NDS at centre of Vodafone IPTV service
By Julian Clover
Published: September 2, 2010 11.40 Europe/London

Vodafone Germany is to offer customers a new hybrid set-top box built on technology from NDS. It will combine a satellite and cable tuner with over-the-top VOD content that will be delivered over Vodafone’s own fixed-line network.

In a Broadband TV News interview, Yves Padrines, VP business development & general manager, NDS GmbH, confirmed the technology provider had acted as systems integrator on the project, the first time it had done so for a telco.

The Sagemcom manufactured personal video recorder, featuring a 320 GB hard disk, includes the XTV PVR, MediaHighway middleware and VideoGuard conditional access.

“The single box will target all three ways of content delivery. German households either connect their box to cable or to satellite,” said Padrines. “It’s not the first time we’ve worked on a hybrid platform, and it’s not a big difference to do it for a telco, Vodafone needed an expert in TV and they believed NDS could bring the platform together”. The NDS EPG will provide a seamless interface for customers, who will be largely unaware of how the content is being delivered to them.

The cable tuner is analogue, picking up on Germany’s basic cable provision, the addition of a digital tuner would have required complicated negotiations with cable operators that would no doubt be unwilling to assist a competitor.

Germany is Vodafone’s largest fixed line market; Padrines expressed confidence that the operator might also engage NDS in additional projects internationally.

Details of the pricing for the receiver are expected to be released later today (Thursday) with €10 per month likely to be the starting point.