiping between channels with one button. This package works with Fire TV and Android TV and pairs with smartphones through Bluetooth beaconing. 

"Nagra's OTT TV solution provides the added benefit of leveraging cloud DVR to enable cost-effective skinny packages with time-shifting features that increase viewer engagement while delivering the convenience and services subscribers have been asking for,” Anthony Smith-Chaigneau, senior director product marketing for Nagra's user experience solutions, said in April.

Nagra’s anti-piracy solutions include top-to-bottom services for identifying piracy, watermarking content, and cleaning up pirated video on the legal side. Simon Trudelle, senior director of product marketing, explained that Nagra’s anti-piracy efforts have been supported by their acquisition of watermarking company NexGuard. They also worked with the International Broadcaster Coalition Against Piracy (IBCAP) to stay on top of industry standards. Trudelle said that he expectes TV providers, including OTT providers, to continue to face a significant financial effect from piracy in emerging markets, especially for live sports events. 

In the world of data analytics and AI, Nagra’s Insight intelligent pay-TV data platform allows operators to usefully process and analyze structured and unstructured data. With experience in regulatory needs and dynamic advertising, Nagra is working on leveraging deep learning and cloud-based artificial intelligence while keeping users’ data private and not personally identifiable. It can examine social media to find out what content is trending, then suggest that content to operators who might want to recommend it to targeted groups of viewers. 

“The disruptive challenges faced by pay-TV service providers worldwide, summarized in the 2017 Pay-TV Innovation Forum report, show increasing pressure to deliver more consumer value while tackling growing piracy issues,” Ivan Verbesselt, SVP Group Marketing at NAGRA, summarized in a press release. “This new reality calls for a smart line-up of IP, cloud and data-driven solutions that help service providers retain their leadership position as leading aggregators of premium content catering to the most valuable pay-TV consumer types.”

Real Time Digital Reporter