A Scottish software company aims to enable smart mobile phones to become mobile televisions, allowing set-top boxes to stream or download programmes to the handset. NXVision in Dunfermline is backed by a Wireless Innovation initiative to support Scottish technology development in the sector. The company is currently negotiating second round funding to take its product to the international market.
Essentially, NXVision could enable companies to use their latest set-top box designs to provide Slingbox style placeshifting services, without needing an additional box. It is intended to use the additional processing power of recent set-top boxes to transcode programmes, enabling them to be streamed in real time or sideloaded as files onto mobile devices. Because the transcoding takes place within the box, they argue this is more secure, using existing conditional access systems and mobile digital rights management where required.
“Our technology allows TV viewers to take their living room experience with them, wherever they are, and watch what they want, live or pre-recorded on a range of devices including mobile phone, laptop and desktop computer,” said Murray Edwards of NXVision. “Set-top boxes already in use can be easily adapted to incorporate the system. It also uses the existing infrastructure making it easy and quick to deploy via Wi-Fi, broadband or 3G networks.”
The system uses thin clients on the mobile device and the set-top box, respectively referred to as Slinky and Dinky, that establish a connection through an association server database, which could controlled by a pay-television provider, that allows them to pair and enables peer-to-peer communication between the devices.
Mark Smith, a former chief executive of BT Broadcast Services recently took over as chief executive of NXVision from Anthony Combe, who founded the company just over two years ago and stays on a managing director.
NXVision demonstrated their technology at the IBC show in Amsterdam. They showed the audio video coprocessor of a standard system on a chip in a set-top box transcoding an incoming signal to 300kbps MPEG-4 stream in real time. They say it will also work on chipsets from manufacturers such as NXP Semiconductors, ST Microelectronics, or Sigma Designs.