The top world players have their applications developed in Brno

23. August 2013

Prague, August 22nd, 2013 - Brno based company Mautilus backed the launching of the OTT service icflix, the biggest virtual video-rental store in Arab countries Brno based, Mautilus’ developers ofmultiscreen applications for smart devices are participating on preparation, production and launch of the biggest virtual video-rental store in the Arab world.

The new platform is named icflix and works on similar principles as the well-known services Netflix and Hulu. Icflix brings films and series from Hollywood and Bollywood producers as well as from Arabic filmmakers (Jazwood) to all viewers from the Near East and North Africa regions. This new platform also helps to promote the original Arabic film production. Icflix is available for a wide range of smart devices such as television sets, tablets, and mobile phones. Soon it will be available also for gaming consoles.

The service icflix was officially launched on July 10th of this year, just after the start of the fasting month Ramadan, and it is available for the Arabic spectators for a monthly fee of $11.99. „The company Mautilus won our tender as the best supplier of the client OTT multiscreen solutions. In addition, Mautilus also had the biggest experience with developing applications for smart televisions. During the course of work Mautilus more than fulfilled our expectations,“ said Carlos Tibi, the executive director of the Dubai based company Icflix.

„The successful launch of the icflix service proved, that we are ready to work on projects with global reach. Our applications affect the lives of people not only in the Czech Republic and Europe, but newly also in the regions of Near East and North Africa (countries of MENA and GCC). We are proud of our international success,”pointed out Petr Mazanec, the technical director of Mautilus.

„The biggest advantages of this platform are its price effective and reliable technological solution, great design and especially the available selection of films, which is unrivalled in the Arab world,“ said Řehoř Vykoupil, the executive director of Mautilus. „One of the reasons why this client choose Mautilus was his good experience with the region of Middle Europe and especially with the technological competence of Czech developers,“ he added.

The icflix service is the first online video streaming (OTT) platform working in the Arab region and allowing access to films made in the Hollywood film studios, Bollywood and the so called Jazzwood (the production of Arab filmmakers). Icflix offers films, series as well as selection of children programs and it constantly widens its offer by contracting new film producers. The service is available for wide range of smart devices: home computers, smart televisions, mobile phones and tablets. Soon it will be available also for gaming consoles.

Speed and readiness assured the success of the project

„The customer requested development of multiscreen solution that would include applications for smart phones, televisions, tablets, web and gaming consoles. In the first phase of the project the decision was to prepare applications for Samsung devices. The reason behind this move was to ensure better promotion of the service as well as assuring the availability of the icflix service on the newly sold devices in the Arab region. This also included the distribution of vouchers (coupons with unique codes), which allowed the customer to use the service free of charge for one month. During the second phase of the project we developed applications for smart televisions LG NetCast, iPhones and iPads. Now we are considering expanding the project’s reach to other platforms, while we are still adding new features and functions into the already existing applications,“ described the project’s progress Petr Mazanec.

Given the distance between the client and the supplier, it was very important to establish the environment of trust right from the beginning. It was crucial to convince the client that he will receive the required solution (applications that are technologically equal to those offered by rivals such as Hulu, Netflix or HBO GO) and that he will receive it on time. „We presented the first demo during the joint meeting with representatives of the Icflix company in Prague within three days of the initial request. The second version, which included streaming video to smart television, was presented within two weeks to investors and company management in Dubai,“ Petr Mazanec described the way of winning the contract. „When the requirements of the project were clear, we at Mautilus prepared full-scale wire models for mobile devices and televisions, which served as a model for final graphic design. After that we started implementing the solution,“ he added.

Very important factor was the feedback from the client, which was discussed during the regular teleconferences. The basic tools used for this were bug tracking system Bugzilla and JIRA as well as the tool for online communication WebEx. „Here we were able to capitalize on our experiences from remote development of applications, which we gained mainly last year when 80 percent of our services were used by customers outside the Czech Republic,“ added Řehoř Vykoupil.

The end of the first phase was mostly about acceptance testing by Samsung. „Because these applications will be installed on the newly sold Samsung devices in the MENA region right in the company’s factories, Samsung was very diligent during the testing. As one good turn deserves another, we also found couple flaws in the firmware of smart televisions during the development,“ described the approval procedure Petr Mazanec.

Technical solution icflix
During the first and second phases of the project the following devices were selected:

  • Smart mobile phones Android and iOS
  • Smart televisions Samsung SmartTV and LG NetCast

Thanks to the experience of the supplier the code has been, from the beginning, prepared in such a way that it was possible to transfer it easily and with minimal cost to other platforms – currently it applies to LG NetCast and it future it should include Sony BRAVIA, Philips NetTV, set-top boxes, gaming consoles PlayStation and others. For mobile devices users we developed native applications and we are considering developing native application also for platform BlackBerry 10 (i.e. developing in C++ programming language and using Qt frameworks, which are very popular among Mautilus developers). As a DRM technology we opted for Widevine from Google for now, but in the future we are considering integrating PlayReady

Unique from Mautilus Software Solutions

  • Comprehensive approach to multiscreen applications solutions.
  • Experience with offshore development in all parts of the world.
  • Large team of application specialist for JavaScript, Java, Objective-C, Perl and C++
  • Experience with implementation of many OTT solutions.
  • Experience with approval procedure in application shops.