Rovi CES News Round-Up

Demo of Rovi's TotalGuide G2 at 2012 CES

--Launches Second Generation of its TotalGuide Programming-Discovery Solution for Connected TV
--Launches TotalGuide on New Connected TV's from Toshiba
--Works with Samsung to Bring Interactive TV Advertising to Connected-TV Platforms
--Expands Feature Set, Device Support and Reach of its Rovi Entertainment Store
--Launches Digital Copy Solution to Enable Cloud Access to DVD and Blu-ray Disc Collections
--Adds Twitter Verified Accounts to Rovi Data
--Says Multiple Companies Now Using Rovi Cloud Services to Power Entertainment Apps
--Says Amlogic Will Launch First DivX Plus HD Certified Chipset for Android

Rovi generated a fair amount of news over the past couple of weeks at CES and beyond. Here is a round-up of recent major announcements from the company:

  • The company has unveiled TotalGuide G2, the second-generation of its programming search and discovery solution for connected-TV platforms, which is slated for availability in the second quarter. "TotalGuide G2 will bring together a comprehensive range of Rovi technologies and services such as multimedia-rich and deeply descriptive entertainment data, personalized search and recommendations, multi-source video access and control, and interactive advertising," the company states in its press materials. "The latest solution will use social media commentary to enhance entertainment discovery and enjoyment, provide new access to high-quality original Web programming including short-form content, and enable easy integration of third-party, over-the-top digital entertainment storefronts--including services powered by Rovi Entertainment Store such as Best Buy CinemaNow...Using functionality delivered through Rovi Cloud Services, TotalGuide G2 will allow manufacturers to easily configure a feature set and custom user interface, based on either HTML or Flash, that's unique to them and meets the specific needs of a product line or target device. Lightweight and planned to be integration-ready for a broad range of connected platforms, TotalGuide G2 is expected to help manufacturers enrich their products to provide users with deeply engaging entertainment experiences that expose them to the full range of content available on their devices. Highly customizable and implemented on top of common consumer electronics technologies such as CE-HTML, HTML5, and Adobe Air, TotalGuide G2 is expected to include: 1) Rovi Multi-Source Entertainment Guides--Enables access to a broad variety of content from a range of sources: Over-the-top video content including EST/VOD retailers, subscription services, movie trailers and more; linear broadcast television content from over-the-air sources, as well as cable, satellite or IPTV content providers. 2) Social Discovery--Enables access to social discovery features such as Twitter mentions and trending information, as well as Facebook likes and recommendations. 3) Mobile Application Integration--Enables control and enhancement of the discovery and enjoyment experience with tablet and smartphone applications. 4) DVR Control--Enables recording and scheduling of broadcast television content from a unified user interface or companion device. 5) Rovi Data Service--Provides real-time and up-to-date access to the extensive amount of entertainment metadata from Rovi, including information and multimedia content covering movies, television and music as well as celebrity, sports and other information that makes the discovery experience useful and engaging for the consumer. 6) Rovi Search Service--Combines powerful algorithms, rich metadata, and a user-centric design approach to provide better accuracy and relevant search capability with filtered, predictive and highly personalized results. 7) Rovi Recommendations Service--Offers various recommendations types, such as item-based, filtered, popular, new content, personalized, editorial, community and others, which helps to drive entertainment sales and consumption. 8) Rovi Management Services--A set of user-profile, device-, and event-management services as well as reporting and analytics capabilities that can be paired with the other Web services to support user personalization in a seamless experience. 9) Rovi Web Video Service--Enables access to professionally produced Web video content from thousands of content producers around the world. 10) Rovi Advertising Service--Allows CE manufacturers to potentially create recurring revenue streams by delivering interactive advertising on platform, as well as through content partnerships and sponsored search and recommendations. In addition to offering a broad range of componentized capabilities, Rovi TotalGuide G2 will be able to integrate with Rovi Entertainment Store, the company's end-to-end, white-label solution for digital storefront creation and management."
  • The company has announced that TotalGuide will be available on Toshiba's L7200 Cinema Series and L6200 Series LED 3D connected TV's for the US market--branded as "Toshiba MediaGuide." Those models are slated to launch in the second quarter. Rovi says that TotalGuide will launch on select Toshiba connected TV's in the European market later this year. Rovi and Toshiba signed a licensing agreement in July.
  • The company has announced that it is working with Samsung on efforts to bring interactive TV advertising to connected-TV platforms (note: [itvt] will be covering these efforts in more depth in an upcoming issue). "Building upon a successful collaboration that has been delivering leading-edge campaigns for high-profile brands for almost a year, the companies plan to introduce a range of new options for marketers looking to reach connected device users," Rovi states in its press materials. "Expected to be deployed throughout the year is a range of new capabilities designed to drive greater engagement, and measurement, as well as new ad placement opportunities including in-app advertising...Samsung is expected to take advantage of a wide range of new advertising capabilities Rovi has been introducing (and plans to continue to introduce over the coming year) including new Request For Information (RFI) capabilities that support click-to-call, email, and quick response (QR) codes within advertisements, social networking options, as well as additional TV commerce capabilities...The Rovi Advertising Service is a cloud-based, turnkey advertising solution that includes campaign management, trafficking and measurement, sales and account management, as well as creative services. Rovi Advertising Service connects CE manufacturers like Samsung to leading brands and agencies that are participating in the Rovi Advertising Network in order to reach an engaged consumer audience that is actively seeking live, recorded, on-demand, cable or network programming. Rovi is continuing to expand the reach of the Rovi Advertising Network, with new deployments on connected TV's and media players from a range of manufacturers. Currently, Rovi's advertising services, products and technologies together reach more than 50 million households globally." Said Rovi's SVP of worldwide advertising, Jeff Siegel: "Rovi and Samsung are expanding our successful relationship and pioneering the next wave of innovative advertising on smart TV's. Over the past year, Rovi has worked with Samsung on hundreds of advertising campaigns in the smart-TV space. This expanded relationship combines exciting new inventory with compelling advertiser products, which we believe will continue to help drive integration of next-generation advertising into the home entertainment experience."






  • The company has announced an update to Rovi Entertainment Store, its white-label solution for OTT storefront creation and management on connected devices. "This new version will offer software development kits (SDK's) to streamline customer storefront launches, ground-breaking features, including DivX Plus Streaming, to help enhance the consumer viewing experience, and support for companies that wish to introduce UltraViolet-compatible services," the company states in its press materials. "In anticipation of new customer launches later this year in the UK, Rovi is also expanding its European content licensing program and Rovi Entertainment Store customer support services...The expanded capabilities of Rovi Entertainment Store will be available through a new line of storefront client SDK's. As is the case with other Rovi solutions, the new Rovi Entertainment Store SDK's will provide a flexible technology framework that allows customers to quickly define, deploy and update differentiated digital entertainment services that are distinctly their own. The SDK's will provide support for the latest popular device platforms such as connected TV's, Web stores, Blu-ray Disc players, iOS devices, Android mobile devices, and game consoles--including the recently added support for Sony PlayStation and Xbox. Each SDK will also include reference implementations that can be quickly branded and deployed by storefront customers. SDK's will also include extensive development documentation and libraries that enable customers to use the same underlying core that has been certified by content owners and CE manufacturers, while still delivering a customized storefront experience. Rovi continues to evolve the Rovi Entertainment Store feature set with the availability of DivX Plus Streaming. Unveiled earlier this year at IFA, DivX Plus Streaming advances over-the-top entertainment by enabling the digital delivery of a Blu-ray Disc-like experience. The secure adaptive streaming solution, now approved by 5 of the leading studios, not only dynamically adjusts streams to deliver maximum visual quality based on available bandwidth, but also offers an advanced feature set with support for 1080p, subtitles, multiple language tracks, and trick-play functions such as smooth fast-forward and rewind. As a member of the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE) consortium, and a licensee of UltraViolet--the ecosystem delivering a new way to collect and enjoy home video entertainment--Rovi is helping customers rapidly deploy compatible products and services. Specifically, through its Rovi Entertainment Store technologies and services, Rovi is enabling UltraViolet Digital Library support within existing and future customers' storefronts; therefore, allowing consumers to buy UltraViolet-enabled content and/or access their entertainment purchases from a broad range of devices."
  • The company has launched an offering, called Rovi Digital Copy Solution, which it says will allow consumers to access their DVD and Blu-ray Disc collections via the cloud. "Rovi Digital Copy Solution integrates into consumer electronics devices and PC applications, allowing them to recognize a movie on physical disc, authenticate its origin, and then trigger access to a copy from the UltraViolet Digital Library," the company states in its press materials. "Digital copies can then be enjoyed by consumers from virtually anywhere on a range of enabled connected devices that may include HDTV's, Blu-ray Disc players, set-top boxes, game consoles, smartphones, tablets, and PC's... Rovi Digital Copy Solution incorporates Rovi Media Recognition and Media Authentication Services and can be incorporated as a component of Rovi Entertainment Store, the company's end-to-end, white-label solution for digital storefront creation and management. Rovi Entertainment Store technologies and services can be used to facilitate the cloud storage of digital copies of DVD and Blu-ray Disc movies via the UltraViolet industry standard, and for facilitating cross-merchandising and promotion. To ensure a high-quality viewing experience, DivX Plus Streaming, another component of Rovi Entertainment Store, can be used to deliver digital copies purchased to a broad range of connected devices." According to Rovi, its new Digital Copy Solution, which is available for integration today, works as follows: "1) Consumer places disc into supported hardware (CE device or PC) where it is automatically identified using Rovi Media Recognition Service. 2) The Rovi Media Authentication Service performs a variety of heuristics to determine the disc's authenticity. 3) If authorized by the content owner, consumers can then be presented with the opportunity to purchase access to a digital copy that can be placed in a digital storefront library powered by Rovi Entertainment Store and made available via UltraViolet. 4) Once purchased, the title would then be available from the cloud for downloading or streaming via a range of connected devices."
  • The company has announced that it has enhanced Rovi Data, its database of standardized information about global music, movies, games, books and TV programming, with the addition of thousands of Verified Accounts from Twitter. "Third-party developers can now use Rovi Data as an easy way to add tweets directly from Verified Accounts into their entertainment apps, Web sites, products, and services," the company states in its press materials. "In addition, Twitter Verified Accounts will also be featured in a number of Rovi white-label solutions that are helping power advanced entertainment search, discovery, and enjoyment on consumer electronics devices...Rovi Data offers details on more than 3.8 million TV programs, over 500,000 movie and video titles, as well as over 28 million music tracks. A broad and diverse range of companies are using Rovi Data to help consumers better navigate and discover relevant entertainment. The metadata, including visually rich content such as reviews, cast information, credits, trailers and more, helps fuel continuous discovery, increase consumer satisfaction, and drive sales...Rovi Data is now available to third-party developers through Rovi Cloud Services. Rovi Cloud Services provides a set of flexible and integrated API's that enable developers to quickly build and enhance their products with access to up-to-date, relevant entertainment metadata, recommendations and related capabilities such as content management, media recognition, recommendations, search and advertising.
  • The company says that multiple customers are now using Rovi Cloud Services to power a range of entertainment applications and devices. "Rovi Cloud Services is a suite of entertainment-focused Web services designed to enable the rapid development of innovative new products and applications for the connected consumer," the company states in its press materials. "These services, which include real-time access to Rovi data, search, and recommendations, enable customers to more easily differentiate their offerings with sophisticated capabilities that enhance the connected entertainment experience." During CES, Rovi hosted a "Developer Zone" to showcase third-party solutions enabled by Rovi Cloud services. More information on those solutions can be found here.
  • The company has announced that fabless semiconductor company, Amlogic, has "introduced the first DivX Plus HD solution available on an Android OS, via the Amlogic AML-8726M series chipset. The Amlogic DivX Plus HD solution is designed to enrich consumers' video viewing experience on devices such as digital televisions (DTV's), set-top boxes (STB's), media boxes, and tablets as well as provide secure playback of content from major motion picture studios on the Android CE platform," the company's press materials continue. "The collaboration is the result of a DivX technology licensing agreement between Rovi and Amlogic. DivX Plus HD, the premium level of DivX technology certification, enables consumers to enjoy a broad range of content and also offers advanced entertainment features like trick play, automated chapter points, and multiple audio and subtitle tracks."
North America