While many of the video streaming services such as LoveFilm and Netflix are only to be found on the higher end TV sets from companies like LG, Panasonic and Samsung, Swiss firm Acetrax is looking to extend its reach still further.
The company – which offers content on a pay as you go basis, with material to rent or buy – has teamed up with Inview to roll out the service across set top boxes that support their new connected TV platform.
Inview is perhaps best known to some people in the UK as the providers of the EPG data that drives the Radio Times Extra (formerly Teletext Extra) and TopUpTV services, but they also have a connected TV platform rolling out, which is available royalty free to ‘tier 2’ equipment manufacturers who don’t want to have to create their own. Inview then makes its revenue as a share of that generated by content providers such as Acetrax.
Acetrax is going to be on that new platform, along with Grooveshark and some other services, around the middle of this year. A spokesperson for Inview wouldn’t reveal the names of the brands involved, but I understand that it’s likely to appear in FreeviewHD set top boxes and connected TVs from the house brands of major UK retailers, and similar brands around Europe. There will probably also be some SD kit that includes it too, though given the closing gap between the prices of SD and HD kit, I suspect all but those on the tightest budget will be looking at HD, especially with the Olympics coming up this summer.
The new platform apparently integrates apps and a recommendation engine with Inview’s 14 day programme guide, rather than splitting content services off into a separate part of the interface, as is common with most of the ‘smart TVs’ I’ve looked at recently. It’s only slated to appear on new equipment; most of the kit that has the existing Inview software isn’t equipped for IPTV anyway.