Interactive TV News Round-Up (I): Audible Magic, Trickplay, BBC, Virgin Media, TiVo, Brightcove, Roku, Showtime

--Audible Magic in ACR Partnership with Trickplay
--BBC, Virgin Media Partner to Bring Red-Button Interactive TV Apps to Virgin's TiVo Service
--Brightcove, Roku, Showtime Networks Launch Showtime Promotional App for Roku Devices

Because of the volume of news already being generated by next week's 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), and because the [itvt] editorial team has a backlog of news to cover following TVOT NYC Intensive 2011 and our post-event vacation, 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.

  • Audible Magic and Trickplay announced a technology partnership Wednesday that they say will make Audible Magic's automatic content recognition (ACR) technology an integral part of Trickplay's digital TV software platform. "Based on Audible Magic's patented digital fingerprint content-identification technology, the company's SmartID and SmartSync solutions enable consumer electronics devices to provide more engaging content and offer other outstanding user experiences," the companies state in their press materials. "Two key capabilities make up the core of Trickplay's digital TV software platform. First, the platform quickly creates rich, breathtaking graphics in full HD that are visibly superior to competing technologies. Second, it supports a robust development environment that enables the creation of new applications across multiple devices and screens. Now, by embedding Audible Magic's SmartID and SmartSync solutions, this platform can address content in a variety of new ways, making it socially engaging as well as visually engaging. The Audible Magic solutions enhance Trickplay's platform in two specific ways. SmartID, for example, enables developers to recognize content that is being played, whether the content is delivered from terrestrial broadcast, cable, Internet streaming, Blu-ray, or another source. And SmartSync synchronizes events to the media being watched with frame-to-frame accuracy. Both Trickplay's and Audible Magic's platforms currently operate across a wide range of devices, including set-top boxes, televisions, and tablets." Said Audible Magic's VP of marketing, Jay Friedman: "Embedding our SmartID and SmartSync solutions into Trickplay's software platform is an important step forward in implementing our strategy to make ACR as ubiquitous on consumer devices as GPS is today. This effectively frees OEM's and application developers to create all kinds of new ways for consumers to engage with media." At CES next week, Audible Magic will be demo'ing its SmartID ACR in its booth (73507) at the CES Eureka Park Tech Zone (Bellini Ballroom, Venetian Hotel), while Trickplay will be demo'ing its solutions in its suite (H573) at the Las Vegas Hilton.
  • The BBC and UK cable operator, Virgin Media, last month announced a partnership to bring BBC interactive TV services to Virgin Media's TiVo-based hybrid-TV service, starting this year. "The BBC and Virgin Media will now begin to develop new applications and user experiences for TiVo homes--paving the way for Virgin Media customers to gain access to the BBC's interactive coverage of [2012's] major sporting events via a brand new Red Button experience, including Formula 1, Wimbledon, Euro 2012 and the London 2012 Olympics," the partners state in their press materials. "A forthcoming BBC Sport app will build on these 'enhanced Red Button' services to bring next-generation viewing experiences to connected TV's in 2012. The new app will bring together all the live streams from the BBC's existing Red Button service, video streams on-demand and additional content from BBC Online--providing a next-generation TV experience of Wimbledon, Formula 1, Euro 2012 and London 2012. The BBC Sport app will sit alongside the BBC's existing BBC News and BBC iPlayer apps. The partnership between Virgin Media and the BBC has already delivered full integration of BBC iPlayer into Virgin Media's TiVo Service. BBC catch-up programs are now even easier to access through the search, menus, and EPG, made possible by the openness and flexibility of the TiVo platform. The award-winning BBC News app, which brings together the best of BBC News on TV and online in an on-demand service will launch on Virgin Media TiVo. Accessible via the Red Button and the Virgin Media TiVo 'Apps and Games' section, it is expected to launch in the first quarter of [2012]."

  • Brightcove and Roku on Wednesday launched an interactive application for Roku connected-TV devices that showcases promotional content from the Showtime Networks series, "Shameless" and "House of Lies." The app offers free sample episodes and other content, delivered to Roku devices via Brightcove's Video Cloud online video platform. "Today, Roku subscribers can watch HD-quality video webisodes, highlights, behind-the-scenes interviews, and even sample full episodes of the hit shows 'Shameless' and 'House of Lies' from Showtime," the companies state in their press materials. "Showtime Networks is the first organization to take advantage of a newly released sample reference application built by Brightcove, Roku and A Different Engine, a leading San Francisco-based interactive agency. The app is designed to make it easy for Brightcove customers to deliver content to the Roku platform. The app reduces the amount of time involved with user interface design, development and QA, enabling organizations to quickly take advantage of the fast-growing audience using the Roku platform. The app also provides a simple user interface that follows Roku's navigation conventions and built-in connections to Video Cloud playlists. Publishers can also sell their apps if desired using Roku's subscription system." Said Showtime's VP of interactive TV, David Preisman: "We are excited to work with Brightcove and Roku to promote some of our most popular programming to the fast-growing Roku community. Our strong relationship with Brightcove and use of the Video Cloud platform makes it easy for us to bring our video content to new platforms like Roku and expand the reach of our initiatives." Added Brightcove's VP of TV solutions, Eric Elia: "We are thrilled to work with Showtime Networks, one of the most innovative television programmers in the US, to bring this new app to life. The Roku audience is made up of many passionate viewers. By integrating with the Roku platform, we are making it easy for programmers like Showtime to reach this audience."
North America