Vestel was focusing on STBs when we went by, as we had covered the TV developments at IFA. We also had a brief discussion about the Telefonica contract in Spain. Telefonica has a special offer of a free TV to clients signing up for its pay TV service and Vestel is the key supplier of those sets. It is early days, but the company is optimistic that it will lead to good numbers.
The first STB product we looked at was based on the IP7252 from Broadcom and is an Android-based box that supports the full Google Play store TV experience with Android 6 (Marshmallow). The box supports video up to UltraHD based on HEVC and the tuner is for DVB-S2. There is integrated Wi-Fi and bluetooth. A cable option version supports fast channel switching for a better user experience. Vestel is very flexible to client needs, so a Linux-based version is also available that can be used to support a range of smart home functions and can have a front end in HTML5. ZWave and Zigbee support are possible.
Later in our visit, we looked at a smart home demo that is designed to work with IFTTT software for control.
There are lower cost ‘zapper’ boxes for HD+ in Germany and for France. Also heading for the German market is a DVB-T2 box that supports HEVC, the T9820, and it features cardless Irdeto security.
Next we looked at a DVB T2/S2/C box that was described as ‘the everything box’ and is aimed at Germany. It’s an on-going project and supports PVR and timeshift functions. Wi-Fi is an option and the box can support Miracast, but codec support is only up to H.264.
Turning to Freesat for the UK, Vestel will have in October a box that supports a seven day EPG. The unit has a licensed UI that runs on Vestel’s own engine.
Also in the UK, the T9110 is under development to support Freeview Play. At the moment, the main Freeview Play boxes in the UK are from Panasonic and Humax and Vestel sees an opportunity for a lower priced entry model. To keep costs down, there is no mass storage, allowing the user to add storage via USB. The target is to try to get the product into the market before the end of the year.