News Round-Up (IV): People of Lava, Philips, Sharp, Loewe, Samsung, blinkbox, Google TV, Android, search, connected TV, over-the-top, OTT

"Window to the World" - Scandinavia

--Sweden's People of Lava Launches Android-Based TV Set
--Philips, Sharp, Loewe in Partnership to Create Common Platform for Connected TV's
--Samsung in Connected-TV Deal with blinkbox, May Equip its TV's with Google Android

Due to the large volume of interactive TV-related news generated over the past few days by the IFA and the run-up to the IBC, we are covering stories in this issue in round-up format. We anticipate that it will take a couple of days for us 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. Our regular news coverage will return shortly.

  • Earlier this year (see the article published on itvt.com, April 6th), a Swedish company called People of Lava announced that it had become the first company to develop an Android-based TV, which it said would be called the "Scandinavia" and would officially launch at the IFA in September. The company has apparently delivered on its promise: a demo video of the new device is embedded above.
  • Consumer electronics manufacturer, Philips, has announced that it is collaborating with Sharp and Loewe "in order to investigate the definition of a common, competitive Internet platform for connected TV's and other Internet-enabled electronic devices across Europe and Russia." The companies have signed a letter of intent to support their collaboration, which Philips says will "drive simplicity by acting as a common point of contact towards content providers. The objective of the cooperation--which is open to other producers of connected devices--is to enrich the number of content applications offered via connected devices, such as video-on-demand, catch-up TV, music services, gaming, social media and infotainment," Philips states in its press materials. "The aim of the common platform is to make it easier for content providers to develop content applications on the basis of a single technology platform. As a result, content providers will be able to maximize their reach across connected devices, giving more consumers access to a wider variety of content applications. In order to establish a common platform, Philips, Sharp, Loewe and other potential interested partners intend to share and align technologies. The common platform aims to use open Web-based standards like CE-HTML and HbbTV. Respectively, the partners also intend to open up their infrastructures for connected devices to each other in order to optimize the deployment of content applications across those devices, as well as improve the user experience for consumers." According to Philips, Sharp plans to launch a range of connected TV's based on Philips' connected-TV platform, Net TV. In other Philips news: The company has announced new European content partners for its Net TV platform, including Videoload (local and international movies and TV shows for consumers in Germany), Cartoon Network, Boomerang, and Diva TV (movies for consumers in the UK, Germany, Austria and Switzerland).
  • Samsung has announced that it will offer a video streaming app for UK broadband VOD service, blinkbox, on its Internet@TV connected-TV portal and its Samsung Apps app store. "This is a significant development for blinkbox in the increasingly important and exciting Internet-enabled TV market," blinkbox CEO, Michael Cornish, said in a prepared statement. "These devices are not only revolutionizing how we consume media, but how we, as a business, interact with our ever-growing consumer base. Research shows that TV-based viewing is driving growth accounting for 60% of the total VOD market while sales of Internet-connected TV devices will to rise to 375 million globally in 2013." Added Samsung UK's VP of consumer electronics, Andy Griffiths: "Adding the blinkbox service to the Samsung Apps store is great news for our existing and future customers. Internet@TV offers customers a gateway to access great content in an exciting new way that unlocks the full potential of our connected TVs. Services like blinkbox will offer our customers more variety and choice from our platform." In related news: 1) At a press event in Seoul, Monday, Samsung president, Yoon Boo Keun, said that the company may use Google's Android software in its TV's. Bloomberg has more. 2) Nantes, France-based WizTiVi, which is a subsidiary of the Proservia Group, contacted [itvt] last week to let us know that it has formalized its partnership with Samsung, which has previously seen it work with the company to develop interactive TV applications on the Internet@TV platform for Daily Motion, L'Equipe TV and the INA (the French National Institute for Audio-Video). "WizTiVi has been at our side from the beginning and this allowed us to quickly offer several applications developed along with major content providers," Samsung's director of network and convergence, Roberto Mauro, said in a prepared statement.

 

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