Interactive TV News Round-Up (I): Amino, Audible Magic, Trident Microsystems, Canoe Ventures

--Amino to Showcase OTT-Enabled IPTV Set-Tops at IBC 2011
--Audible Magic's ACR Tech Integrated into Trident Microsystems' Digital TV Platform
--Canoe Ventures Reorganizes Senior Management Team

Because the [itvt] editorial team has been 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 several 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.

  • UK-based set-top box company, Amino Communications, said Monday that it will showcase a range of IPTV set-tops at IBC 2011 that offer OTT functionality in order to provide viewers with a "richer, more dynamic" entertainment experience. "All Amino devices--from its Freedom media centers offering OTT functionality to the cable, satellite and terrestrial markets through to the Aminet IPTV range--will now provide operators with the ability to offer a compelling mix of broadcast, on-demand, and content from the open Internet including social media, gaming and applications," the company states in its press materials. "The IPTV devices will utilize both HLS (HTTP Live Streaming) and HTML5 to deliver the new layer of OTT content. An adaptive streaming technology, HLS is designed to deliver content over open and unmanaged networks by selecting optimum network speeds to guarantee a continuous quality user experience. It can also enhance content choice by delivering video-on-demand and live TV from aggregated and cloud-based services without additional investment in network infrastructure. HTML5 provides a standardized framework for video and audio playback inside the browser, and will further enrich the viewing experience by allowing operators to create a rich walled garden of OTT content for their customers...The key technology features to enable OTT--including HLS and HTML5--are specifically designed to improve the user experience with a raft of new services which in turn will help our customers to reduce customer churn and drive new revenue streams. The new enhanced range also includes HTTP upgrade capability allowing set-top boxes to be remotely upgraded automatically with the latest firmware further minimizing operator support costs. The OTT-enabled Aminet set-top boxes include the A129, A140 and A540 PVR and the H140 hospitality device."
  • Digital audio and video fingerprinting specialist, Audible Magic, has announced that TV and set-top box semiconductor provider, Trident Microsystems, has integrated its SmartID automatic content recognition (ACR) system into its DTV platform. "Based on Audible Magic's patented digital fingerprint content-identification technology, the SmartID system will help Trident OEM's and ODM's and their application developers more fully capitalize on new opportunities in the emerging social-TV, interactive-advertising, and personalization markets," Audible Magic states in its press materials. "For these developers, one key asset of the SmartID system is its ability to support both on-demand and continuous identification modes. This makes it easy for applications to identify live television shows, movies, music, and advertising TV viewers watch, regardless of the media source: linear television, Blu-ray players, VOD, or over-the-top streamed media from companies such as Netflix or Hulu. As well as being critical to developing new applications for social TV, interactive advertising, and personalization, this capability is also essential to the integration of companion-screen devices into the interactive viewing experience. In addition to automated content recognition, the SmartID system offers developers other valuable features, such as: 1) Frame-accurate synchronization using Audible Magic's SmartSync capability, making it easy for developers to time events based on specific locations within a video such as polls, contests, and the timing of ads and other related content. 2) Local device and cloud-based media recognition services. 3) Audible Magic's SongID feature, allowing viewers to immediately identify a song when they hear it on TV using just a click of the remote control. 4) Minimal memory and CPU footprint that allows the SmartID system to scale from low- to high-end DTV systems. 5) An API for developers that is easy to integrate with their applications." Said Dirk Wiebernit, general manager of Trident's TV business unit: "Social TV, interactive advertising, and personalization are three enormous market opportunities for Trident, our OEM's and ODM's, and the apps developers who work with them. To take full advantage of these opportunities, suppliers and developers must offer excellent content-recognition capabilities. And, with the exclusive addition of Audible Magic's SmartID system, we believe that we have the most robust and accurate technology of this kind on the market." Audible Magic will be demo'ing its ACR technology in its booth (Hall 13, Stand 384) at IBC 2011 next month.
  • Canoe Ventures has announced a reorganization of its senior management team, following the appointment of Kathy Timko as CEO last month. "Canoe now has six key organizations, each with a senior-level leader directly reporting to the CEO," the company states in its press materials. " 1) Joel Hassell has been named chief technology officer, in an expanded redefinition of the CTO role for the company. As CTO, Hassell is responsible for overseeing all Technology and Engineering teams, including Advertising Operations. Hassell was previously SVP of engineering. 2) Vicki Lins continues as chief marketing officer, overseeing Marketing and Communications, and adding Affiliate Marketing in support of the programming networks Canoe has enabled for advanced services. 3) Arthur Orduna has been named chief product officer, a new role which aligns Product Strategy, Product Development and Business Development. This new, pivotal role will help to ensure Canoe's product strategies are nimbly aligned with the dynamic marketplace and the priorities of Canoe's owners. This responsibility leverages Orduna's experience as Canoe's former CTO and dedicates a new team and approach to products. Reporting to Arthur will be product general managers with full P&L responsibility, starting with ITV and VOD DAI [dynamic advertising insertion]. The team of GM's will expand as Canoe enters new areas of business. 4) John Redpath continues his role as general counsel, overseeing all legal and regulatory matters. 5) Neil Schaffer continues in his role as chief financial officer, with expanded responsibilities for Corporate Administration and Planning. 6) Jim Turner continues to lead Sales as senior vice president of sales and distribution and will align Network and Agency Relations within one team. This role will focus on network distribution, advertiser and agency relations, and revenue generation." Said CEO Timko: "The opportunity for video distributors and programming networks to engage viewers and enhance advertiser value with deeper and more relevant television experiences remains as substantial as ever. I am confident that this alignment of Canoe's organization best positions the company for its next phase which is focused on scale and growth. These changes will enable us to better serve networks, advertisers, agencies and distributors with compelling advanced solutions for TV."
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