Technicolor launches voice-enabled CPE

Technicolor Connected Home is integrating Google’s far-field voice technology into its latest generation of set-top boxes (STBs) the company has announced. Previously, Google Assistant with far-field voice recognition was only available on devices such as soundbars and TVs. This new integration into Technicolor Connected Home STBs paves the way for consumers to more effectively manage smart speakers, home security automation and other IoT applications, enabling them to use voice to change channels, search for content and more.

Brian Jentz, VP of the video product unit of Technicolor Connected Home, said that the integration of far-field voice into his company’s STBs will support ease-of-use in the connected home and enable an “exciting evolution” in how consumers manage a growing range of services.

Brian Jentz, VP of video product unit, Technicolor Connected Home

“The new generation of smart, multi-featured set top boxes introduced by Technicolor Connected Home is increasingly seen as a natural, central point of technology and service integration. Operators around the world are expressing growing interest in incorporating far-field voice into their CPE, with major commercial deployment announcements expected this summer.”

Jentz points out that the addition of voice to Technicolor’s STBs means that they are evolving into intelligent home hubs for managing the complex array of digital services within the home. Joshua Stults, director for Android TV at Google, says that the STB is a trusted device for millions of customers. “The partnership with Technicolor Connected Home to provide hands-free voice capabilities with Google Assistant on STBs empowers consumers to search and interact with the content of their choice without the need of a remote,” he noted. 

Technicolor says it is commited to helping service providers deliver both seamless connectivity and premium entertainment experiences to their customers, while partnering with CCAPS innovators to bring more services to the home. It says the key to success will be creating a win-win by innovating the features and capabilities of CPE and delivering this in an affordable form factor.

Omnisperience’s View

The one thing that consumers do not need is another box to dust. Being able to have more features controlled from a single intelligent hub reduces the clutter and the cost to consumers and service providers. Voice control in the smart lifespace is an inevitable step forward, and we believe that households urgently desire increased integration so that they can mange all their objects and services in a seamless manner.

This announcement by Technicolor is another example of their ongoing partnership with Google, which has also seen them integrate Google Broadcast Stack software into their CPE. To date the company has deployed over 10 million of its Android STBs since 2016 in service providers such as Cogeco, Telus, Echostar, WideOpenWest, Bharti Airtel, Foxtel, Tata Sky, Altibox, Canal Digital, Etisalat and Dish Mexico. Global demand for Android STBs is forecast to increase year on year by almost 25% per year between 2021 and 2026 – suggesting strong ongoing demand. By innovating the services available via the STB, Technicolor keep their product relevant and aligned to customer demand as the smart lifespace continues to evolve.