Tieto and Sofia Digital to offer TV services for consumers

Tieto and Sofia Digital Oy have made an agreement to offer new TV services and solutions in the Nordic countries using the Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV (HbbTV) standard. Jointly developed by the television industry and extensively supported by device manufacturers, HbbTV is a collection of technologies which enables the use of both TV broadcasts and internet based services offered directly on the TV screen. HbbTV-based services are available to consumers using televisions and set-top boxes that are connected to the internet.

The agreement between Tieto and Sofia Digital covers the marketing, sales and delivery of HbbTV solutions to television and telecommunication companies, as well as the provision of support services. Sofia Digital has long-term expertise in television applications and its Sofia Backstage HbbTV product will be used as a basis for developing new services that leverage Tieto’s strong position as an expert in the media and TV industries.

“With the added diversity of media and TV services we want be on the forefront of digital service development and be able to offer these services to our customers. Sofia Digital’s Backstage HbbTV platform and the company’s expertise enable us to offer our customers in the Media and Broadcasting area comprehensive planning, implementation, maintenance and consulting services,” says Matti Vesala, Vice President, Media, Telecom and Energy at Tieto Finland.

“We take a positive view of the growing interest shown by traditional IT companies in new TV services and HbbTV technology,” says Ari Pöyhtäri, CEO of Sofia Digital.

“Our agreement with Tieto will enable us to develop, in conjunction with current and new customers, extensive service packages where a variety of devices connected to the internet are used as part of viewers’ overall media experience,” he says.

By the end of 2012, approximately 100,000 HbbTV-ready smart TVs will have been sold in Finland. As smart TVs become more and more common, it will become possible to offer consumers various functional and entertainment services both via the TV network and the internet. These include storage services for TV programmes, video on demand (VoD) services, interactive TV programmes and interactive advertising, personalization of services, voting, games and online community services. HbbTV also offers new features for basic TV programming services, such as updating teletext technology to HTML-based technology and more extensive digital programme guides.

New HbbTV services will be tested in Finland in research projects such as Nelme, which is being led by the Finnish Broadcasting Company (Yle) and financed by Tekes (the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation). Tieto and Sofia Digital are also involved in this project.

For further information, please contact:
Matti Vesala, Vice President, Media, Telecom and Energy at Tieto, tel. +358503760242, matti.vesala(a)tieto.com
Ari Pöyhtäri, CEO, Sofia Digital Oy, tel. +358 50 3855533, ari.poyhtari(a)sofiadigital.com

Tieto is the leading IT service company in Northern Europe providing IT and product engineering services. Our highly specialized IT solutions and services, complemented by a strong technology platform, create tangible business benefits for our local and global customers. As a trusted transformation partner, we work closely with our customers and understand their unique needs. With approximately 18 000 experts, we aim to become a leading service integrator creating the best service experience in IT. www.tieto.com

Sofia Digital is an internationally recognized provider of interactive video and TV solutions, bringing new value-adding solutions and services to various TV terminals utilizing new digital technologies. Sofia Digital focuses on open, standard interactive platforms, such as IPTV, HbbTV, and digital signage. Since its foundation in 2000, Sofia Digital has served internationally recognized operators, broadcasters and device manufacturers in more than 25 countries. Sofia Digital provides TV broadcasting software solutions for mobile, cable, terrestial and satellite networks based on software products developed in-house. Sofia Digital offers its customers solutions for creating and delivering digital TV content and interactive services on set-top boxes and mobile phones. Customers include broadcasters, TV network operators and receiver manufacturers. http://www.sofiadigital.com

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