Interactive TV News Round-Up (I): Audible Magic, Charter Communications, HBO

--Audible Magic Launches SmartSync Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) Solution
--Audible Magic Awarded US Patent for its ACR Technology
--Charter Launches HBO's "TV Everywhere" Services

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:

  • Digital audio and video fingerprinting specialist, Audible Magic, has launched an Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) solution, called the SmartSync System, for synchronizing events on smartphones, tablets and other "smart" devices with content being delivered on TV sets and other media-playing devices. The solution can be used to facilitate social TV, interactive advertising and other enhanced viewing experiences, according to the company. "Available on iOS, Android, OSX, Linux and Windows platforms, the SmartSync API enables developers to build unique applications for a wide range of devices such as smart TV's, smartphones, tablet computers, game consoles, set-top boxes, and specialized appliances," Audible Magic states in its press materials. "Behind the SmartSync System is the power of Audible Magic's market-leading SmartID content identification technology. The SmartID technology is based on the company's patented digital fingerprint technology, which delivers a far more robust approach to digital content identification than watermarking systems. Unlike watermarks, digital fingerprints require no modification of the original content; are immune to most content transformations caused by compression, time-scaling, formats, or codecs; and deliver a higher degree of accuracy and time resolution. A unique advantage of the SmartSync System is its ability to deliver better-than-frame-accurate timestamp annotations for media. This degree of accuracy makes it possible to build applications that require close synchronization of audio and video tracks that, in turn, ensure high-quality viewer experiences. The SmartSync system uses audio captured via microphones on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets or from audio buffers. The technology will continue to work even in noisy environments. Introducing what is called continuous synchronization, the SmartSync system uses a clip of media as short as six seconds to get an initial identification and then uses a continuous rolling identification that maintains better-than-frame-accurate timestamps." Said Jay Friedman, Audible Magic's VP of marketing: "As an enabling technology, the SmartSync System and API gives developers ultimate flexibility and control in delivering interactivity in a wide range of applications never before possible."
  • In other Audible Magic news: The company has announced that it has been awarded a US patent (7,917,645), entitled "Method and Apparatus for Identifying Media Content Presented on Media Playing Devices." According to the company, the patent "addresses the identification of media as it is played on devices such as smart TV's, tablets, set-top boxes, and smartphones. This patent is a fundamental building block of Audible Magic's SmartID system, which enables social TV, interactive advertising, TV commerce, personalization, and other related applications," the company's press materials continue. "The patent is a notable addition to Audible Magic's already impressive portfolio of patents in digital fingerprinting and content identification."
  • Charter Communications has launched HBO's "TV Everywhere" services, HBO Go and Max Go (note: the "TV Everywhere" programming distribution model, which was originally championed by Time Warner chairman and CEO, Jeff Bewkes, seeks, via authentication technology, to make programming that pay-TV customers have already paid for through their cable, satellite or IPTV subscriptions available to those customers on multiple Web sites and platforms, and thus aims to head off the threat posed to pay-TV services by the increasing availability of over-the-top programming). "Access is available to [authenticated] customers [who subscribe to HBO and/or Cinemax] on any computer in the US with a high-speed connection as well as on the iPhone, iPad and select Android devices with a minimum 3G connection," Charter states in its press materials. "With HBO Go, Charter customers with Charter TV who subscribe to HBO have free, unlimited access to more than 1,400 titles online, including every episode of every season of the best HBO shows, HBO Films, HBO Miniseries, documentaries, HBO Sports and blockbuster movies at any time and from any location in the US with a broadband connection. Max Go adds more than 400 titles of Cinemax programming online, allowing customers to instantly watch the biggest Hollywood blockbusters, indies, cult favorites and 'Max After Dark' series while on the go. Both services offer most programming in HD. HBO Go and MAX Go offer Charter TV customers most new titles simultaneously with their premiere on HBO and Cinemax. Customers can browse the HBO Go Web site for movies, documentaries, and original series as well as exclusive bonus material, soundtrack and cast information. Customers can also create a 'Watchlist' that keeps track of bookmarked content for later viewing. In addition, HBO Go and Max Go can be personalized through a 'Series Pass' capability, which automatically sends new episodes of favorite original series when they arrive on the service...To view online, Charter's HBO and Cinemax viewers can go to and or simply go to and Once there, customers sign in with their Charter user ID and password, make their selections and view."


North America