Interactive TV News Round-Up (V): MPEGIF, OIPF, Oxygen Media, ACTV8.ME, Peel

-- MPEG Industry Forum to Be Merged into Open IPTV Forum

-- Oxygen Media Taps ACTV8.ME to Bring Social TV to "The Glee Project"

-- Peel Launches "Second-Screen Engagement Platform" within its Flagship iOS App

Because the [itvt] editorial team has been working on The TV of Tomorrow Show 2012, we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format.

  • The Open IPTV Forum (OIPF) and the MPEG Industry Forum (MPEGIF) said Monday that they have reached agreement to merge the assets of the MPEGIF into the OIPF. "The activities of the MPEG Industry Forum have reached a natural and successful conclusion with the emergence of MPEG-4 Part 10, alternatively known as H.264, as the dominant codec in next-generation video technology and the proven successor to MPEG-2," the organizations state in their press materials. "As in 2011, when the Broadcast Mobile Convergence Forum (BMCO) merged into OIPF, which followed the Internet Streaming Media Alliance (ISMA) merging with the MPEGIF, these asset mergers represent natural consolidation in a maturing industry--the positive result of cross-industry consensus on fundamental technologies. Now, in an ever-converging, cross-media, global market, the challenge going forward is to enable interoperability across increasingly complex connected consumer devices and services on a global scale. This is the mandate of the specifications developed by OIPF and the clear logic behind the consolidation of MPEGIF's efforts and assets into the OIPF." Said OIPF president, Nilo Mitra: "We are pleased to contribute towards this consolidation of the work from the MPEGIF and welcome those additional members from the MPEGIF who join our efforts. The end result is that the Open IPTV Forum will be an even stronger and more vigorous industry body, representing all constituents and contributors within the ecosystem of businesses creating and delivering the next generation of television entertainment"
  • ACTV8.ME, the social-TV start-up which recently announced that it had formed a partnership with reality-TV producer Mark Burnett's One Three Television (see the article published on itvt.com, January 3rd), contacted [itvt] last week to let us know that it has partnered with Oxygen Media to power a social-TV platform for the second season of "The Glee Project," a spinoff of the popular primetime series which is scheduled to premier this summer. "Oxygen will offer fans the opportunity to experience a talent-powered, relationship-driven social-TV platform that connects them directly to the series contenders over the course of the entire competition," the companies state in their press materials. "The spinoff competition series, which awards one winner a seven-episode arc on 'Glee,' will return with 14 talented and unique contenders--two more than season one--additional themes and all new music...Oxygen will utilize ACTV8's technology to power experiences that reward fans with exclusive access to contenders and the opportunity to receive on-air recognition. Throughout the season, select super fans will participate in exclusive live video chats with their favorite contenders, and one lucky fan will even get to meet their favorite contender face-to-face. Building upon the social success of 'The Glee Project' season one, Oxygen and ACTV8.ME will also create a second-screen experience that is essential to the series. During each episode, fans will be able to unlock new content, use their mobile devices to share their favorite moments from the show in real time, and to participate in challenges and homework assignments issued by the contenders. Fans will also have access to exclusive synchronized content that complements the viewing experience during the second season...ACTV8.ME delivers what it calls a 'complete global media integration platform.' The platform synchronizes a user's mobile device or tablet to any live or recorded video broadcast and not only provides rich interactive content to the user's device related to the programming, but also feeds viral hooks into Facebook and Twitter. With its proprietary technology, ACTV8.ME has married broadcast and cable television to the two largest social media platforms on the planet, and then made this all interactive, thus creating the ultimate uber-platform. Their powerful technology enables ACTV8.ME to deliver a host of program enhancements, line extensions, quizzes, trivia, gaming and sales experiences in conjunction with any TV programming."
  • Programming-discovery company, Peel, will today launch what it dubs its "Second-Screen Engagement Platform" within its flagship app. The launch of the new feature is timed to coincide with the reality show, "American Idol." "Peel users will get the ultimate social-TV second-screen experience while watching the show by cheering and booing with the audience, rating the performances, judging the judges, and predicting the results--including which unlucky contestant will be voted off the show that week," the company states in its press materials. "The Peel app is currently featured in the iTunes App Store's coveted New and Noteworthy section reserved for the most innovative apps. The Peel App eliminates the need for complicated TV listings and brings users closer to the shows they love. Peel makes it easy to discover your next favorite show with customized programming recommendations and connect with a like-minded TV community in an elegant and intuitive application. The Engagement Platform will display the featured program as a special tile within the show listings for increased visibility and easy interaction. Each week, Peel will be sharing the results from the 'American Idol' Experience, including the leaderboard results and a qualitative graph of highlights (cheers) and lowlights (boos) from the show. The 'leaderboard' will tell an illustrative story of how the Peel community feels about the performances, contestants, judges' feedback and overall show outcome. Users will also be able to tap a button to easily access the iTunes music store and download their favorite performances from the show...To celebrate the new platform, Peel will be giving away an all-expenses-paid trip to Hollywood for four, including VIP passes to the Idols Live concert this summer. Each time a user invites friends to join them in the Peel experience, or completes a contestant card rating the performance and agreeing or disagreeing with the judges' reactions, they will be automatically entered to win the grand prize." Said Peel's chief experience officer, Greg Lindley: "It seems there are always a few controversial moments on 'American Idol,' whether it is an overly harsh judge or the beloved contestant who is unexpectedly voted off. We are looking forward to being able to share our community's predictions and passion. We'll be implementing this new interactive TV platform with additional programs throughout the year. 'American Idol' is the first big step in a more personalized and interactive second-screen offering--and the way that most viewers want to experience social TV."
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