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Iwedia tests Asian waters

Posted: 01 Jul 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:software? audio-visual digital?

Iwedia Technologies, a provider of software solutions for audio-visual digital devices, has opened an office in China to promote itself to potential Asian customers in the hopes of solidifying its commitment to global expansion.

Randy Barakat, Iwedia's director of international business development, said that the company is particularly interested in Asia because of the substantial growth of digital TV in the region.

The France-based company's new sales and marketing office in Beijing will be responsible for marketing its middleware products, Comedia and Maestro, and delivering associated professional services in China, such as technical support, upgrades and development of customized interactive applications.

"In the ten years of our existence, we have actually deployed modules of our software with various companies, but this is the first time we are deploying our middleware as a complete package and turnkey solution for middleware applications in Asia," Barakat said.

Middleware combo

The Comedia Combo middleware, which was recently demonstrated at the Broadcast Asia 2005 show in Singapore, operates dual-network devices connected to both broadband (e.g. ADSL) and broadcast (e.g. terrestrial) networks. It can receive and handle MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 audio-visual content in single and high-definition formats.

The turnkey solution allows smooth navigation through content and services, regardless of the networks over which they are delivered. A combination of IP and satellite networks in a single software stack was demonstrated at Broadcast Asia 2005, although other combinations such as IP with cable or satellite with cable are also made possible by the solution. Iwedia also has a comprehensive Comedia software suite that has several DVB engines, integration kits for various conditional-access systems and plug-ins for various interactive systems, including OCAP, MHP, HTML/JavaScript and MHEG-5.

For management of device applications, Iwedia also offers the Maestro integrated development environment, where a set of built-in navigation-oriented applications can be either customized by the company or by the digital TV operators themselves according to their own requirements.

"Our product is flexible enough that engineers will be able to customize it according to the local culture, giving operators the opportunity to gain more subscribers and viewership," Barakat said.

Barakat feels that the company and its products have been well-received by customers at Broadcast Asia 2005. "In the last three months, we have made substantial inroads into certain markets with certain customers and we are currently in serious conversations about potentially deploying our products with them," he said.

Cooperation with trust

Barakat is unfazed about intellectual property issues in China. "There's always a concern about intellectual property, but if we have to be too concerned, none of us would be in the business. We just have to look forward to the opportunity and do our part to cooperate with customers based on trust in their ability to maintain confidentiality," he said.

Iwedia has yet to open offices in neighboring countries, "but we definitely have our eyes on all developing markets where we see potential growth," said Barakat. "We plan to open offices wherever it's required for us to give local support to our customers there."

In addition, the company also offers remote assistance from their head office in France for customers who license Maestro to develop their own interactive software.

- Selena Salang

Electronics Engineering Times- Asia

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