Interactive TV News Round-Up (III): Microsoft, Jinni, MIG, "Big Brother," Netgem, Miso

--Microsoft Licenses Jinni's Semantic Video-Discovery Technology
--Mobile Interactive Group to Power Facebook Voting for "Big Brother"
--Jinni Brings Semantic Video Discovery to Netgem's IPTV Middleware
--Netgem Integrates Miso's Social-TV Platform with its Middleware

Due to the large volume of news generated by the IFA, IBC and CEDIA trade shows--and 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.

  • Jinni, a Tel Aviv-based company that has developed what it bills as a "taste-and-mood-based" video-discovery engine, has announced that Microsoft has signed an agreement to license its semantic discovery technology. "The Semantic Discovery Engine and Entertainment Genome, a rich set of more than 2,000 tags to describe the mood, plot and style of any title, was developed specifically for discovery of video content," Jinni explains in its press materials. "The Jinni engine enables a variety of meaning-based discovery features to help users find what to watch on any screen, any time. Jinni's Entertainment Genome enables exceptionally intuitive, explainable and holistic video discovery to power any screen with a suite of features for the next generation of digital home entertainment guides. Jinni offers unique features, such as: 1) Mood-Based Discovery--Search or browse within intuitive categories like mood, plot and style to choose content in a large catalog with fewer clicks. For example, just two clicks on 'witty,' then 'sibling relationships' gets results: 2) Taste-Based Recommendations--Highly personalized recommendations extracted from distinct groups of semantic genes that characterize a user's various tastes. For example, a user may enjoy 'suspenseful, stylized, rough stories about gangsters, cons and scams and heists.' 3) Explainability--Complete transparency builds user trust, so natural language explanations of why each title is recommended are provided. 4) Similar Titles/Content Recommendations--Easy, intuitive way to find more shows or movies that are truly similar based on comparison of semantic attributes. 5) Effective Social Discovery--Cuts through the buzz to find friends as well as other users with similar taste that can be trusted sources of social recommendations." Said Jinni founder and CEO, Yosi Glick: "Microsoft's choice to license the Jinni video discovery solution further validates our unique semantic technology and holistic approach to entertainment discovery. At Jinni, we believe finding digital entertainment should be as natural and enjoyable as consuming it. Our technology can power a wide variety of intuitive discovery tools, including; semantic search, personalized recommendations, and mood-based discovery features for a fun way to find movies and TV."
  • Mobile Interactive Group (MIG) has announced that it has been tapped by Endemol and UK terrestrial broadcaster, Channel 5, to enable voting via Facebook for the next season of the reality show, "Big Brother." According to the company, Channel 5 has developed a special Facebook app that will run alongside the series. "The application will allow viewers to vote for contestants using Facebook Credits through MIG's mVoy Engage platform casting votes in real time through to the live show alongside traditional interactive voting methods," MIG states in its press materials. "The platform is also integrated into the official 'Big Brother UK' iPhone and Android applications [to] offer a true multichannel voting experience." Said MIG commercial director, Rob Weisz: "This is a major development in the broadcast interactive space. It is widely acknowledged that viewers are moving to multichannel experiences when watching traditional shows and we are delighted to announce this partnership with Channel 5 and Endemol. This technology has been developed specifically to create an exciting and engaging interactive experience regardless of whether you interact with a TV show via Facebook, iTunes, Android, traditional Web and mobile Web. We strongly believe this will allow global broadcasters and production companies a seamless way to monetize their audiences, whilst creating a deeply social experience within the show format and on the second screen. It is unlike anything this industry has seen before but defines exactly where interactive television is going. This is a watershed announcement for this industry."
  • Netgem has announced a partnership with Jinni. "Embedded with Netgem's IPTV middleware, Jinni's semantic discovery and recommendation solution was especially designed to enable a superior user experience and taste profiling to help end-users find great VOD content to suit their taste and mood," Netgem states in its press materials. "Operators will rapidly benefit from this TV app and generate more revenues by pushing relevant programs to their subscribers. Seamlessly integrated in Netgem's user interface, the Jinni discovery solution allows end-users to find movies and TV shows they will enjoy, based on their personal taste and mood at the moment. Jinni also enables meaning-based natural language search for an intuitive user experience, far superior to the traditional genre content selection usually in place in VOD stores." Said Jinni CEO, Yosi Glick: "We are happy to partner with Netgem, and together power a new, intuitive discovery experience. We share with Netgem their vision of making content accessible from all connected devices within the home, and believe end-users will greatly benefit from this new video content application." Jinni and Netgem plan to demo the application they have designed for IPTV operators in Netgem's booth (Hall 4, B79) at IBC 2011.
  • Netgem has also announced a partnership with Miso which it says will make social-TV features available through the TV set, as well as through smartphones, tablets and other IP applications. "Miso's platform integrated with Netgem's middleware provides a simple and user-friendly way to enrich the TV experience," Netgem states in its press materials. "While watching a TV show, the viewer can see who, amongst his or her friends, are watching the same show, read comments posted from an iPhone, iPad or from the Web, let the community know what he is watching and switch to another TV program recommended by a friend. Netgem is working to integrate Miso with its nCloud software multimedia server to give end-users an even more complete and integrated social-TV experience. Launching soon, this will automatically synchronize the user's companion devices with the TV show being viewed to provide further options for interactivity." Said Miso CEO, Somrat Niyogi: "We are excited to partner with Netgem to evolve the TV experience by introducing social-TV functionality that is synchronized across multiple devices. This partnership between two industry leaders provides viewers with a seamless second-screen experience that makes TV watching even more social." The companies plan to demo Miso's social-TV platform running with a Netgem set-top in Netgem's booth (Hall 4, B79) at IBC 2011.

North America