Vestel Commits to Android

TVs abounded on Vestel’s stand, naturally, but were mainly being used to show off the capabilities of the company’s peripherals. Still, the 55″ curved UltraHD model from IFA (Display Monitor Vol 21 No 36) was attracting some admiring glances.

Another IFA highlight was Vestel’s IP STB (IP252), which has now been joined by a model running Android TV – the S7252. As implied by the name change, the Android (5.0) box has a DVB-S2 tuner, in addition to showing IPTV. UltraHD is supported through an HEVC decoder; the box also features DLNA, voice search, recommendations and access to the full Google Play store. Both models can play UltraHD at 60fps through HDMI. Another version was on show running Linux, with an HTML UI designed by Vestel.

Elsewhere on the stand, we saw a smart TV with Android TV built in – functionality was identical to the STB. It was a 65″ UltraHD unit and will be available soon.

Vestel is becoming serious about the smart home, and was showing the Smart Home Hub at TV Connect. IoT devices route signals through the gateway, using the Z-Wave protocol. The gateway then displays a UI on the owner’s TV, smartphone or tablet (Android/iOS only), which can be used to control the products. We saw lights being dimmed, plugs being turned on and a live camera feed. The Home Hub can also be used for power monitoring and will send notifications to a user.

A new multi-screen product was being shown, in the form of an UltraHD DVB-C HEVC server, with eight tuners inside. When connected to a router, these tuners can stream content to any device in the home – the only limitation is bandwidth. Content can be recorded and played back over the network, with continuity between devices.

A UK-specific product was a Freesat STB, which will be released in July. The box uses the DVB-S2 platform and an MPEG-4 decoder. It has a 14-day EPG with catch-up (seven forward, seven back) and is supplied with VoD apps, such as the iPlayer, pre-installed.

A recommendation engine is featured. The Freesat box also includes a 500GB/1TB HDD, for PVR functionality, and dual tuners. A DVB-T2 version (T7675) is also available, but lacks the 14-day EPG.

Finally there was a DVB-IPTV STB with Beenius middleware, using either H.264 (IP7630) or HEVC (IP7230).