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Pace Elements - Looking for chemistry in pay TV

Pace makes major move into cloud software, UI middleware

By PETER WHITE

Published: 1 September, 2011

READ MORE: Linux | MeeGo

UK-based set top market leader Pace appears to be coming to market with a huge new product framework, overhauling its component choices, as well as adding masses of software services - cloud, UI and middleware, to its range.

Perhaps in the long run Pace can see that hardware is not where the money will be made in set tops. In fact it never had been. It will have also seen how it is on a collision course with software and cloud players, such as TiVo, NDS and Rovi, who have been eating away at offering pay TV services the types of design services that Pace would once have supplied.

To do this Pace has jumped to the latest generation of chips from Broadcom, ST Micro and says that it will also work with the Intel CE range chips next year - a major concession to market demand.

There are massive changes coming to the set top market over the coming few years, as operators of all types fumble to understand what over the top services - over the public internet, means to them, both in terms of technology but also in business models.

Chips with the power to run complex business rules and hold and play vast stores of Apps have come to market and now Pace and rivals need to harness these sensibly, and every set top maker has to have an over-arching strategy which accommodates the largest chip players and the most ambitious TV hybrid models.

Pace appears to have understood this sooner, rather than later with a modular range of software tools named after Elements - Cobalt, Oxygen and Tungsten - which offer cloud services including recommendation and search, UI tools and a full suite of middleware, along with the remote management tools which set tops are slowly expect to come with.

If Pace successfully implements this modular approach it can go to any client with a point and click sales kit, and give operators precisely what they want. And in an uncertain TV world which is trying to embrace Over The Top models, anyone who offers a set of tools so that operators can change their business models at the drop of a hat, is going to be welcomed fulsomely. For a fuller version of this story go to www.rethinkresearch.biz

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