Interactive TV News Round-Up (VIII): Rovi, HP, Best Buy, Ziggo, DigiForge

--Rovi's RoxioNow Supporting HP MovieStore App on HP TouchPad
--Rovi in Deal to Support Best Buy's CinemaNow Service in Canada
--Rovi Loses EPG Patent-Infringement Case against Dutch Cable Operator, Ziggo
--Rovi Acquires DigiForge

Because the [itvt] editorial team is on the road this week, we are covering stories in this edition of the newsletter in round-up format:

  • Rovi said Wednesday that its RoxioNow platform (which it acquired via its $720 million purchase of Sonic Solutions earlier this year--for more on the acquisition, see the interview with Rovi's EVP of product management and marketing, Corey Ferengul, published on itvt.com, January 7th) is powering a new HP MovieStore application for the HP TouchPad that provides on-demand access to movies and TV shows. "Available July 1, HP's first webOS tablet adds to a range of HP notebooks and desktop PC's that are already powered by the RoxioNow entertainment platform," Rovi states in its press materials. "Under the terms of a new licensing agreement, Rovi is providing content-licensing and infrastructure services that include a cloud-based movie and TV locker that provides HP customers persistent access to movie and TV content across HP devices...Through the RoxioNow platform, Rovi serves a broad range of recent-release major studio movies and TV programs to a multi-manufacturer ecosystem of home and mobile electronics. Rovi currently enables white-label storefronts for a number of brick-and-mortar retailers', cable operators', PC manufacturers', consumer electronics makers', and Hollywood studios' direct-to-consumer initiatives. The RoxioNow platform is a component of a broad portfolio of Rovi applications, technologies, and cloud services that are empowering customers to quickly define and release innovative, multiscreen digital entertainment services. Available as standalone components or as integrated solutions, Rovi technologies include entertainment discovery, management, delivery, and enjoyment capabilities, as well as an advertising network. Rovi technology solutions are designed to redefine the entertainment experience by helping companies enhance their product offerings, form direct relationships with their customers, and drive ongoing streams of revenue."
  • Rovi also said Wednesday that it has signed a multi-year agreement to power the Canadian implementation of Best Buy's broadband video service, CinemaNow (note: for background on how Best Buy came to own the CinemaNow brand, see the article published on itvt.com, May 18th, 2010). "The digital entertainment service, expected to launch in September through Best Buy Canada and Future Shop, will be available initially online and then expand to offer access through a range of Internet-connected consumer electronics devices," Rovi states in its press materials. "Powered by the RoxioNow platform and cloud services from Rovi, CinemaNow will allow Canadian consumers to easily stream an extensive catalog of premium entertainment including new movie releases and next-day TV shows. The RoxioNow platform currently powers the CinemaNow service for Best Buy in the US...The Canadian CinemaNow service is expected to be available on select connected TV's, Blu-ray players, game consoles, set-top boxes, PC's, and mobile devices, and provide access to a broad library of new movies, TV shows, independent titles and older catalog films. The RoxioNow cloud-based locker will allow customers to access the entertainment they purchase from multiple, CinemaNow-enabled devices."
  • In other Rovi News: 1) The company has lost an EPG patent-infringement case it brought against Dutch cable operator, Ziggo, after a district court in The Hague found that the patent in question (EP 1 244 300) is invalid in the Netherlands, Julian Clover reports in Broadband TV News. Earlier this year, a patent-infringement case brought by Rovi against UK cable operator, Virgin Media, and revolving around the same family of patents as EP 1 244 300, was dismissed by the English Court of Appeal on the grounds that the technologies covered by the patents were unpatentable under English law. 2) The company has acquired certain assets of DigiForge, a company which, among other things, has developed an EBIF user agent that is designed to enable simple, one-way DTA boxes to support EPG's, and possibly other video apps such as VOD (see the article published on itvt.com, December 9th). "Rovi will now have the support of DigiForge's expertise in systems architecture, embedded systems development, end-to-end system integration and testing, helping Rovi address the expanding needs of MSO's deploying new capabilities to the market," Rovi explained in a prepared statement. According to sources cited by Multichannel News's Todd Spangler, Rovi made the acquisition in order to strengthen its services capabilities in the cable space, and has been talking to several similar companies about an acquisition over the past two years or so.
Region: 
North America