Reliance Jio at the 42nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) on Monday announced the launch of the 4K-supported Jio Set-Top Box that will enable newer entertainment and gaming experiences. The new set-top box is touted to accept the broadcast cable TV signals from local cable operators (LCOs). Additionally, the Mumbai-headquartered company showed off at its AGM that the Jio Set Top Box is capable of delivering console-like gaming using Jio Fiber service. The company also demonstrated its developments towards mixed reality (MR).
"Television service in India is a classic small-business success story where local cable operators or LCOs played a pioneering role," said RIL's Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh D Ambani while addressing the AGM. "In recent years, competition from DTH operators have threatened the viability of nearly one lakh LCOs who still operate across India. As firm supporters of local and small businesses, Jio wanted to ensure that these LCOs continued to serve their communities."
Reliance Jio already has three multiple system operators (MSOs) on board, namely Hathway, Den, and GTPL, that will help bring the newly launched Jio Set-Top Box to various Indian homes. Ambani in his statement mentioned that the Jio Set-Top Box is capable of accepting the broadcast cable TV signals from the existing LCO partners. Further, he highlighted that the company is in plans to extend its existing partnership to all LCOs across the country.
Directors of Reliance Jio Akash Ambani and Isha Ambani demonstrated major gaming capabilities of the Jio Set-Top Box. "This will be at par with the leading gaming platforms globally," asserted Akash Ambani, who briefly played FIFA 19 on stage to highlight multiplayer support on the device.
The Jio Set-Top Box is claimed to support "almost all gaming controllers" and can work using a virtual controller through a smartphone as well. The built-in graphics on the device are also touted to be at par with the best in the world game consoles. Right now though, there is some concern that Jio used a PC or Xbox One gameplay footage to show the graphics on stage. We've asked for Reliance Jio to comment on these observations. Further, the executives showed off that the Jio Set-Top Box offers gameplay in 4K and enables a "zero-latency gaming experience" using high-speed Jio Fiber network.
Reliance Jio is working with all leading game publishers, including Tencent, Gameloft, and Microsoft among others, revealed Isha Ambani. The company is also in plans to provide "India's first multiplayer online network" to gamers through the Jio Set Top Box.
Alongside supporting gaming, the Jio Set-Top Box is capable of enabling mixed reality experiences. Reliance Jio has invested in startup Tesseract to kick off its MR offerings. At the AGM presentation, Akash Ambani and Isha Ambani underlined three use cases, namely shopping, education, and entertainment.
"The use of MR in education will increase the level of engagement and understanding in students and can be applied to all disciplines," said Akash Ambani while presenting an MR-based educational project running through the Jio Set Top Box.
Reliance Jio is also enabling its Jio Cinema app to offer theatre-like movie screening on MR headsets. Further, Tesseract has enabled the company to develop the Jio HoloBoard as its native MR headset.
While specifics about the Jio HoloBoard are yet to be revealed, Reliance Jio is set to make the headset available for purchase in the market very soon at an "extremely affordable price".
The 4K-supported Jio Set-Top Box will be available for free to Jio Fiber customers who opt for annual plans. Furthermore, Jio Fiber will be available commercially in the country starting September 5.