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RDK4 Now Available, Humax Unveils New RDK Voice Assistant Box And Gateway

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By Stuart Thomson

Open source video and broadband platform body RDK Management has made the latest version of the platform – RDK4 – available for video service providers worldwide.

Unveiled fully at the 2020 RDK Virtual Euro Summit, RDK4 provides a carrier-grade software stack designed for deploying apps and managing core technical functions of set-top boxes, according to the RDK.

Separately, also at the RDK Euro Summit, set-top maker Humax has launched a new Voice Assistant set-top box and Wi-Fi 6E gateway.

RDK4 is said to make it easier for companies to develop and deploy TV applications, independent of their RDK expertise or experience. It provides standardised APIs that enable operators to integrate new user interfaces, apps and app stores, using the Lightning app development language and open source SDK.

Lightning is used to create lightweight yet high-performance apps and UIs, optimized for use with the Firebolt application platform and RDK’s WPE WebKit browser. Firebolt exposes common interfaces such as video playback, DRM, graphics, and video security enabling each app provider to integrate their app to the RDK in a consistent way, according to the organisation.

Beneath RDK Firebolt is an architectural communication layer, or modular microservices layer, called Thunder, used for app life cycle management that facilitates communication between Firebolt and RDK core components.

Although RDK4 is designed for use with Lightning, it also supports the use of HTML5 Web apps and native streaming video apps integrated through Firebolt, according to RDK.

RDK4 is also available as part of the RDK Video Accelerator Programme which provides development and deployment-ready set-top boxes from leading OEMs and chipset suppliers including CommScope, Humax, KAON, Skyworth, Broadcom and Amlogic. These set-top boxes come pre-integrated with the Metrological App Store and RDK4 so operators can instantly see the performance of apps and the new app platform.

“RDK4 is the culmination of joint development between the RDK community and leading app companies. Our newest software release makes it even easier to develop, test, and deploy video apps across set-top boxes. And the new modular plug-in architecture makes it simpler to implement specific technical features or services, based on the individual needs of service providers,” said president of RDK, Steve Heeb.

“The combination of the Firebolt App Platform, Lightning App Language, and Thunder modular approach gives service providers even greater versatility, and we are actively working with leading app companies to pre-integrate with RDK4. In addition, as part of the RDK Video Accelerator program, RDK4 is available on a portfolio of set-top boxes that are pre-loaded with the Metrological App Store and enable operators to develop new Lightning-based UX’s and apps. Ultimately, RDK4 continues to enable service providers to benefit from common community development, while retaining control of their apps, device data, and customer experience.”

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