STB Middleware (Evo Client

By: Espial  09-12-2011
Keywords: Video, service providers, Electronic Program Guide


High Performance STB Middleware 

The Espial Evo Client enables service providers to deliver user experiences that delight and captivate subscribers on a wide range of set-top-box platforms. Using a rich, standards-based authoring environment, operators can customize, brand and extend their services to deliver a differentiated experience unified across new and old devices. The open interfaces and well documented development toolkit provide full user interface and application portability and free the operator from set-top-box and ecosystem vendor lock-in. The Espial Evo Client adapts to a variety of networking requirements and can be deployed in broadcast, IPTV, OTT and Hybrid configurations.

It offers an advanced suite of TV applications: Electronic Program Guide (EPG); High-Definition User Interface; Video on Demand (VOD); Pay-Per-View (PPV); Portal; Settings; Digital Video Recorder (DVR) and Whole-Home DVR; Caller ID and a WebKit Browser. It is available in several configurations tailored to power a wide range of STB capabilities—from legacy platforms to home gateways. The Espial Evo Client provides a complete solution for a unified brand experience in the connected home.

The Espial Evo Client Advantage

Compelling User Experience

  • Highly responsive user interface
  • Data-driven application architecture for quick, responsive user interaction
  • Excellent TV viewing experience on a wide range of devices

Extensible and Customizable

  • Standards-based HTML & JavaScript enabling continuous, sustainable service innovation
  • Ability to create rich, animated user experiences
  • Ability to rapidly add applications and services

Open and Modular

  • Open environment for rapid integration with VOD, CA/DRM and back-office systems
  • Seamless porting to other STBs without modification to the UX

Converged Media

  • Bring linear TV, on-demand, user-generated and OTT content together in a single UX

Unified Brand Experience

  • Consistency across multiple generations of devices
  • Leverage emerging gateway functionality to expand the operator brand throughout the connected home

Network Agnostic

  • ATSC/DVB-x, IPTV, OTT, and hybrid configurations
  • Single platform to address evolving network configurations
  • Decouples service innovation from network evolution

TV Apps

Espial Evo Client - Service Enablement

Electronic Program Guide

  • Rapid response time on channel tune, fast scroll program navigation and UI presentation flexibility (grid, zap, single channel).
  • Supports PPV reminders, filters, search, favorites and channel re-ordering.
  • Data-driven model (data caching and indexing) results in responsive guide navigation and instantaneous searches.
  • EPG data compression minimizes footprint on the STB, allowing more room for richer data or other applications.
  • Support for popup program information, language customization and EPG programs one minute in length.
  • Configurable multiple favorites management, reminder management, guide view filters, and searching and sorting of guide data.
  • Fully customizable EPG design and look and feel - from a list-based single channel program presentation view, to a ‘now and next’ Zap guide, to a multi-day grid guide.
  • Includes sample application user interfaces to shortcut the UI design cycle.


  • Open search, parental locks, scaled, full-screen movie preview, purchase transaction.
  • Support for full movie playback trick modes - play, pause, stop, resume, rewind, fast forward.
  • Support for movie preview (scaled or full screen).
  • Support for a variety of VOD business models including subscription and pay-as-you-go.
  • Optimized for user performance and scalability - linear scaling to millions of subscribers.
  • Supports multiple “storefronts” allowing branded portals to content catalogs from different content providers.
  • Fully customizable, template driven VOD catalog user interface.
  • Reference VOD portal can be used out-of-the-box or as a starting point for a custom design.
  • Reference integrations with leading VOD platforms and management systems.


  • Full transactional support for operators to retain complete operational control
  • PPV Channel filters to make selection easy for subscribers
  • Search by name and genre including PPV events
  • Purchase PPV events
  • Cancel PPV purchases
  • Manage password PIN including setting, validation, and timed lock-out
  • Retrieve PPV program info, including title, description, rating, advisory, start time, duration, and category
  • Fully customizable look and feel

Timeshift TV

  • Timshift TV allows users to:
    • Restart a program if they arrive a few minutes late
    • Watch a show hours or days after the broadcast
  • TimeShift-Restart allows subscribers to View a program in progress from the beginning during an operator-defined portion of the program window.
  • TimeShift-Delayed allows subscribers to view a program from the beginning after its broadcast window for an operator-defined period of time. It frees the subscriber from the broadcast schedule and motivates content consumption. Configurable trick lay behavior and availability windows allow alignment with varying content restrictions.

TV Browser

  • TV Browser is based on WebKit CE and supports rich video features, leading compliance to industry standards such as HTML5 and WebGL, and best-in-class embedded browser performance.
  • With advanced features for TV displays and remote-control navigation, TV Browser delivers a rich converged media experience that keeps subscribers fully engaged.

Digital Video Recorder (DVR)

Schedule Auto-Records

  • Flexible recurring options including once, daily, weekly and weekday
  • Configure advance start times and/or extended end times (e.g., start recording 1 min before scheduled time)
  • Manually configurable start time and end time for each auto-recording
  • View and manage schedule

Recording Lifetime

  • Default recording lifetime is ‘keep until subscriber deletes’
  • Customize recording lifetime options and clean-up routines

Playback Recordings

  • Watch and pause live TV or a recorded program while recording a 2nd channel
  • Trick mode playback support (rewind, fast forward, slow motion, jump-to)
  • View, manage and select to play from the “recorded programs” list.
  • Bookmarking support (i.e., resume playback from last exit)

Integration with EPG

  • Ability to select programs to record from the EPG
  • Ability to visually identify scheduled recordings in the EPG
  • Full integration with parental controls including rating and advisory blocks

Conflict resolution management

  • Tuner and playback conflicts during scheduling recordings
  • Resource conflicts (e.g., disk space availability, hardware failure)

Caller ID

  • Message Waiting indicators
  • Caller ID
  • Caller ID log
  • Call Services Settings
  • Ready for integration with popular signaling platforms

Whole Home DVR

  • The Espial Evo Client provides a whole-home DVR application which allows subscribers to record and play back programs from any STB in the home (requires one DVR STB).
  • Parental control is available on each STB. Parents can record a show in one room and watch it from another using a parental control PIN. A child in another room is unable to view the show without the PIN.
  • Subscribers only need to deploy a single DVR set-top box per home.
  • Users can schedule, list, play, delete recordings from all STBs.
  • Conflict resolution is handled across all STBs.
  • All STBs reflect updates in real-time.
  • Delivers an identical user experience on all STBs.

Walled-Garden and Third Party Games and Applications

  • The portal application is built for controlled content environments. It is easily configured to meet a variety of on-demand application requirements – walled garden, casual games, pop-up messages, portal services, and MDU services.
  • It allows third-party development of new services for deployment without risking platform stability. The following capabilities are included: A comprehensive set of supported tags and attributes, and scripting functions following popular HTML conventions so content is highly portable.
  • Additional TV optimized functions to simplify adding responsive animations, transitions and effects.
    • Customized development of tailored look and feel.
    • Configurable triggers for launching the portal on user remote key event or other system event, including signal from broadcast stream.
    • Small footprint and maximum application performance.
    • Interactive, link-based for extensive navigation options.
    • JavaScript support enhanced with transitions/animations features that allow creation of complex animations. Typically used for smooth navigation and for game development.


Espial Evo Client - Product Configurations

This package enables advanced UX and video capabilities on the latest STB platforms with a WebKit-based presentation engine that has industry leading performance and standards compliance. With support for HTML5, SVG, Adobe Flash 10.1 and emerging capabilities like WebGL, it opens up endless possibilities to entice and delight consumers. It also offers advanced data management capabilities for core TV applications. This enables instant data access, browsing and search, allowing operators to deliver a consistent, unified brand experience on all user devices.

Media Hub
This package extends the standard edition with additional server features to power the connected home. Supporting applications such as whole-home DVR and media sharing, it is the beach-head for a unified brand, converged media experience in the home. It supports transcoding, link encryption and in-home IP video streaming so operator’s can extend their brand experience to any connected device in the home. It is available in both headed or headless configurations.

This package incorporates the best elements into a small footprint, high performance solution ideal for resource constrained Set-tops (zapper boxes, legacy and mainstream platforms). It delivers compelling graphics with core TV and interactive applications. A TV-optimized subset of HTML and Javascript combined with advanced UI pre-compilation delivers a superior UX for devices with limited capabilities.

Tech Specs

Espial Evo Client - Technical Specifications

Client System Specifications

  • Management of network, events, memory, storage, graphics, video, I/O, fonts, clock and image decoding.
  • Management of STB, TV channel tuning, audio/video streaming, and volume.
  • Data-driven architecture manages heavy data processing, caching, memory, search indexing and network updates.
  • Internationalization support.

Client Graphics and User Interface

  • Compiled and portable standards-based HTML and JavaScript provide instantaneous UI rendering.
  • Support for HD (16:9) resolution.
  • Alpha-blending of video, text and images.
  • Enchant Reference UX available (SD & HD).

Minimum System Requirements

  • Standard: 250mhz CPU, 64MB RAM, 32MB ROM
  • Light: 75mhz CPU, 2MB RAM, 2MB ROM

Open Framework, Tookits and APIs

  • Portability Layer—enables easy porting to new platforms.
  • Fully customizable user interface supports brand and user experience.
  • Modular architecture - develop applications and user interfaces based on the performance capabilities of  the device.

TV Browser

  • WebKit-based core engine.
  • W3C Standards compliant - HTML 5, CSS3, AJAX, SVG, CE-HTML, DOM2, JavaScript 1.5.
  • HbbTV, Open IPTV Forum, DVB, MHP, OCAP, ARIB BML and OSGi.
  • 2D (remote control) navigation for TV.
  • Open SDK and API - extend scripting to expose device capabilities to 3rd party content developers.
  • International - support double-byte characters (Chinese, Japanese, Korean) and right-to-left characters (Arabic, Hebrew), as well as an input method framework.

Internet Media Player

  • Apple HLS: Http Live Streaming support for VoD and Live, subtitle support, H.264 video and AAC audio codecs.
  • Microsoft Smooth Streaming: Microsoft IIS Smooth Streaming Transport Protocol v.1.0 for VoD (subset), H.264 video and AAC audio codecs.
  • MPEG DASH: ISO/IEC FCD 23001-6, STD Version 2.1c2 M2TS Constrained Profile with VoD support and subtitles, H.264 video and AAC audio codecs.
  • Supported DRM formats: Microsoft PlayReady, Apple native DRM.

Keywords: Electronic Program Guide, service providers, Video,

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