Interactive TV News Round-Up (V): NDS, ARM, Panasonic, Panvidea, Softel

--NDS in Connected-TV Partnership with ARM
--Panasonic Opens Up its Viera Connected-TV Platform, Launches Companion Tablet
--Panvidea in Subtitling Partnership with Softel

Due to the large volume of news coming out of the Consumer Electronics Show, which kicked off Wednesday in Las Vegas, we are covering stories in this issue in summary/round-up form. We anticipate that it will take us several days to catch up with all the news generated by the show: 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.

  • Interactive TV and content-protection technology provider, NDS, has announced that it is partnering with semiconductor intellectual property provider, ARM, to enable the delivery of over-the-top (OTT) content and services to connected TV's via NDS's Infinite TV suite of technologies. "The cooperation will enable connected-TV manufacturers to implement a ready-made software solution that will provide a framework for OTT services, easily integrated with a variety of devices," NDS states in its press materials. According to the company, Infinite TV "enables the delivery and optimization of OTT content on any device, whilst enhancing the value proposition for all members of the content eco-system"; and "grants viewers the freedom to watch content, that can be monetized through advanced advertising models on connected TV's or any Internet-capable device." Said Lance Howarth, general manager of ARM"s Media Processing Division: "The connected-TV market is an area in which we see great potential for growth. Building on ARM's momentum in the home entertainment market, we believe that a platform based around a dual ARM Cortex-A9 processor and ARM Mali-400 MP GPU will provide connected-TV manufacturers with the very best in performance and outstanding graphics capability. We look forward to working with NDS to drive OTT opportunities in this space." Added NDS's director of segment marketing, Jonathan Beavon: "Infinite TV provides an end-to-end delivery mechanism for OTT services on connected devices. With a thin-client approach, the possibilities for manufacturers are taken to a new level; easy integration and a sophisticated architecture will ensure an optimal service with a short time to market."
  • Panasonic has unveiled Viera Connect, the next generation of its connected-TV platform, which it says will now be "an open IPTV platform with its SDK/API available to application developers and its middleware technology available to connected device manufacturers." According to the company, the platform will "include a robust collection of applications including expanded video streaming, and two-way interactive features from gaming to social networking, and fitness programs"; and will be complemented by a new Viera Connect Market, which will allow consumers to "personalize their Viera Connect experience via a rich catalog of apps from third-party application developers." Panasonic has provided a list of new applications that will be available on Viera Connect: video apps will include CinemaNow, Break.com, Dailymotion, Ustream and Hulu Plus; games apps will include Accedo Funspot, Aim at Entertainment, Gameloft and Oberon I-playTV; sports apps will include MLB.TV, MLS Matchday Live, NBA Game Time and NHL Game Center; health and fitness apps will include A&D, BodyMedia FIT Armband BW, iFit.com from Icon Health & Fitness, Tanita and Withings WiScale; and news and information apps will include AccuWeather, Associated Press, Dow Jones and eBay. In addition, the platform will include a new Facebook social networking app and a new Napster music app.
  • In other Panasonic news: The company has unveiled a Viera tablet which is designed to serve as a companion device to its Viera connected-TV sets. "The Viera Tablet is a tablet-type terminal with a small touchscreen LCD display," the company explains in its press materials. "The new tablet is designed to provide creative functions and easy operability in conjunction with Viera digital televisions to deliver new value that cannot be offered through Internet televisions alone. The tablet will create a whole new viewing style. Its intuitive navigation interface makes it easy for the user to use cloud services. The tablet can also work as a sub-screen for displaying images and information related to the images shown on the connected television." Among other things, Panasonic says, customers will be able to use the Viera tablet to "1) enjoy IPTV services such as Viera Connect online video-on-demand and interactive services; 2) use it intuitively as a 'visual remote control' to operate TV including switching channels; 3) view sports scenes from different angles as a sub-screen; 4) communicate via social network services while watching TV; 5) enjoy the advantage of ecommerce, ordering suggested items related to the TV contents by shopping online on the tablet.
  • Panvidea, which describes itself as "the only enterprise-ready, cloud-based solution for connecting any content with any platform and device," has announced support for Softel's Swift vTX caption and subtitle transcoding software. "Swift vTX enables the automatic insertion, extraction, and transcoding of subtitles, captions and other ancillary data," the company states in its press materials. "By adding this tool to its already extensive list of professional codecs and post-production tools, Panvidea...now provides leading broadcasters and advertisers with a high-speed, instantly scalable method for inserting captions and subtitles into broadcast video. In the longer run, the partnership also provides a solution for broadcasters seeking to prepare their content to meet emerging federal standards for mandatory closed captioning of Web videos. The solution also allows customers to extract captions from an existing source file and re-encode them into the new, transcoded output file for distribution. The entire workflow is conducted as an automated process in the cloud using the Panvidea::Distribute solution, which combines a lightning-fast post-production and video encoding engine with an integrated online dashboard to manage the entire digital media publishing and ad distribution workflow from digitization through delivery."

 

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