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9.11.2021 | 4 min read.

Choosing RDK as the Platform for Operator OTT Offerings

Hibox & Accedo OTT Platform Strategy Series: Part 4

Anil Tan

Together with Accedo, we have been discussing how operators can choose the right platform strategy for their OTT offering. In case you missed the earlier posts, check out why the right platform strategy is important. So far, we have discussed Android TV and AOSP. For this latest blog post in the series, we spoke to the team at RDK to understand how it responds to the key defining criteria.

What is RDK?

RDK is a modular, portal, and customizable open-source software solution. It aims to standardize the software stacks that run on most TV set-top boxes, internet gateways, and Internet of Things devices in the home. It is run on 80 million devices worldwide. RDK undergoes continual evolution by collaboration and contributions from RDK community members, with around 10,000 code contributions every year.

In our previous blog posts, we raised four key areas that any operator offering needs to address. We asked the team at RDK to explain how its platform helps respond to those.

1. Can RDK help with maximizing the entertainment appeal?

With more than 80 million device deployments, RDK adoption continues to accelerate and serve as the foundational software platform for service provider's video and broadband devices across the globe. RDK enables service providers to control their device diagnostics data, business models, and apps to improve the entertainment experience and drive business results.

In particular, RDK4 makes it easier than ever to develop, test and deploy entertainment services. It provides standardized APIs that enable operators to integrate new user interfaces, apps, and app stores—particularly when using the super-efficient Lightning™ app development language and open-source SDK. For a more turnkey solution, RDK4 is also available as part of the RDK Video Accelerator Program which provides development and deployment-ready set-top boxes from leading OEMs, including CommScope, Humax, KAON, and Skyworth.

RDK also has direct integration with Metrological’s TV Application Platform for TV operators and MVPDs. The Application Platform comes with a rich App Library of hundreds of curated premium and long-tail apps, including premium OTT services, kids TV, sports, music, games, and much more. You also benefit from monetization options with paid apps and in-app transactions using the carrier billing support.

2. Can RDK help operators keep costs to a minimum?

RDK was developed specifically to reduce costs and speed time to market for delivering new entertainment services and devices. By creating a common software platform that works across chipsets and OEMs, operators benefit from synergies across product development, testing, and deployment. Notably, RDK is an open-source software platform that is available at no cost to RDK licensees.

Infinite possibility, zero cost RDK is a no-cost/royalty-free open-source license, providing full transparency into the source code.

3. How does RDK support innovation?

As an open-source platform, RDK has an engaged, and extensive, community of more than 500 companies including CPE manufacturers, SoC vendors, software developers, system integrators, and service providers focused on both video and broadband. RDK members are constantly innovating and contributing back to the code for the mutual benefit of the entire community. RDK’s membership program fosters enhanced collaboration, strategic engagement, advanced training, and technical support. It also facilitates and supports member working groups to focus on specific feature contributions and innovations.

4. How does RDK ensure adaptability?

RDK allows developers to efficiently collaborate on projects with skilled partners in the RDK community, add new features, and resolve issues at their own pace — creating contributions that benefit the entire community.

Design ownership RDK’s modular plug-in architecture enables providers to develop, innovate, and differentiate at the application and services layer, allowing a consistent customer experience across all RDK devices. Providers benefit from frequent, robust releases and continuous improvements that dramatically increase product development velocity.

Is RDK the right platform for your service?

RDK is an interesting alternative to other platforms, giving operators much more control over the development process and free or cost-efficient access to a platform that enables them to deliver multi-platform video experiences. It is especially suited for smaller operators who can benefit from the community approach.

Accedo is a certified Lightning™ development partner of Metrological. If RDK is your platform of choice, we can help you design and deploy appealing video experiences with powerful UI capabilities. By deploying a single app onto the Metrological App Library on RDK you can reach millions of TV viewers via the TV operator’s TV app stores.

For a deep dive into the major platforms for OTT operators, check out the other parts of this OTT platform strategy series:

  1. OTT Platform Strategy
  2. Android TV (ATV)
  3. Android Open Source Project (AOSP)
  4. RDK
  5. Apple TV

This blog post is part of a five-piece blog series on platform strategy for OTT providers. The series is co-authored with Hibox's parent company Accedo and is also published on the Accedo blog.

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