ANDROID4TV at a Glance

iWedia's ANDROID4TV arises as an enabler of the expansion of the Android operating system to TV devices with an aim to support Digital TV (DTV) functionalities natively inside Android.

By publishing its ANDROID4TV technology, iWedia aims at standardizing the integration of DTV within Android and at building a community which will:

  • Help Android application developers develop DTV applications by using the regular Android framework and its existing authoring tools (e.g. Eclipse IDE)
  • Provide the APIs and functionalities of a complete hybrid STB at Java level when integrated with a DTV middleware on top of a SoC vendor's SDK
  • Enable operators to quickly introduce new technologies and services to their subscribers by combining both Android (applications, widgets) and DTV (IPTV, OTT TV, broadcast TV, live TV, VoD, catch up) experiences

ANDROID4TV System Overview

From the top down, the complete system is made of:

  • The ANDROID4TV TV app, an Android application that utilizes the Android4TV framework to support TV features;
  • The ANDROID4TV framework, a set of Java classes extending the Android application framework with missing TV functionalities in TV Input framework;
  • The TIF service , a set of Java classes defined by Google for TV functionalities implementation;
  • The Android application framework, the default application framework available with Android;
  • The DTV middleware, an implementation of DTV standards and low level TV functionality;
  • The Android system libraries, the default system libraries that come along with the Android runtime;
  • The Linux kernel and the associated device drivers;
  • The underlying hardware platform.

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The ANDROID4TV Application

The ANDROID4TV application is a "regular" Android application accessing TV related functions by utilizing the ANDROID4TV framework.

  • It is developed in Java using the official Android SDK
  • It is developed using an existing Android development environment (i.e. Eclipse IDE) and existing development tools (i.e. Android Debug Bridge)
  • It is deployed as any other Android application as an .apk file
  • It is configured as the default launcher in charge of starting the other installed applications
a ch stb application

The ANDROID4TV Framework


The ANDROID4TV framework encapsulates full set of TV features in Java classes, interfaces and enumerations providing a standardized Java API for development of Android TV applications. Namely, ANDROID4TV framework is a Java abstraction of TV functionalities implemented by a TV middleware in a native system layer. It is implemented as an Android service which is started at boot time and exposed to end user applications through the Android binder IPC mechanism.

The following key TV features are available through the Android application framework (TIF):

  • Service installation/service zapping
  • Parental control
  • HDMI CEC control
  • Electronic Program Guide
  • Audio/Video and subtitles tracks management

The application framework proposed in ANDROID4TV is a complementary extension of Android application framework. There is no overllaping between the two frameworks or replacing of the default framework, meaning ANDROID4TV is an added value to what is present in Android by default.

The following key TV features are available through the ANDROID4TV framework:

IPTV/OTT features:

  • Network protocol stack supporting both unicast and multicast
  • FCC/RET mechanisms
  • Adaptive streaming
  • CAS
  • DRM

Broadcast TV features:

  • DVB-T/T2/C/S/S2 support through the management of physical tuners
  • Service installation (manual and automatic), service list management, multi country and multi language support
  • Events management (present/following, over 7 days)
  • Teletext and subtitles acquisition and rendering control
  • Timeshift buffer and PVR management
  • Conditional access management
android4tv framework

DTV Middleware

The DTV middleware implements standards related to digital television. It is responsible for handling data received from the TV hardware and providing an abstraction of underlying complex operations. It is coded in native C/C++ using Linux device drivers for the hardware management.

The ANDROID4TV solution utilizes the widely deployed and field proven Comedia middleware which supports versatile advanced features:

    • Live TV is supported over multicast IP and OTT thanks to the management of a "Virtual IP tuner"
    • The "Virtual IP tuner" is pre-integrated with the client SDKs of major Video Over IP Content Delivery Networks including:
      • VQE for Cisco Videoscape
      • FCC/RET – Fast Channel Change/transmission RETry – for Alcatel-Lucent Multiscreen Video Platform
    • The "Virtual IP tuner" is pre-integrated with the client stacks of major adaptive streaming protocols:
      • Microsoft Smooth Streaming
      • HLS
      • MPEG DASH
    • The "Virtual IP tuner" is pre-integrated with the client SDKs of major Conditional Access Systems (CAS):
      • Verimatrix
    • The "Virtual IP tuner" is pre-integrated with the client SDKs of major Digital Right Management (DRM) systems:
      • Verimatrix
      • Microsoft PlayReady
      • Google Widevine
  • Broadcast:
    • Live TV is supported over DVB thanks to the management of a physical tuner
    • Transmission: DVB-T/T2/C/S/S2
    • DVB SI engine compliant with EN 300 468, TS 101 211, TS 101 162 with event management engine
    • Countries diversity: European DVB countries
    • Zapper features : installation, service management, favorite list management, configuration, parental control and channel lock, multi country and multi language support
    • Subtitles engine compliant with EN 300 743 with support of SD and HD subtitles
    • Teletext engine compliant with EN 300 472
    • PVR engine with time shift buffer, instant and scheduled (manual, via EPG) recordings
DTV middleware

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