User interfaces for video and broadband are evolving, and they are increasingly served from the cloud and aim to create a differentiated experience, rather than just a user interface for programming. The latest example comes from cable MSO Altice USA, who operates Optimum and Suddenlink brands, serving 4.9 million subscribers across 21 states.
Altice One is an all-in-one user interface portal for video, broadband/WiFi, and phone services. Rather than being resident on the set-top-box or gateway, Altice One is cloud-based, allowing for more features and rapid feature introduction and upgrades.
It’s Altice USA’s version of Comcast’s X1 operating system. These platforms aim to provide an experience interface, as opposed to the legacy user interface we’re all so accustomed to. Comcast and some industry observers suggest X1 has been successful in reducing cord cutting, given it’s interactive features and access to OTT content like Netflix.
The Altice One platform offers access and interactivity to/with live TV, video on demand, OTT apps such as YouTube and Pandora, cloud DVR recordings and W-Fi connectivity. It also features a voice-activated remote, allowing for voice search and discovery.
“We live in a world where content and technology are converging at a fast pace, and Altice One provides the experience, entertainment and connectivity that consumers are looking for today,” said Dexter Goei, Altice USA Chairman and CEO in a press release. “Altice One is just the beginning of a new, better and simple experience for Altice’s Optimum and Suddenlink customers as we look to become the connected home provider of choice now and into the future.”
Altice One is served up on primary set-top-boxes in the home, as well as on Altice One Minis, which act as both mini STBs and Wi-Fi extenders, for additional TVs throughout the home. According to Altice USA, applications that are featured on Altice One include:
- Voice-Activated Remote Control – elegant, contemporary non-line of sight controller allowing users to tune and search using voice commands
- ‘My Picks’ Section – easy access to a customer’s most-watched shows and recently recorded content
- Restart – allows users to go back to start of show if beginning is missed
- Cloud DVR – provides whole-home recordings of up to 15 shows at the same time; can also start a show in one room and finish it in another
- Picture-in-Picture – watch two games or shows at once
- 4K Capabilities – for an enhanced viewing experience
- App Integration – including access to content from YouTube and Pandora, with deals in place to integrate additional over-the-top services in the near future
- The Altice One App – a sophisticated app enabling customers to watch live TV, On Demand and recorded content from their DVR on mobile devices
- Advanced Calling Features – including caller ID on TV screen, call forwarding, remote calling, voicemail, call blocking and do not disturb options
Altice One is currently in customer trials, and will be launched in select areas of Long Island, New York first, beginning next week. Altice USA will roll it out throughout its entire footprint in the coming months, according to the company.