Verismo Launches New Software Release for its VuNow Over-the-Top-TV Platform

 --Round-Up of Recent News from Verismo

Verismo, a Silicon Valley-based company that offers an over-the-top-TV platform called VuNow (enabled by a small set-top box device called the PoD), announced Thursday the latest software release for the platform, VuNow 3.0. New features provided by VuNow 3.0, according to the company, include:

  • Support for 802.11n, a format that is billed as significantly increasing wireless performance and range, compared to 802.11g.
  • More wireless security features, including support for security with WPA, WPA2 and WPS.
  • NTFS support, enabling USB ports on Verismo's PoD devices to read NTFS- (in addition to FAT-32) formatted external drives.
  • Support for Internet radio, allowing end-users to access Shoutcast audio stations.
  • Support for approximately 50 additional live TV channels and 35 additional Web sites.
  • Support for the Dolby Digital AC-3 format, in order to let end-users play multimedia files and movies with audio streams encoded in AC-3.
  • Support for PAL in addition to NTSC.
  • Support for multiple languages.

"We're committed to continually improving our platform and bringing additional value to our customers and partners," Verismo EVP, Dhaval Ajmera, said in a prepared statement. "VuNow 3.0 gives users greater access to online videos, increased options for stored video content and improved wireless security and performance." Verismo claims that VuNow now supports the widest selection of Internet videos for viewing on the TV, including videos from YouTube and other popular Web sites. The platform also allows end-users to access personal media from their home network or USB-enabled storage devices. Verismo offers high-definition ($149) and standard-definition ($129) versions of its PoD device, through its own online store and through various online retailers, including Amazon.com. The company also offers its platform for licensing to service providers and equipment manufacturers (see below).

In other recent news from Verismo:

  • Last month, the company announced that Indian MSO, ACT Television, had launched an IPTV service that employs the VuNow platform. According to Verismo, ACT's new service, which is part of a triple-play offering, will initially target 100,000 homes in Bangalore and will be the first-ever interactive IPTV service in that city. The service is billed by ACT as providing over 200 live TV channels, over 4,500 DVD-quality Kannada, Hindi and Tamil movies, dual-tuner DVR functionality, and--via the VuNow platform--access to broadband video from YouTube and other sites, as well as TV-based access to customers' personal media files. ACT also says that it plans to use the VuNow platform to add a range of interactive applications to the service, including multi-user gaming, online shopping, remote education, banking, email, voicemail, and city and weather information. According to Verismo, its deal with ACT sees it providing the Indian company with a unified solution that combines IPTV with over-the-top video, as well as local and network DVR, a browser with SSL support to enable secure browsing on the Internet, fast channel-switching capability, multiple codec support and DRM support. After the initial roll-out of its new service in Bangalore, ACT says it plans to launch it in other Indian cities.
  • In February, the company announced the launch of a global OEM initiative targeting consumer OEM's, content aggregators and ISP's. According to the company, the VuNow package that it is offering to potential OEM partners consists of a hosting and delivery platform for on-demand content under subscription, pay-per-view or ad-supported models, and supports such features as content shaping and ingestion, video cataloguing, subscription management and billing, an analytics engine and geo-targeting. Verismo claims that it has been seeing "considerable demand" from various OEM's around the world for its VuNow PoD device. According to the company, the options being considered by these OEM's include the addition of premium content to the VuNow service, embedding the VuNow platform in consumer appliances such as TV's, DVD players and A/V receivers, and integration with such applications as IPTV, VoIP, video conferencing and distance learning. "An open platform is fundamental to our success," Verismo's Dhaval Ajmera said in a prepared statement. "Our OEM initiative fosters the development of differentiated products by OEM's worldwide, thereby offering consumers compelling choices for entertainment in their living room." According to Verismo, the new initiative offers 1) hardware choices including private labeling of the VuNow PoD for rapid time-to-market, hardware feature enhancements, hardware licensing for high-volume manufacturing, and the embedding of the VuNow platform into consumer appliances; and 2) software choices, including co-branding and customization of the user interface, integration of content and applications into the VuNow service, and software feature enhancements.

 

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