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DirecTV rewnews NDS Contract for Set Top / DVR Software

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by cypherx, Mar 16, 2011.

  1. cypherx

    cypherx Hall Of Fame

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    From Multichannel News:
    http://www.multichannel.com/article/465319-DirecTV_Renews_NDS_Contract_For_Set_Top_DVR_Software.php

    Looks like DirecTV signed a 5 year contract extention with NDS Group for software through January 2016.

    I thought some people on this forum stated that DirecTV used NDS for it's set top software in the past, however they moved that in house. This article sounds like this contract is separate from the one that runs through June 2013 on conditional-access technology.

    Could this mean the next generation HD interface on DirecTV could mimic some of the examples over at nds's website?
    http://www.nds.com/solutions/epgs.php

    Sure DirecTV will likely 'skin' or customize the look and feel of the platform, however it seems that there is some NDS technology used behind the scenes. NDS isn't a bad thing, some of their reference designs look good see: http://www.nds.com/pdfs/EPG.pdf (pdf)

    Then I saw a commercial on CNN HD yesterday on DirecTV guide features like using the mini guide and also how to set favorites and recordings. The examples they showed made the UI look a little darker, but it was extremely sharp with rich fonts. Screen elements seemed animated and it really had quite a lot of refined polish to it. Most likely it's doctored up for marketing, but if were headed in that direction, I welcome it.

    What do you all think?
     
  2. The Merg

    The Merg 1*

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    NDS still provides the software for the R15/R16 platform and possibly for the D1x platform as well.

    - Merg
     
  3. cypherx

    cypherx Hall Of Fame

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    Oh I thought that they all looked the same. I'm a more recent newcomer to the DirecTV arena.

    Are there screen shots of what the NDS software looks like? Just curious as to how different it was. I remember some dark blue look that the interface had a few years ago. Also completely different looking UI's from third party receivers like Sony, Hughes, etc...

    Do you think this deal was re-inked for a reason? Arn't the models mentioned old? Would they be turning to NDS for some assistance with the upcoming HD UI?

    I see that NDS showcases some of the active channels / ITV / game content that DirecTV has, so maybe its further development in that area?
    http://www.nds.com/solutions/interactive_apps.php
     
  4. erosroadie

    erosroadie Godfather

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    Any chance that this opens TiVo as software developer moving forward...? :grin:
     
  5. The Merg

    The Merg 1*

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    When DirecTV took the programming in-house, they kept the look of software the same as what NDS had done. Basically, NDS had developed the software to DirecTV's specs. When the programming went in-house, DirecTV still had a contract with NDS for the receivers they had been working on, which were the SD receiver and SD-DVRs.

    As for the Active Channels/Game Content, I didn't realize that NDS was the developer of those channels, so that very well could be the reason for the contract extension.

    I doubt DirecTV is going to use NDS anymore for software development of its receivers, except for maintenance of ones that NDS developed.

    - Merg
     
  6. cypherx

    cypherx Hall Of Fame

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    So this makes me wonder when DirecTV launches it's next generation UI, how different will it be from the original look and feel from the NDS design?

    One thing I noticed, on SD boxes I've played with, the PIG(pic in guide) seems to animate open or closed when entering/exiting the guide. I like these modern transition effects, and was surprised to see it left out of more powerful HD / DVR set tops. But if DirecTV took over, maybe that was an NDS thing (like the "genie" effect when minimizing apps is an apple thing).

    Sent from my iPhone using DBSTalk
     
  7. Paul Secic

    Paul Secic Hall Of Fame

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    I thought they built their own equipment, other than TIVO.
     
  8. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    Why would re-signing with NDS open the door for TiVo?

    TiVo is working their magic already on an older version of the HR2x hardware. By "magic", I mean repeated missed delivery promises.
     
  9. cypherx

    cypherx Hall Of Fame

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    I know what you mean, but NDS lists DirecTV as a customer, and MultichannelNews reported on extending their partnership.

    As far as equipment, I'm under the impression that a few companies actually make the hardware (like Samsung, Technicolor for example). Then I'm under the impression that NDS wrote all of the software, but DirecTV took over on the newer models while maintaining the same look and feel they originally built when collaborating with NDS. I know they do contract NDS for the security aspect of the delivery platform, and according to NDS's website, they seem to supply the software the drives the 'mix' channels, active channels, and some interactive apps / games.

    But the whole partnership and who's responsible for what exactly is a little bit of a mystery when you throw this contract extension in the mix.
     
  10. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    The article makes it clear that the contract was for receiver and DVR software.

    This would seem to be an indicator as to how long DIRECTV thinks SD equipment will be around (though it doesn't slam the door on the idea of an NDS powered MPEG4 product line).
     
  11. The Merg

    The Merg 1*

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    I would think that with DirecTV doing all the software development in-house for their MPEG4 receivers that would essentially say that NDS is not going to be used for that.

    - Merg
     
  12. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    I'd hate to think that DIRECTV is going to commit to dabble in MPEG2 for another five years.
     
  13. cypherx

    cypherx Hall Of Fame

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    Maybe its for some of the Active / Mix / TVApps / etc... type of subsystems and add ons to DirecTV's core software on all set tops / DVR's?

    Maybe its more for licensing issues, such as some guide providers license technology to TV Guide / Rovi / Tivo for the use of certain intellectual property?
     
  14. kevinwmsn

    kevinwmsn Hall Of Fame

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    There is a large number of mpeg2 SD receivers and SD DVRs out there that won't be going away overnight.
     
  15. wmb

    wmb Godfather

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    Seems five years is about the remaining service life of the satellites currently used for MPEG2 SD.
     
  16. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

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    all the interactive stuff is done in house, especially the aps.. (note: some aps can be made by anyone, but directv doesn't pay for any to be made that I am aware of except for the ones they develop in house.
     
  17. cypherx

    cypherx Hall Of Fame

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    OK I think your right on the apps, but on NDS website they show DirecTV Active channel as well as some of the 'mix' channels in their portfolio.

    I'm sure they have a hand in a lot of that stuff (or did), or perhaps created the framework that DirecTV uses to make changes and author new mix channels or updates to DirecTV Active.

    Reason I wonder about this stuff, is NDS has some HD UI's in use across the pond, and I think Sky+ HD is one of their customers that uses it. Not only that, but they have that interesting concept Snowflake UI (in HD) and their Trio MR-DVR UI (Sold to Cox Cable). So I guess if I knew that NDS had a huge hand in the design and development of the next generation platform, I would turn to their examples and prototypes to get ideas of what the next UI will look like.

    But since the general consensus here is DirecTV moved a lot of that stuff in house, that's fine. I'm sure they have designers that will come up with something pretty slick. There's plenty of great UI examples out there to use as inspiration.
     
  18. Satelliteracer

    Satelliteracer Hall Of Fame

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    This is one reason why receiver fees go up....because costs to maintain the receivers middleware go up.
     
  19. Jeremy W

    Jeremy W Hall Of Fame

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    Pull out your access card, and read the back of it. Also, NDS MediaHighway powers all of the interactive content DirecTV offers. The software on the H2x (aside from the H20) and HR2x/R22 is done by DirecTV, but the D1x, R1x, and H20 are NDS.
     

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