GlobeCast, a subsidiary of France Télécom, now generally known as Orange, will be launching an online platform to distribute international and genre-based programming directly to subscribers over their existing broadband connection. The service, initially aimed at the Americas, will be delivered using a hybrid digital video recorder from Netgem, with plans to support viewing through apps on other devices.

Announced at the NAB trade show, the launch of the MyGlobeTV service in the United States is scheduled for 1 July 2012, with plans to expand to the rest of the Americas.

“At launch, content will be available on connected TVs via the MyGlobeTV set-top box,” explained Emma Brackett, the VP of consumer products and services at GlobeCast.
The box is a Netgem N8200 Netbox MediaCenter, which is a hybrid digital video recorder with a 320GB hard drive. It works with an antenna to receive local channels and supports adaptive streaming for channels and on-demand programming delivered online.

“OTT is flexible, quick to deploy and it is now possible to guarantee the linear streaming quality and stability that users demand,” commented Christophe Aulnette, the chief executive of Netgem.

The French set-top box company had revenues of nearly €85 million in 2011 and aims to double its international sales within three years, building on its success with Telstra in Australia.

The initial channel line-up provided by GlobeCast will comprise Indonesian, Japanese, Malayalam and Romanian programming, expanding to include other African, Asian, Australian and European programmes.

Customers will be able to manage their account through a Facebook application. A MyGlobeTV app will follow, to enable viewing on “any connected device”.

For broadcasters, MyGlobeTV offers an end-to-end solution from ingesting programming through to delivery to the subscriber, including marketing, retail distribution and customer care.

Unlike the existing WorldTV package, the direct-to-home offering provided by GlobeCast, customers do not need a satellite dish but only an existing broadband internet connection.

No matter where in the world the broadcast signal originates, GlobeCast can offer its global infrastructure to carry it via satellite or fibre to its technical operations centre in the United States, from where it can be delivered to the viewer via the internet.

GlobeCast is a subsidiary of France Télécom, which now operates under the consumer brand Orange. A leading provider of media management and deliver services, with a satellite and fibre network connecting dozens of teleports, technical operations centres and points-of-presence worldwide, GlobeCast has a presence in Europe, the Middle East, the Americas, Asia, Africa and Australia.

With increasing interest in hybrid services that work over the top of an existing broadband connection, the delivery of niche channels, such as language and culture specific programming, is an obvious application. The challenge will be promoting such services effectively to the appropriate markets to deliver a service direct to the consumer.