GS Group enters the interactive TV market: the first IPTV set-top box under the General Satellite brand

GS Group introduced its first IPTV set-top box under the General Satellite brand – GS H5912. The new digital device with IP television support, which is fully designed and produced in Russia, gives users access to high-resolution digital TV channels and offers a wide range of popular services and functions. The STB can be employed by Internet service providers, OTT operators and content aggregators.

The GS H5912 IPTV set-top box is designed to provide TV broadcasting over IP-based networks (IPTV/OTT) and can also be employed by Internet service providers, OTT operators or content aggregators depending on the software used. New device under the General Satellite brand is focused on IPTV providers first but will be also available for OTT service providers in near future.

Today, IPTV is the youngest, fastest growing and most profitable in terms of ARPU (average revenue per user) segment in the Pay TV market. As of early 2016, it occupied 12% of the whole Pay TV subscriber base in Russia, which is roughly 5 million subscribers. Around 150 thousand IPTV set-top boxes are produced in Russia annually while 1.4 million devices are imported. OTT technology is another possible model of interactive TV. Innovative mechanisms for content security, its high quality and low cost of transmission across network, along with a wide range of services make OTT one of the most promising technologies in terms of convenience and accessibility. According to TMT Consulting, the Russian market of legal online video services operating under the OTT model grew by 32% in 2015 amounting to 3.4 billion Rubles. GS Group sees great potential for developing this segment and intends to evolve manufacture of products for it.

“We follow global trends and strive to provide access to the high-quality digital TV services to an increasing number of users across the country. We’ve analyzed the rapid spread of OTT technologies and have discovered great prospects in its development in Russia. Launch of the GS H5912 device marked GS Group entering the new market. Mastering the IPTV segment, while still new to us, is another step toward enhancing GS Group’s leading position in the field of digital television in Russia,” – Andrew Bezrukov, Director for Strategic Marketing, GS Group.

GS H5192 was developed within only six months by experts of the GS Labs center (a part of GS Group). In the short term, the set-top box has been put into production and today is ready for large-scale manufacture at Technopolis GS facilities (the investment project by GS Group in the Kaliningrad region, Russia). GS H5912 contains a complete set of popular functions: it provides access to high-definition digital TV channels, supports streaming video and VoD (video-on-demand) service. The specially adapted version of Stingray TV software platform by GS Labs has a user-friendly graphic interface and offers subscribers a TV content recording feature (PVR). The equipment supports all modern audio and video formats, subtitles and image settings, audio track choice and work with playlists. In addition, users can benefit from built-in applications: electronic program guide (EPG), “Reminders”, “Timers” and “Games”. The STB is powered by the MStar K2 processor. Its RAM and flash memory is 256 MB. The device is equipped with L/R audio connector, HDMI and CVBS ports. It supports USB 2.0, Ethernet 100 Base-T interfaces for connecting to network and IR interface for connecting an external IR-receiver. GS H5912 can be connected both to the latest models of TV sets via HDMI and to previous models via RCA interface. The STB supports software updates, which allows operators offering new services on a regular basis with no need to replace equipment. GS H5912 has an elegant design, is compact in size and has low power consumption. The first batch of the new TV set-top box is already available from GS Group’s strategic partner, a Russian software development company and integrator, “Cifra”.