It doesn’t take long for the French to consider an Android-driven TV décodeur

Articles (French language – Langue Française)

Free: la prochaine Freebox sous ‘Android TV’ | ZDNet.fr

La prochaine Freebox tournera-t-elle sous Android? | DegroupNews

My Comments

Freebox Révolution - courtesy Iliad.fr

Another Freebox to be the first Android set-top box

Previously, when Google premiered their Android Wear and Android L operating systems, they also premiered the Android TV operating system which was to be positioned for TV sets and video peripherals. Philips and a few other firms have showcased some TVs that run on this operating system, which can gain access to the Google Play Store, at IFA 2014.

But it didn’t take long for Free, one of France’s main telcos who are trading in a highly competitive marketplace, to put forward a Freebox décodeur (set-top box) that runs on this operating system. They are working on what the next iteration of the Freebox platform, especially when they want a second-tier model to replace the Freebox Crystal platform. They are also facing the prospect of seeing “n-box” devices that are highly capable being tendered by the competitors.

Personally, I would see certain problems appearing before Free’s eyes when it comes to supporting Google’s Play Store. Here, they would heave to support carrier billing with their accounting infrastructure so as to allow customers to buy apps and games for the Freebox décodeur through the Google app store yet have them charged against their Free.fr account. It is something that any carriers would need to support if they want to maintain the same level of integration.

On the other hand, there is the likelihood of it appealing to triple-play operators who don’t necessarily want to reinvent the wheel when it comes to working on the software for a customer-equipment platform. This may only target the set-top box (décodeur) like the Freebox Player but wouldn’t be able to target the gateway device like the Freebox Server. But with software already written for functionality like social media, video conferencing and the like, a company like Free could have people on board with these services with minimal hardware.

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