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Dec 09, 2019


Amino and 24i to evolve Youfone’s TV offering

Fully integrated, end to end video solution enables the Dutch mobile network operator to provide a truly next-generation TV service

Cambridge 9 December 2019 - Amino, the global media and entertainment technology solutions provider and sister-company 24i, the innovator of next- generation video experiences, today announced that they have entered into an agreement with the Dutch MVNO Youfone to provide a fully-integrated, end-to-end video solution to refresh and expand its TV and OTT offering.

The TV challenger launched its TV services in 2017 and will now rely on 24i and Amino to create a next-generation viewing experience to meet and exceed the increasing demands of modern TV consumers. Youfone will deploy an end-to-end solution that combines Amino’s IPTV and TV Everywhere expertise with 24i’s leadership in video experience design
and application development. 24i became an Amino group company in July 2019 and Youfone is the first joint-solution deployment to be announced. The Amino and 24i solution is expected to be live at Youfone in Q2 2020.

The solution will combine 24i’s Smart Video and Smart Apps video experience products as well as Amino’s Amigo 7x Android STBs running on AminoOS, all managed through ENGAGE, Amino’s cloud-based service management platform. The deployment will provide transcoding,
middleware, CDN and front-end applications for Android, iOS phones and tablets enabling live TV, catchup, restart and nPVR of approximately 100 channels.

“We are on a mission to challenge how TV services in the Netherlands are delivered by providing our customers with the most extensive and flexible viewing options combined with state-of-the-art features,” said Valentijn Rensing, CEO of Youfone. “We are excited to be the first company to benefit from the combined offering from Amino and 24i which enables us to
take our TV and video experiences to the next level.”

“The expertise of the 24i and Amino teams combined with our joint technology solutions gives Youfone the competitive advantage of being able to adapt, grow and manage their TV and video services from one, dynamic platform,” Donald McGarva, Amino Group Chief Executive Officer. “Today’s announcement also marks a major milestone for the Amino and 24i teams as we celebrate our first joint customer deployment since the two companies came together earlier this year.”

NOTE: Amino and 24i will be exhibiting at CES, Las Vegas from January 7-10. To arrange a meeting please contact the companies HERE.

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Nov 18, 2019


Keeping your streaming service alive on older SmartTVs

By Matthijs Langendijk Lead Developer, SmartTV Lead & JavaScript at 24i.

By About two weeks ago, Netflix announced it would be dropping support for their applications on older Samsung and Vizio SmartTVs. People with a Samsung from 2010 or 2011, will no longer be able to stream Netflix on their device. Vizio devices go even further, and will already see devices from as late as 2014 no longer have a Netflix app.

The outcry following Netflix’s announcement, as well as the lack in platform-years that are supported by Disney+, has led many people to question whether and for how long they can still use their own TV to watch their favourite Netflix or Disney+ series. And I don’t blame them.

So how can we make sure that your apps continue to run on older televisions? How can we make sure that your users can continue to use your apps as they please? That’s what this blog is all about: supporting old televisions.

Keep it simple

Let’s face it. Old televisions are, well, old. Maybe you still remember that time when you had Internet Explorer 6 on your Windows computer. It worked, but it was very quirky and had issues sometimes. And then we haven’t even talked about programming for it yet. Well, that is sort of what you are dealing with when you think of the oldest SmartTVs out there.

Making sure your application still continues to run fine on these old devices, is in some way very easy. Users are already expecting a relatively slow experience. So all you have to do is the following: keep it simple. Forget fancy animations, forget autoplay when hovering over an item in your carousel. Just simply make sure your content can be watched.

By making your application as simple as possible, there is no need for developers to try and work their way around all the device limitations there are. You won’t be able to implement fancy animations anyways, because the device simply won’t be able to handle it. Keeping it to a few simple carousels, and correct placement of the most important series, is all you need.

The elephant in the room: Video and DRM

Although not confirmed by Netflix, it is presumed they cancelled support because of DRM. These old devices don’t have support for the more relevant DRM types like PlayReady or Widevine. To me, it is of no surprise that these devices were dropped by them at this point. From 2012, we do see support from Samsung for PlayReady. Since this still relevant today on most SmartTV platforms, they can continue to support 2012 and higher devices. As PlayReady is still widely used today to support newer SmartTV platforms, as well as Internet Explorer for example, I don’t see many issues in the foreseeable future. PlayReady is still the way to go to continue to support most platforms.

The same issue applies for types of video streaming out there. You may think that MPEG-Dash is widely adopted on SmartTVs now, but in reality, a lot of devices haven’t received support for it yet. And because updates rarely make their way to older televisions, let alone to those from 2012, you’re looking to support different types of video streaming. Smooth Streaming in general is the way to go to support both Live and VOD.

Continuing to support video for older televisions is, as you can tell, relatively easy. You just have to know the combinations of video types and DRM that are supported by the devices.

Still being able to innovate

Just because you still want to support older televisions, doesn’t mean you have to stop improving on your application. You can still for example experiment with different ways of placing your carousels, order of the content that is shown or, for example, switching from landscape to portrait images. Keeping your UI changes small for older SmartTVs, is however very important. These devices have, as explained, a lot of limitations.

But what about the newer devices? The devices that do support sweet animations, the devices that do have support for MPEG-Dash or different types of DRM? Very simple: tailor your application to execute differently depending on the device that opens it. When the application opens, you want to detect which type of TV it is. Is it a Samsung from 2012? Then serve your application without animations, and with the usage of Smooth Streaming and PlayReady. Is it an LG from 2019, then serve your application with animations, autoplay of video, MPEG-Dash and Widevine.

You can of-course try any other innovative features on newer devices. Just as you would do A-B testing for specific users and specific features, you can only use specific features (like autoplay of video) on devices that properly support them. It does take time and effort getting to know all the possibilities and limitations of all the devices out there. But once you do know all the options, or find a specialist that does (wink ;)), you can serve the best possible experience to your users.


Netflix removing support for devices from 2010 and 2011 due to technical limitations is kind of expected. Support for later devices will likely stay for a longer time, due to the technical support of Playready DRM. By understanding the possibilities and limitations of older SmartTVs, it is very much possible to continue to support them. It might take time and effort to do so, but your users will be very happy they don’t have to trade in their trusty TV after only a few years of use.

If I’ve sparked your interest in making sure your applications continue to work on old SmartTVs, perhaps you might want to learn more. You can reach me personally through Linkedin, or learn more about what we can do for you at 24i through our website.

Also published on Medium

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