Interactive TV News Round-Up (I): ActiveVideo, Audible Magic, Miso, yap.TV, RCDb

--ActiveVideo Unveils HTML5-Enabled CloudTV H5 Platform
--ActiveVideo to Demo Voice-Controlled TV Navigation for Cable at CES
--Audible Magic Launches Live TViD Solution, Partners with Miso
--Audible Magic in ACR Partnerships with yap.TV, RCDb

Due to the large volume of news being generated by this week's 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format. We anticipate that it will take us several days to process all the news from the show: 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. While the [itvt] editorial team catches up with CES news, please check out the live Twitter coverage of the show from [itvt] bloggers, Will Keller and Zachary Weiner, by following the @tswedlow Twitter feed.

  • Cloud-based interactive TV specialist, ActiveVideo Networks, has launched CloudTV H5, the latest version of its flagship CloudTV platform. It will be demo'ing the solution at CES in its suite at the Renaissance Las Vegas Hotel and at various partner booths. "The new CloudTV H5 platform, which is being shown for the first time at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show, leverages support for applications written in HTML5 to enable the fastest and most flexible delivery of unsurpassed user experiences to any set-top box," the company explains in its press materials. "Using the platform, multichannel providers can offer rich, animated 'iVOD' experiences that enhance VOD with intelligent search, discovery, and personalization, creating engagement and driving revenues in a multiscreen environment...Designed to interface seamlessly with existing cable operator network infrastructure, the CloudTV H5 platform executes and renders the complete application in the cloud. The application is delivered as a single, adaptable video stream to the set-top box or connected device, which simply passes remote control keyclicks or keypad entries back through the network to the cloud with very low latency." Said ActiveVideo president and CEO, Jeff Miller: "Navigation is the 'killer app' for service providers. CloudTV H5 is--without question--the fastest route to the next-generation VOD navigation experiences that can help viewers find and watch their favorite content within vast on-demand libraries. In fact, CloudTV H5 significantly improves the service velocity of all apps. Until now, television apps have been limited by set-top-box diversity and the need for complicated development tools--and programmers who know how to use them. CloudTV H5 solves both by bringing the power of an HTML5 browser to any digital set-top box. It enables service providers to create navigation interfaces--or any apps--and to deploy them through any network or device, within a fraction of the time that historically has been needed for new apps."
  • In related news: ActiveVideo says that it will be demo'ing CloudTV H5's support for voice-controlled TV navigation at CES this week. "The ActiveVideo demo will show the speed and flexibility with which the CloudTV H5 application platform can power compelling new navigation experiences for multichannel video service providers," the company states in its press materials. "In the demo, the CloudTV H5 platform is used in tandem with devices that support the Siri personal assistant application from Apple to bring voice control navigation through any digital set-top box or connected device. For example, viewers could request that the platform 'show all of the "Harry Potter" movies,' or 'show all of the movies with Brad Pitt'...The ActiveVideo demo shows how voice control, combined with ActiveVideo's cloud-based processing, enables voice-activated content selection, search and discovery on any digital set-top box--even legacy STB's. Voice commands are transmitted through the cellular network to CloudTV servers, which respond to the input by delivering specific video and applications as a personalized, adaptive video stream to the set-top box or connected device. The time required for the entire transaction is consistent with that of standard remote controls."
  • Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) specialist, Audible Magic (CES Booth 73507, Eureka Park Tech Zone, Bellini Ballroom, Venetian Hotel), on Monday unveiled its Live TViD service, which it says "enables CE manufacturers, broadcasters and companion-screen applications developers to identify live, never-before-seen content as it airs in applications for smart TV, smartphones, tablets, and other devices. Based on Audible Magic's patented digital fingerprinting technology used by more than 200 companies worldwide," the company's press materials continue, "the Live TViD service offers organizations planning to capitalize on new revenue opportunities in the fast emerging 'connected' home entertainment market several distinct benefits. These include the abilities to: 1) Recognize shows broadcast live on TV in as few as 3 seconds. 2) Recognize content even if viewing is time-shifted. 3) Make accurate identifications even when 'talk over' or other ambient noise is present. 4) Identify content from more than 150 channels. 5) Identify commercials viewers are watching. 6) Pinpoint to the exact video frame where a viewer is during a show." Social-TV check-in company, Miso, has incorporated Live TViD into its platform, and is demo'ing the integration in Audible Magic's CES booth.
  • In other Audible Magic news: 1) The company said Monday that yap.TV has integrated the Audible Magic SmartSync ACR solution into its platform and will launch an integrated application later this quarter. "This agreement, one of several Audible Magic has announced in the last month, also underscores the growing acceptance of the company's ACR solutions among leading application developers and consumer electronic (CE) device manufacturers in the fast evolving connected-TV and smart-device markets," Audible Magic states in its press materials. "For virtually all social-TV, interactive advertising, and related applications to fully succeed, the company contends, the ability of multiple devices to recognize aired content--even on live, never-before-shown programs--in real time is essential." Said yap.TV CMO, Shawn Cunningham: "ACR is fundamental to creating an interactive TV experience. By recognizing the content being aired, whether live or recorded, we can extend the entertainment experience on the second screen with real-time, synched content." 2) The company has formed a partnership with Related Content Database (RCDb), under which the latter will "integrate, resell and enhance Audible Magic's solutions for smart TV's, smartphones, tablets, set-top boxes, and other smart device applications with digital fingerprinting. As part of the agreement," the companies' press materials continue, "RCDb will offer content owners, programmers, application developers and others the ability to create real-time solutions that deepen customer engagement and spur ecommerce, synchronizing multiscreen experiences to the main television screen. RCDb's Watchwith Service Delivery Platform enhances the multiscreen viewer experience with rich, frame-by-frame, time-based metadata powered by the Related Content Database. Adding to the power of the platform is Audible Magic's patented SmartSync ACR solution, which can recognize the particular show or movie someone watches and--with precise, frame-to-frame accuracy--identify the point the viewer is at in the presentation. Since SmartSync keeps the media in sync with the application, smart device suppliers don't need to worry if users pause, rewind, or fast-forward a presentation. Everything stays synchronized. This integrated solution has broad consumer and commercial implications. For example, social-TV applications can provide more engaging and satisfying user experiences by displaying information about actors, scenes, locations, and products shown in particular scenes in real time from the Related Content Database. This solution also makes a variety of related consumer engagement experiences possible. If viewers wish, for example, they can buy products connected to actual content in a TV show or movies. Or, they can opt for another screen to come up, taking them to a site that offers additional information about the show or movie they are watching, audience reviews, and related products, from books to clothes worn by favorite actors in the shows." Said RCDb CEO, Zane Vella: "Knowing the exact moment in a viewer experience is a requirement for defining new user experiences and business models around multiscreen video delivery. When used with Audible Magic's SmartSync ACR technology, our frame-level metadata transforms the viewing experience and helps content owners unlock the in their content."
North America