Airtel renews long-term partnership with Synamedia to enhance digital TV offerings

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MUMBAI: Bharti Airtel’s direct to home (DTH) arm Airtel Digital TV has renewed its long-term partnership with video software provider Synamedia. The new multi-year contract builds on Airtel’s 12-year partnership with Synamedia and the two firms’ shared focus on driving digital TV innovation while protecting content and revenues.

This extended contract will see Synamedia working closely with Airtel on enhancements to its multi-lingual EPG and additional features and functionality that will boost the overall experience for Airtel’s video customers.

Airtel will continue to use Synamedia VideoGuard to safeguard its investments in live sports, news, entertainment and other premium content delivered to its 16 million DTH subscribers, and manage and monetise premium experiences on set-top boxes (STBs) using Synamedia’s Foundation platform. This allows Airtel to roll out new premium services to customers without compromising on security.

Bharti Airtel CEO – DTH business Sunil Taldar said, “Synamedia continues to be a strategic, long-term partner for Airtel. Our two companies share a common vision centered on innovation designed to boost customer experience and revenues while also protecting content investments. Synamedia’s engineering teams are second to none, meaning that we can always rely on them to deliver superior and robust solutions.”

Synamedia SVP and GM Asia Pacific Sue Couto added, “Airtel is an acknowledged leader in the fast-growing Indian pay-TV market and we look forward to continuing our long-term partnership with Airtel, as we collaborate on technologies and solutions that will help to shape the future of TV in India and beyond.”

Meanwhile, Synamedia and Astro Malaysia Holdings (Astro) have entered into a strategic partnership to deliver a seamless premium video experience to Astro subscribers across all devices. Synamedia is the largest independent video software provider while Astro is Malaysia’s leading content and consumer company.

Synamedia’s cloud-based Infinite video platform will enable Astro to secure, distribute and monetize premium video experiences across all screens while deepening viewer engagement. Importantly, Infinite will deliver the same high-quality viewing experience on one-way and two-way connected devices, and Astro customers will continue to have access to all stored and scheduled recordings on the new platform.

The partnership has resulted in a major improvement to the user experience (UX) across the existing DVR and Astro Go video streaming services. Astro customers can enjoy the next generation UI/UX which includes an intuitive seamless experience; a uniform look-and-feel across multi-devices; enhanced search; enriched metadata; and instantaneous playback using Synamedia’s adaptive bit rate streaming.

Customers can upgrade to new hybrid DTH and IP enabled 4K UHD set-top boxes with the new UX and cloud-based recording (cDVR) features. This allows users to access the recordings on their DVR at home as well as using the Astro Go app.

Astro CEO Henry Tan said, “The adoption of a seamless user interface and the deployment of the new 4K UHD set-top-boxes with cloud-based recording will improve the customer experience substantially. We believe this improvement will spur growth opportunities in our SVOD, TVOD and OTT services.”

Synamedia CEO Yves Padrines said, “We understand how important it is for Astro to embrace the cloud while protecting its existing hybrid broadcast technology investments and ensuring the customer experience remains second to none. Our experienced systems integration team is doing just that – delivering a smooth transition path that will allow Astro to embrace the myriad new opportunities that Infinite offers.”

Using Synamedia’s Infinite platform, Astro customers will enjoy a personalized UX incorporating multi-screen recommendations, multi-lingual search and discovery capability across 40,000 hours of content. This will make it easy to find relevant content quickly, enhancing engagement, and opening up new revenue opportunities for premium content. The new look and feel will be introduced in the following months.


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