Back in 2010, already experienced in digital TV with scalable teams working for various customers in the industry, RT-RK was looking into opportunities for a new growth wave. Successful cooperation with SmarDTV, a French device manufacturer, was raised to next level in 2011 by establishing a joint venture together with long time partner Tivisu and purchase of a small DTV middleware company from Rennes, named iWedia. The “new” iWedia was headquartered (and still is to this day) in Lausanne, Switzerland, and was established to be a software licensing and software services company in the digital TV domain. By design, iWedia’s engineering is powered by RT-RK including several key management positions.
Shortly after iWedia S.A. kick-off, an innovation project with main goal to integrate DTV support in Android was started, dubbed ANDROID4TV. After fast progress with the first prototype, ANDROID4TV was the key to start the fist commercial project for Android based STB in Europe, for a major European operator – Swisscom. Those were the pioneering steps in Android based DTV devices, and unlike today, AOSP was the only option. Successful launch in Swisscom did not go unnoticed by Google who started experimenting with a TV OS by introducing Google TV platform which later evolved into Android TV OS. iWedia’s early adopter position proved to be crucial for starting the cooperation with Bouygues Telecom and Google on Google TV and later Android TV. Fast forward 10 years, iWedia is the most successful software company in the Android TV ecosystem and a well known brand for reliable and state of the art software components and solutions as well as top performing engineering services.
During first 10 years, iWedia engineering team, powered by RT-RK, has grown from initial 20 to 260 engineers. Besides rapid team growth, many processes were established in order to ensure efficiency and quality of deliverables.
Progress in major domains
Initial stack supporting DVB only was a seed software component that was further improved, optimized and enriched with new features by RT-RK team. First of all, stack was made available on all relevant platforms (RTOS, Linux, Android) and major SoCs (Broadcom, Amlogic, MediaTek, Synaptics, HiSilicon, ST, etc). Additional broadcast standards were added (ATSC1.0, ARIB, ATSC3.0) and architecture aligned to support the latest TV Input Framework and Tuner HAL Framework APIs in Android TV. iWedia’s broadcast stack has been integrated with major CAS solutions (Nagra, Conax, Irdeto, Synamedia, Verimatrix, Viaccess Orca) over the course of many commercial STB projects.
One of the first implementations of HLS and MPEG DASH player stack was done in 2013/2014 by RT-RK engineers. Since then, the Player was deployed in many operator environments worldwide. Following the latest trends such as CMAF, low latency, linear ad insertion, etc. the Player has evolved over the years to become a leader in the industry, with its key advantage being unparalleled stability and reliability. It is supported on all major platforms (Android, iOS, Linux, Tizen, WebOS, etc.).
User experience is ever evolving and regardless of general guidelines, still remains fragmented due to market specific requirements. Following its evolution, iWedia has developed several generations of its white label app for operators and enabled it on all major platforms. Additionally, many bespoke apps were developed for major Tier-1 operators worldwide.
Driven by the demand for interactive TV specifications such as HbbTV, FreviewPlay and ATSC3.0, as well as the need to have an engine for apps on Linux based devices, iWedia has developed own Browser solution. Based on WebKit GTK at first, the solution was migrated to Blink and still is being maintained and aligned with latest Blink versions. Licensed by major TV SoC vendors, iWedia Browser is deployed in millions of devices.
Android System Integration
Expertise in Android system level was always one of the top goals of iWedia as a company. Through experience in many commercial projects, partnership with Google and other important stakeholders (Netflix, SoC vendors, etc), RT-RK has managed to ramp-up Android expertise and establish integration processes for an optimized and predictable time-to-market. Numerous Android TV and Netflix certification cycles successfully been finished either through initial product development or through its lifecycle management.
- Swisscom (Android Jelly Bean AOSP)
- Buygues Telecom
- NTT Plala & Docomo
- Reliance Jio
- Android domain expertise
- More than 20 successful product launches with major operators worldwide
- More than 45 million devices worldwide running software developed by RT-RK
- Partnership with major industry stakeholders
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