Juan Pablo Conti ©RapidTVNews | 08-08-2011

Russian software development company NetUP has launched what it claims is the world’s first IPTV client for Android-based IP set-top boxes.

Called NetUP.tv, the application features a slick electronic programme guide (EPG) and provides access to both live IPTV channels (with pause and rewind functions) and IPTV video-on-demand (VOD) services.

Although the widget can be installed and launched from any Android IP receiver, it requires that NetUP IPTV Middleware be installed at the service provider’s head-end. Having said that, the company states its NetUP.tv Lite version of the client has been designed to work independently from its server middleware. In those instances, a DVB-to-IP gateway is used to multicast the video content directly to the receiver through the IP network.

While Android was originally conceived as an operating system for smartphones, and people usually associate it with mobile devices, IP set-top boxes are among a new breed of computing products with Internet connectivity that are increasingly turning to the Google-backed OS.

Android smartphone users would have little trouble familiarising themselves with the graphical user interface and functionality of Android set-top boxes. The only major difference would be that, instead of a handheld touchscreen, a remote control is still required to navigate the desktop.

In this open environment, the NetUP.tv client released by the Russian start-up will typically sit side by side with an Internet browser and a number of other popular Android widgets – such as those from YouTube, Facebook, Skype or Google Maps.