Interactive TV News Round-Up (VI): LG, Miso, DirecTV, MobiTV

--New LG PenTouch TV's Let Viewers Interact with the Screen via a Stylus
--Miso Teams with DirecTV to Launch Broadcast-Synchronized Social-TV App
--MobiTV Planning IPO

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.

  • LG Electronics has launched the LG PenTouch TV, a series of plasma HDTV's which, when connected to a PC, allow viewers to use a special touch-sensitive stylus pen to "interact with the Internet and to create, modify and control a variety of content directly on the screen." The company says that the new sets are now available in retail across the US. "Users can activate the PenTouch mode with a single click on the remote control," LG states in its press materials. "The interface is intuitive and easy to navigate. In PenTouch mode, users can access files created on their PC's, and work on them, edit them or move them around the screen using the stylus. The TV supports simultaneous two-pen use, and pen batteries can be recharged through USB ports on the TV or PC. Using PenTouch software, which is provided with the TV, budding artists can draw pictures directly onto the screen and then save the files for further editing or effects manipulation. If the PC is connected to a printer, users can print their PenTouch creations, too. More complex software features include Gallery, which comes with a built-in slide show feature; Digital Photo Frame, which lets users embellish their work with the frame of their choice; and even a Family Calendar, where you can leave notes and to-do lists for your family members to see. The LG PenTouch TV can also interact with Internet content when connected to a PC. The LG PenTouch TV uses a protective scratch-resistant glass screen, while auto sharpness control and color materialization technology enhance viewing. Complementing the unit's stylish TruSlim Frame design, the LG PenTouch TV incorporates a stand that has been specially designed to provide more stability when owners or their children are using the PenTouch feature. Three LG PenTouch models, two 60-inch (59.8 inches diagonal) class and one 50-inch class (49.9 inches diagonal) plasma HDTV's are available. The 60-inch class 60PZ850 is 3D-capable, earning the coveted THX 3D and 2D Display Certification. It has a suggested retail price of $2,199. The 60-inch class 60PV490 and the 50-inch class 50PV490 both offer full HD 1080p display capability and exclusive LG technologies, including Picture Wizard self-calibration, Intelligent Sensor automatic picture adjustment and Smart Energy Saving features. The 60PV490 and 50PV490 have suggested retail prices of $1,699 and $1,099, respectively."
  • Google-backed social-TV company, Miso, has announced a partnership with DirecTV that sees it launching a free social-TV app for the iPhone that is synchronized with the satellite-TV provider's programming, thus "enabling real-time social features that change based on what you're watching. Miso's second-screen experience introduces the first social-television app that takes advantage of DirecTV's HD set-top boxes' unique ability to communicate with mobile and tablet apps over the customer's home network," Miso's press materials continue. "The app shows you what's on TV and, as you switch the channel, changes with it. No longer do you have to manually search to share what you are watching--just tap and share as you watch. All that is required is that a phone is on the same WiFi network as your DirecTV Internet-enabled receiver...As mobile increasingly becomes the go-to device in everyone's homes, integrating it into the consumer's TV viewing habits is becoming as natural as flipping a TV remote. By synchronizing the second screen with live, time-shifted and on-demand content and introducing social features, Miso is enabling the most comprehensive social-TV experience." Said Miso CEO, Somrat Niyogi: "Our partnership with DirecTV is a big step toward delivering a truly connected home experience because, for the first time ever, a social-TV app will enable viewers to easily share what they're watching, as they're watching it. DirecTV is a leader in providing innovative entertainment and we're excited to be working with them to deliver this industry first. This is just the first of many new partnerships we'll announce in the coming months."
  • MobiTV has announced that it is planning an IPO. "The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the offering have not yet been determined," the company states in its press materials. "MobiTV is a leading provider of comprehensive managed services that deliver live and on-demand television and related media content across mobile devices, tablets, personal computers and other Internet-enabled consumer electronics. J.P. Morgan Securities, LLC and Deutsche Bank Securities, Inc. are acting as joint book-running managers for the offering and Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated, William Blair & Company, LLC and Pacific Crest Securities, LLC are acting as co-managers." The company has filed a Form S-1 registration with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that can be viewed here.
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