In short: Synaptics has announced a new “ready to deploy” Android TV solution for Pay-TV providers, which will look to offer those interested in providing an Android TV option to their customers a way to do so that is inexpensive, easy to rollout, and end-to-end supported. The announcement was made as part of the ongoing IBC 2018 Conference in Amsterdam.
Background: Android TV has a shortage of box-based hardware solutions which is somewhat concerning considering this is one of the easier ways in which any entity can offer Android TV to its customers. Google, as well as the wider Android TV industry has recently looked to offset this issue through a greater set-top box (STB) push where Pay-TV companies are encouraged to adopt, and provided with easier means to deploy an Android TV-based STB to customers. With today’s announcement from Synaptics proving to be the latest example, as here the company has partnered with “industry-leaders” to ensure this is can literally be sold to companies as a turnkey solution. As part of the end-to-end design, Synaptics has turned to iWedia for the software stack and Tonly for the hardware.
Impact: There are two sides to the Android TV equation, the consumer side and the provider side. Android TV, has in the past looked to serve both markets although more recently there has been a much clearer push towards the provider side of things. While this is likely to result in an increased ability for Pay-TV operators to offer an Android TV-based solution to its customers, which in turn is expected to increase the level of Android TV adoption at the end user stage, it’s not something that is necessarily going to be felt by the average consumer in the short-term. Not to mention, it will only be of value to those consumers who have services provided by a Pay-TV operator, and through an operator who is more inclined to opt for a turnkey solution instead of a custom-built option designed to cater to their specific needs and customers. There will also likely be a regional aspect in play here where this particular solution is available in some regions and not others.