Interactive TV News Round-Up (VIII): Rovi, Panasonic, Sony

--Rovi Launches DivX Plus Streaming
--Rovi TotalGuide to Power EPG for Panasonic Connected-TV and DVD/BD Recorder Products in Europe
--Sony Jettisons "Qriocity" Branding

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.

  • Rovi has launched DivX Plus Streaming, which it bills as "a secure adaptive streaming solution for the delivery of a feature-rich, premium digital entertainment experience to connected devices including HDTV's, Blu-ray Disc players, smartphones, game consoles, PC's, Mac's, and cable set-top boxes. DivX Plus Streaming not only delivers video content in high quality, but also supports advanced multimedia features that have historically only been associated with Blu-ray Discs," Rovi's press materials continue. "In order to enhance the digital entertainment experience, DivX Plus Streaming includes support for 1080p high definition, subtitles, multiple language tracks, and trick-play features such as smooth fast-forward and rewind, quick-start playback, and the ability to resume playback across devices. The DivX Plus Streaming SDK is available today for retailer, CE, and IC manufacturer integration and is being demonstrated at the Rovi booth at IFA, September 2-7, (Hall 25, Stand 146)...DivX Plus Streaming will be featured in Rovi offerings for the cable industry and seamlessly integrates into the Rovi Entertainment Store, formerly the RoxioNow platform, which currently powers digital entertainment services on a broad ecosystem of consumer electronics devices for leading retailers, PC makers, consumer electronics manufacturers, as well as studios' direct-to-consumer initiatives...DivX Plus Streaming offers smooth resolution scaling to maintain optimal visual quality as bandwidth fluctuates and helps to provide a buffer-free playback experience. The adaptive streaming format also provides support for the inclusion of DTS Audio. DivX Plus Streaming is based on a flexible DRM framework that is capable of powering a variety of distribution models including electronic sell-through, timed rentals or subscription, as well as an array of consumption scenarios such as streaming, downloads, and side-load transfer to enable both online and offline playback. To develop DivX Plus Streaming, Rovi built upon core DivX technologies recognized by millions of consumers around the world for delivering great video performance, visual quality, and multiscreen interoperability. The solution also utilizes trusted digital rights management technology currently used by a number of online retailers offering movies in the DivX format including WB Shop, Media Markt, and Film Fresh. To accelerate time-to-market and device integration, Rovi is building out the existing certification program used for DivX technology device validation and compatibility--a program that has resulted in shipment by top-tier manufacturers of over 500 million DivX-compatible consumer electronics into the market."
  • In other Rovi news: 1) The company said Wednesday that its Rovi TotalGuide solution will power the "next-generation" EPG for Panasonic's connected-TV and DVD/Blu-ray Disc recorder products in Europe. "Rovi TotalGuide is an advanced media guide that provides a single destination for finding and discovering various types of content," the company states in its press materials. "It includes deep, descriptive information and rich multimedia on cast, programs and movies, and enables consumers to easily navigate from one content element to another, a key aspect of Rovi's 'six degrees' media discovery experience. In addition, TotalGuide features interactive advertising capability that enables brands' engagement with consumers that extends beyond the traditional banner and commercial advertising." 2) The company has announced its exhibit plans for IFA 2011 (September 2nd-7th, Berlin). According to the company, "the event marks the beginning of a major European expansion for Rovi and its white-label solutions." Among other things, the company will be demo'ing its "white-label Rovi Entertainment Store that is planned to power video-on-demand features of a new hybrid-TV offering for digital cable operators by Eutelsat. The solution will enable subscribers to instantly watch a broad range of premium entertainment," the company's press materials continue. "This effort is part of a broader European expansion with new retail customers expected to be announced later this year."
  • Sony is taking the video and music services that it previously offered under the Qriocity brand, combining them with the PlayStation Network for gaming, and putting the properties under the umbrella of the new brand name, "Sony Entertainment Network." Sony Entertainment Network's video offering (formerly "Video on Demand Powered by Qriocity") will now be known as "Video Unlimited." Paid Content has more.
North America