Interactive TV News Round-Up (I): BBC, BitTorrent, Vestel, CBS

--Report: BBC Trialing Audio Watermarking-Based Two-Screen Interactive TV
--BitTorrent, Vestel to Showcase Prototype of "BitTorrent Certified" TV Set
--CBS Launches Fall Preview iPad App

Because the [itvt] editorial team has been working on TVOT NYC Intensive 2011, we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format. We anticipate that it will take us several days to catch up with all the recent news: so if your company has sent us a press release or briefed us on an announcement, and you don't yet see your news covered in this issue, please bear with us.

  • The BBC is conducting a trial of automatic content recognition (ACR)-enabled two-screen interactive TV in association with the game show, "The National Lottery: Secret Fortune," David Wood writes in Televisual. The trial, which employs audio watermarking technology, will allow users to play along with the show on tablets and smartphones, by answering the same multiple-choice questions as the show's contestants.
  • TV manufacturer, Vestel, has teamed with BitTorrent to showcase at this week's IFA show in Berlin (Hall 8.2) a prototype of a "BitTorrent Certified" digital TV. "Vestel's new BitTorrent Certified TV will enable consumers to find, play and share all types of personal media, independently produced content and Internet files directly on their TV," the companies state in their press materials. "The BitTorrent ecosystem is an integrated solution of software, devices and content, all orchestrated to move 100+ million PC users into the living room via certified TV's, Blu-ray/DVD players, media extenders, NAS devices and more. By becoming BitTorrent Certified, consumer electronics makers can leverage the speed of the BitTorrent protocol and key downloading, transcoding, sharing and file-shifting features to make it easy for their customers to find, get and play all files on any certified devices. The BitTorrent certification program and brand assures consumers that any content will playback. Certified consumer electronics devices (TV's, DVD/BD players, media adapters, etc.) will seamlessly play content via BitTorrent. Device manufacturers also empower consumers to stream content from their BitTorrent libraries, all from a four-button TV, DVD/BD Player or media adapter remote. The most advanced BitTorrent solution enables consumers to download photos, video, and audio directly to devices. Showcasing its most exciting application, BitTorrent's new personal media sharing service will allow consumers to send home videos, audio and photos directly into TV's, DVD/BD players and media adapters. By featuring a personal sharing application, BitTorrent helps consumer electronics manufacturers and consumers privately and securely share home movies and personal videos and watch/listen to everything on certified devices." Said BitTorrent chief strategist, Shahi Ghanem: "The world of digital media has become unnecessarily complex and results in an increasingly fragmented consumer experience. People want access to their entire content library--personal media, Internet files, and artist-approved content--regardless of source, media type, or file format. Vestel understands this consumer demand and will use BitTorrent certification to help ensure that users of their TV products will have access to a powerful, open ecosystem that guarantees consumers can play any content on any Vestel TV that is BitTorrent Certified. We're exceptionally pleased to be working with Vestel and look forward to a long and beneficial partnership with the company."
  • CBS has launched the "CBS Fall Preview iPad App" to promote and enhance its new drama series "Unforgettable," "Person of Interest" and "A Gifted Man," and its new comedy series "2 Broke Girls" and "How to be a Gentleman." The app is available in the App Store, free of charge. "Pauley Perrette, who plays the energetic forensic specialist Abby Sciuto on 'NCIS' is the app's featured guide, giving iPad users a fun, up-close look at CBS's five new shows with special previews, behind-the-scenes videos, exclusive photo galleries, a complete CBS fall schedule with calendar integration features and, as an ode to 'Unforgettable,' a memory challenge," CBS states in its press materials. "The CBS Fall Preview App's unique iPad experience includes the following features: 1) In-depth Previews: Includes special previews and behind-the-scenes videos of the new CBS line-up, as well as exclusive photo galleries of the shows' casts. 2) Unique, Integrated Video Elements: On the home screen, 'NCIS's' Pauley Perrette introduces each new show, while offering fun anecdotes about the cast, characters and storylines. 3) An 'Unforgettable' Memory Challenge: Gives users a fun way to test out their memory while interacting with the new series. Users also have the chance to win a new 50-inch plasma TV. 4) Social Media Integration: Social media posts from the official Twitter accounts for all CBS shows are integrated directly into the app. 5) CBS Fall Schedule: Gives users a look at the complete line-up on CBS this season. Calendar integration enables users to easily add the network's premiere and regular episode dates to their iPad calendar and share the information with friends online. Fans without iPads can visit CBS.com for exclusive content, including videos, games, blogs and contests, for all of CBS's new and returning series. The app also serves as the perfect companion to the 'CBS Fall Preview,' a primetime special previewing CBS's new fall line-up, hosted by Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar, stars of the Emmy Award-nominated and Golden Globe Award-nominated number-one comedy series, 'The Big Bang Theory.' The special will air on Thursday, Sept. 8 (8:30-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, immediately following an episode of 'The Big Bang Theory.'"
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