TV Throne Quest: Part 1

Collaborating with experts: the key to timely and scalable Android delivery for telco operators in 2024

TV Throne Quest: Part 1

Collaborating with experts: the key to timely and scalable Android delivery for telco operators in 2024

Major telecom operators navigate a complex landscape of DTV platforms, seeking a variety of Android-based set-top-box (STB) and TV models to meet diverse business needs. Although some models share a common SoC vendor, operators often prefer a mix from different vendors to spread their bets. Each SoC model dictates which version of Android system it supports. They are not only unique by the Android version, but also how they provide certain features: secure bootloader, APIs for secure Audio/Video pipeline, HDMI/HDCP/CEC, Bluetooth and RCU handling, virtual machine configuration, memory management, low memory killer, and more.

However, this complexity is just the tip of the iceberg. Beyond SoC solutions, every Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) introduces unique customizations, creating a dynamic environment. This diversity poses a constant challenge for operators aiming to deliver at scale. To succeed, operators must be adaptable, seamlessly navigating various SoC and OEM vendors. They need to master the art of versatility, aligning with Android versions and TV/STB capabilities. Their expertise goes beyond technical proficiency, encompassing effective communication to provide customers with optimal solutions.

In a world filled with complexity, operators must embrace change, demonstrating agility and readiness to face challenges. Adaptability is crucial, and operators must act as seasoned architects, turning challenges into opportunities. Imagine a team of operators’ developers striving to build internal knowledge but facing obstacles and delays. Here, partners like RT-RK become invaluable accelerators, leveraging expertise to dismantle hurdles and propel operators toward their goals at an unprecedented pace.

These partners bring new and clever solutions, opening up a wide range of possibilities. With their guidance, operators not only expand their horizons but also break through their own limits. By working with experienced experts like RT-RK, operators navigate diverse areas of knowledge, achieving success and rapid growth.

The mastery partner

When it comes to managed devices crafted by operators where Android stands as the unmistakable platform of choice, scalability is a challenge due to various complexities. RT-RK oversees multiple System on Chips (SoCs) for a single operator, covering a range of Android versions from 7 to 13. Acting as a system integrator, RT-RK supports SoC vendors in assembling and integrating essential components for project launches. Responsibilities include tasks like board bring-up, Android verified boot, secure boot, OTA updates, Bluetooth integration, low memory killer, integration of USB devices, virtual devices, HDMI/HDCP requirements, LED requirements, voice assistant, and more. The team also handles DRM certifications (Widevine, Verimatrix, etc.), integrates operator-specific applications, and 3rd party applications (like Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube, etc.). Here RT-RK, as system integrator, leads both 3rd party application pre-certification and certification processes. During the maintenance, the RT-RK team handles the integration of Android security patches for each version of Android across all SoCs.

In the ever-changing Android device landscape, RT-RK facilitates the integration of Android security patches for all versions. The team assists operators supporting both OEM and SoC vendors, taking on the complete responsibility of release management for each OEM platform. RT-RK’s dedicated QA department conducts thorough testing, including Smoke, Sanity, and VTP campaigns, ensuring high performance and reliability.

Operators face the challenge of supporting diverse network types, and RT-RK’s Player solution accommodates protocols for cable, satellite, terrestrial, multicast, and OTT networks. The solution integrates Conditional Access System (CAS) solutions seamlessly, managing all stages of CAS certification. RT-RK’s Player solution adapts to evolving operating systems, SoC platforms, and CAS systems, offering operators flexibility across OS versions, SoC vendors, and CAS systems. Its lightweight core ensures flawless functionality from low-end to high-end platforms.

Brand-like experience for all

A crucial aspect of projects involving multiple OS versions, SoCs, and OEMs is ensuring a smooth, unified user experience. The operator aims to provide users with a consistent brand experience while leveraging the unique capabilities of each platform. The RT-RK team excels in technical expertise in this domain.

Collaborating closely with Google, RT-RK implements or customizes various system elements to ensure a harmonized user experience and a cohesive ecosystem for application developers. The SDK Service plays a key role by offering a unified set of JSON-based APIs, covering platform-specific APIs like HDMI, HDMI-CEC, HDR, PQ/AQ Settings, RCU information, RCU OTA Updates, LED customization, and WiFi/Hotspot stack control. This consistent SDK Service is available across all Android versions, simplifying development for application developers working across diverse platforms.

For operators collaborating with multiple OEMs, a unified code repository is crucial for swift and reliable system integration. Maintaining separate Android SDK repositories for each OEM can lead to multiplication of modifications, increasing time, effort, and the risk of errors. RT-RK ensures a setup where all OEMs can access shared SoC code, while keeping OEM-specific code separate. Configuration scripts during the build process selectively include OEM-specific code, and RT-RK’s continuous integration environment automates builds for various OEMs and configurations. This integrated approach enhances efficiency, reduces redundancy, and ensures a seamless system integration experience for the operator.


Companies like RT-RK understand the unique challenges operators face and are dedicated to providing customized solutions that meet their specific needs. Our commitment to building strong partnerships with operators fosters a culture of collaboration and mutual support, encouraging the free flow of knowledge for collective growth. Whether through structured training, immersive workshops, or personalized coaching, our mission is to help operators unlock their full potential and achieve their goals.

With our committed support and specialized expertise, we empower operators to confidently tackle new challenges, overcome complex problems, and drive innovation and expansion within their organization. At RT-RK, we stand as a reliable ally on their journey to success.

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