Interactive TV News Round-Up (VII): Rovi, Ford, NTT Plala, Trident Microsystems

--Ford Making Extensive Use of Rovi's Interactive TV Advertising Platform
--Rovi in EPG Patent-Licensing Deal with Japan's NTT Plala
--Trident Microsystems Launches Integrated 240Hz SoC for Android-Based Connected TV's

Because the [itvt] editorial team has been on the road the past few weeks--as well as working on TVOT NYC Intensive 2011--we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format. We anticipate that it will take us a few more days 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.

  • Rovi has announced that it is collaborating with the Ford Motor Company on a "comprehensive" digital TV advertising program across its Rovi Advertising Network. According to the company, Ford has just launched its third advertising campaign on the ad network so far this year, and plans to launch a fourth next month. "Ford has selected the Rovi Advertising Network to reach and engage consumers with multiple campaigns including the F-450 Super Duty truck, Focus, and now its Lincoln brands," Rovi states in its press materials. "Lincoln launched a campaign for the MKX Crossover SUV on June 1, featuring its intuitive technology experience designed for consumers, and will continue its efforts with a MKZ campaign in September. The Rovi Ad Network takes a unique approach and avoids advertising clutter by engaging consumers while they are seeking live, recorded, on-demand, cable or network programming on Rovi television guides. By clicking on a banner on the guide, television viewers are transported to an interactive TV viewing experience where they are able to view photos, play videos and dive deeper to learn more about the Ford-450 Super Duty truck, Focus, and/or the smart technology, 305 horsepower and striking interior and exterior design of the Lincoln MKX and MKZ...With successful campaigns launched by brands such as Ford, Lincoln and Toyota, the Rovi Advertising Network is designed to optimize the advertising experience for both automobile manufacturers and consumers alike. By providing a low-clutter environment for auto brands to engage consumers while they are highly engaged and in 'seeking mode,' the Rovi Advertising Network makes it possible for consumers with just one click of the remote control to research the features and functionality of the auto while in the comfort of their living room through available video and other multimedia. Using their remote control, consumers can instantly request additional information as well as find a nearby dealer location to test drive and view the car in person. The Rovi Ad Network now reaches more than 40 million households globally with Smart TV platform ads running on a range of connected devices. The addition of an online platform through industry-leading entertainment sites, AllRovi.com and SideReel.com, continues to expand the Rovi audience for advertisers." Said Rovi's SVP of advertising, Jeff Siegel: "The Rovi Ad Network, with its engaged audience and extensive reach, delivers automotive manufacturers a strong platform to develop a deeper relationship with its customers with custom content. We plan to continue to grow the Rovi Advertising Network across a broad range of devices--set-top boxes, connected TV's, media players, mobile and tablet devices, and PC's, and add cutting-edge capabilities to provide even more opportunities for our advertisers to engage with their audience."
  • In other Rovi news: The company has signed an EPG patent-licensing agreement with Tokyo-based NTT Plala for the latter's video-distribution service, Hikari-TV. "The transition to terrestrial digital broadcasting will lead to more and more advances in the diversification of viewers' preferences and viewing styles," Akitaka Nishimura, Rovi's SVP of APAC sales, said in a prepared statement. "Hikari-TV provided by NTT Plala, which is one of Japan's leading company in terms of the number of users, has numerous specialized channels supporting high-definition content spanning from movies, animation and sport to foreign television programs. We are very pleased that NTT Plala's participation in the IPG technology patent licensing program for the first time will provide the company's end-users with the opportunity to experience more convenient and abundant viewing styles."
  • Trident Microsystems has launched its new Fusion HiDTV family of systems-on-a-chip (SoC's), which it says are designed for connected TV's with 200/240Hz video framerate capabilities running on the Android platform. "The Fusion HiDTV family integrates multiple CPU's and Trident's patented MEMC technology to deliver outstanding picture quality, OpenGL 2.0 3D graphics capabilities, Android OS support, and the ability to display to 21:9 screens for a true cinematic experience," the company states in its press materials. "The higher refresh rates of 240Hz TV's deliver significantly better picture quality, particularly in larger screen TV's, and 240Hz is also an essential element for delivering quality 3D content...The Fusion HiDTV family is a highly integrated SoC platform that includes multiple CPU's, ATSC/DVB-T/DVB-C/ISDB-T and analog demodulators, a secure programmable transport stream demultiplexer, a high-performance 3D graphics engine, a 3DTV-capable multi-standard multi-stream HD video decoder, an HD video encoder, and a programmable audio decoder with post processor that supports several of Trident's industry-leading audio processing algorithms. The Fusion HiDTV family integrates an HDMI 1.4a receiver and high-speed ADC's to support up to 1080p digital and analog video inputs. Multiple USB2.0 transceivers are available to connect USB hard drives to the TV for PVR functionality, USB camera modules for video call and WiFi modules. With its low-IF inputs, the Fusion HiDTV family can be directly connected to silicon tuners to create worldwide software programmable platform solutions." The new SoC's are slated for commercial production in the first quarter of next year.
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