Interactive TV News Round-Up (VIII): Rentrak, National Geographic, Roku, FlixFling, Rovi, Trident, RVU Alliance

--Rentrak Tapped by National Geographic Channel for VOD Advertising Measurement
--Roku in Deal with FlixFling
--Rovi Launches Cloud-Based Digital Entertainment Web Services Platform, Lands Deal with Trident
--RVU Alliance Grows its Membership Roster, Will Launch Independent Certification Program Shortly

Due to the large volume of news generated by the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which took place last week in Las Vegas, we are covering stories in this issue in summary/round-up form. Our regular news coverage will return shortly.

  • Multiscreen media measurement company, Rentrak, has announced that National Geographic Channel has signed a contract to use its new AdEssentials service, which the company bills as "an ad reporting system that eliminates the time-consuming manual approach to track and report video-on-demand (VOD) advertising performance." According to Rentrak, the service--which is designed as a companion offering to its OnDemand Essentials offering--is "the first system to offer third-party reporting and verification of advertising impressions delivered on the video-on-demand platform."
  • FlixFling, which bills itself as "the new digital movie service that allows users to watch their favorite movies and shows, and 'fling' or stream them from their media device of choice," has announced that it has signed a deal with OTT specialist, Roku. "A first, via the FlixFling service, users can stream the movies on several different mobile devices including the iPhone as well as Android-based smartphones," FlixFling states in its press materials. "But if users decide to watch it on an iPad or Internet-ready TV, FlixFling flings it over to that device and it's accessible through the My Flix section. The content is instantly available no matter where users originally watched the movie. FlixFling saves all the user's content so synching becomes an unnecessary step. Roku, the set-top box that instantly streams tons of entertainment on your TV wirelessly, now includes the FlixFling service: once users select their content, it remains in the user's account to access from any medium--television, smartphone, iPad, even Facebook."
  • Rovi has launched Rovi Media Cloud, a suite of Web-based entertainment services that it says will allow rapid creation of new products, services and applications for connected devices. "Rovi Media Cloud is a comprehensive set of entertainment-focused Web services that includes advertising, metadata, recommendations, search, media recognition, and user and device management capabilities," Rovi states in its press materials. "With these services, consumer electronics (CE) manufacturers, service providers (SP's), online, mobile and other application developers can quickly and easily differentiate their offerings with sophisticated capabilities that enhance the connected entertainment experience...Consumers will soon be able to access a near infinite amount of digital media content anytime, anywhere and on almost any device," the company's press materials continue. "A comprehensive set of Web services that allows developers to create cross-platform entertainment products, services and applications is needed to fulfill the demand for compelling and unique experiences for users. Rovi Media Cloud helps companies address this challenge by providing a set of flexible and integrated API's that allow them to quickly build and enhance their products with access to up-to-date, relevant entertainment metadata, recommendations and related capabilities. By utilizing Rovi technology, CE manufacturers, service providers and online, mobile and other application developers will be able to turn devices such as Internet-connected TV's, tablets, mobile phones, PC's and set-top boxes (STB's) into a truly connected media experience for consumers. To support the launch of Rovi Media Cloud, Rovi is launching a developer portal at, where developers can request access to API's and learn more about the services from Rovi." The key components of Rovi Media Cloud, according to the company are: "1) Rovi Advertising Service--Allows companies to monetize their connected devices and create recurring revenue streams by serving advertising on living room displays. 2) Rovi Data Service--Provides real-time and up-to-date access to the massive amount of entertainment metadata from Rovi, including information about movies, television and music and celebrity, sports and other information that enhances and makes the experience useful and engaging for the consumer. 3) Rovi Recommendations Service--Offers various recommendations types, such as item-based, filtered, popular, new content, personalized, editorial, community and others, helping to drive sales and consumption of entertainment content. 4) Rovi Media Recognition Service--Enables companies to enhance their entertainment offerings by recognizing and tagging physical and digital media files with rich entertainment metadata. 5) Rovi Search Service--Combines powerful algorithms, rich metadata, and a user-centric design approach to provide more accurate and relevant search capability with filtered, predictive and personalized results. 6) Rovi Management Services--A set of user profile, device and event management API's, and reporting and analytics capabilities, which can be paired with the other Web services to support user personalization and a seamless consumer experience, regardless of platform or device." Rovi says that Rovi Media Cloud is already being used by Samsung (the "Samsung 'Your Video' portal includes Rovi advertising capabilities, a Rovi TotalGuide component, which provides an advanced cloud-based advertising platform for Samsung consumers to view engaging and interactive ads," the company says) and Elgato (EyeTV), and that it is in discussions with Eyecon Technologies about using the technology to power a cross-platform media experience platform for smartphones. In other Rovi news: The company has announced that it is providing its Rovi TotalGuide solution for Trident Microsystems' set-top box and TV semiconductor platforms. "The integrated solution will enable consumer electronics manufacturers to quickly incorporate TotalGuide, an advanced media guide that combines access to broadcast, broadband and personal content on one user interface, on TV's and set-top boxes using Trident chips," the company states in its press materials.
  • The RVU Alliance has announced that it has added eight new members--Beechwoods Software, Cortina Systems, Huawei, MStar, Red Embedded, Universal Electronics Inc., the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory and Zinwell--bringing its membership to over 40 companies. "RVU is a client/server-based technology that allows the television viewer to experience a consistent, pixel-accurate, server-generated user interface on various consumer electronics devices," the Alliance explains in its press materials. "The RVU specification uses widely implemented UPnP and DLNA technologies to enable a gateway device such as an advanced set-top box to share its user interface with client devices including connected smart TV's, Blu-ray players, and tablets. RVU offers benefits to service providers by making their viewing experience and features available to connected CE devices in a consistent manner, and consumers benefit from a consistent user experience throughout the home across all their CE devices." The Alliance says that it will launch an independent certification program this spring, followed shortly by market introduction of RVU devices based on version 1.4 of the RVU specification.


North America