Green Button Media, established by Barry Rubery, the co-founder of set-top box company Pace, is launching its connected television platform under the name Oggle. Not to be confused with ogle, which means to look at greedily or leer at lustfully, he believes that Oggle can become the brand name on everyone’s lips when talking about Connected TV. “Viewers will definitely want to Oggle at their TV and the huge range of engaging features and content our innovative platform can bring.”
The company says that while other platforms are likely to delay their launch, a possible reference to YouView, television manufacturers and own-brand retailers seeking to establish themselves in the Connected TV market can adopt the Oggle platform now.
Barry Rubery was the co-founder of Pace, which began in 1982 by producing modems and computer peripherals then moved into satellite receivers, producing the first MPEG-2 digital set-top box in 1995. In 1998 the company floated with a valuation of £370 million, making him a multi-millionaire. The value of the shares subsequently fell and he left the company.
Now he believes we are facing a further digital television transformation, saying “The launch of Connected TV in the UK later this year will undoubtedly transform the television industry yet again”.
Oggle uses the European open HbbTV specification and open W3C web standards. The company says that manufacturers and own-brand retailers adopting the Oggle platform will continue to “own” viewing space on the products they make and sell, with potential recurring revenue streams from selling programming, app downloads, advertising and other transactions.
“Manufacturers and retailers are clearly recognising our platform as a really viable alternative to content and search engine based competitors and their closed software systems,” he said. “Now with the announcement of our Oggle branding, savvy consumers who are becoming increasingly aware of what Connected TV can offer will be actively seeking TV sets and STBs that give them the truly enhanced, easy to use and viewer-friendly experience and content they expect.”
“Choosing the right platform partner has never been so important. Oggle offers what viewers want now, without the risk of uncertainty or delays in getting to market for TV manufacturers and retailers.”
“Whether viewers or the industry are calling it Connected TV, or Smart TV, if they are looking to truly get the most from all sorts of content, the platform they will both need to look out for is Oggle!”
Green Button will provide the back office functions for a complete connected TV solution. This includes user databases, a recommendation engine, social networking connectivity, content play-out, and an online program guide and media management system, all of which are “white-labelled” for each television manufacturer or retailer.
It is an ambitious pitch by a start-up for a market that will be contested by major multinational manufacturers and internet companies like Google. Whether it will be an Oggle box, a Google TV, or something else that breaks through, the market for television devices and displays is becoming increasingly competitive.