DiscVision showcases novel white label Alexa Voice Service integration to control STB system at CES

Paderborn, Germany, January 3rd, 2018.

DiscVision GmbH, a company based in Paderborn, Germany presents at the CES 2018 a digital TV receiver (set-top-box, STB) that integrates the Alexa Voice Service (AVS). With Alexa, customers can access hands-free Alexa voice capabilities simply through their set top box. The voice interface is implemented by a hands-free device that integrates a microphone array as well as a wake word engine and communicates via Bluetooth to the STB system. This hands-free device was developed in cooperation with 4mod Technology which is a French company that concentrates on remote control units and other TV controlling devices. The device can be used as voice input device for Alexa Voice Services.

The solution that is presented at CES 2018 in Las Vegas from January 9th to 12th is based on a project that is currently done by DiscVisoin and Altech UEC. Altech is a STB manufacturer based in South Africa that is worldwide active and has a large track record in high-end technological solutions used by leading network operators ranging from traditional Pay-TV operators to telecommunication and cellular network operators providing triple play or quad play services to its customers.

Besides the AVS integration, DiscVision has developed a novel skill based on the Video Skill Kit provided by Amazon. This skill allows for a full control of the TV experience including time-shift control, recording of TV events as well as replay of content from the HDD and other functionalities. The skill can be easily controlled by the hands-free microphone array as well as by an optional push-to-talk remote control.

Besides this skill based on VSK, DiscVision also provides a white label custom skill that offers even more functionality than the VSK implementation. For both of these skills DiscVision provides the skill hosting as well as IoT-cloud functionality and an SDK for the integration in other STB systems that can work on any middleware and use Linux or embedded operating systems.

The overall solution that is presented by DiscVision is a white label system for AVS integration into STB systems as well as for the skill that controls the STB itself. DiscVision provides such integration services and tools for STB manufacturers but can also provide production-ready systems that integrate AVS and can be controlled via suitable skills. DiscVision also provides the overall IoT services that are necessary to control the STB from the cloud. The integration of these services into the STB is done using powerful SDKs that are provided by DiscVision for the self-integration of AVS into the STB as well as for the skill self-integration. Thus, using the platform and SDKs that DiscVision provides, any STB can easily be turned into a STB that supports Alexa Voice Service and can be controlled itself via Alexa Voice Service (AVS).

The system that is shown at CES uses the skill cards that are provided in several skills and in this way give voice feedback as well as visual feedback to the end user. The STB can be controlled by a push-to-talk remote control as well as by the hands-free microphone array. This microphone array is a novel voice input device and cannot only be used in STB applications but also for high end speakers as it separates the voice input and sound output that is up to now concentrated in one device. Therefore it is a novel extension of the overall set of devices that integrate Alexa Voice Service today.

The presentation at CES will be at the booth of 4mod as well as on the booth of Amazon. For a meeting arrangement please contact Dr. Reinhard Lüling at rlueling@discvision.com who will be on site at CES 2018.

About DiscVision GmbH

DiscVision GmbH is a design house based in Germany that is specialized in software integration for digital TV receivers. DiscVision is active in this market segment since 2002 and has provided its services and technologies to a large number of partners worldwide. The company has developed a large skill set for all aspects of digital TV receivers ranging from the firmware provided by major chip set vendors such as Broadcom, MStar, HiSilicon and many others to the DiscVision middleware running on Linux OS as well as Android OS platforms. DiscVision has worked in major projects for network operators but also for various network operators. DiscVision is embedded in a network of R&D bodies and in this way has access to new know how and personal resources to scale the operation in a dynamic way.