Interactive TV News Round-Up (V): Rovi, KnowHow, Freescale, Pantech, RIM, Shazam, Softel

--Rovi Trumpets Customer Wins for Rovi Entertainment Store, DivX
--ACR Specialist Shazam Announces Faster Tagging, Content Sharing via Android Beam
--Softel Publishes "Executive Briefing" on Meeting FCC Mandates for Closed Captioning of Online Video

Because the [itvt] editorial team has been working on The TV of Tomorrow Show 2012 (note: early-bird discount registration ends tonight!), we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format.

  • Rovi has generated a fair amount of news at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week (note: more information on Rovi's exhibit at the show is available here): 1) The company has announced that its DivX Plus Streaming technology will be integrated into the latest Freescale i.MX 6 series ARM-based processors for tablets and other smart mobile devices. 2) It has announced that electrical retailer and services company, Dixons Retail, has licensed the Rovi Entertainment Store to power its new OTT movie service, KnowHow Movies, which will shortly launch in the UK (note: the deal is Rovi's first for Entertainment Store in the UK). "Rovi Entertainment Store, the company's end-to-end, white-label solution for storefront creation and management, will team with Dixons Retail to provide consumers convenient access to an extensive catalog of film and TV entertainment from a range of broadband-connected devices including HDTV's, Blu-ray Disc players, and game consoles such as the PlayStation 3, and Xbox," the company states in its press materials. "KnowHow Movies plans to launch on March 1 and will roll out additional services over the following months on a range of smartphones, including iOS and Android-based devices, supported by Rovi Entertainment Store and promoted online and in Currys and PC World retail stores nationwide. KnowHow Movies is also scheduled to offer DivX Plus Streaming, Rovi's secure adaptive streaming solution that enables the digital delivery of a Blu-ray Disc-like entertainment experience. The adaptive streaming solution not only dynamically adjusts streams to help 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...Rovi Entertainment Store enables retailers, service providers, CE manufacturers, content owners, and PC makers to launch over-the-top storefronts that allow consumers to discover, purchase, manage, and enjoy a broad range of new movies and TV shows on multiple platforms and devices. Rovi Entertainment Store includes white-label storefronts and playback client SDK's, cloud services, as well as content licensing, management, and marketing services. The solution can be deployed as a complete end-to-end solution to support all aspects of storefront deployment and management, or as individual components that can be used to enhance an existing service." 3) It has announced that Rovi Entertainment Store is also powering the new Video Store movie service on the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. "Video Store is initially available with BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 in the United States, and is expected to be followed by launches in additional countries later this year," Rovi states in its press materials. "With Video Store on the BlackBerry PlayBook, users will be able to begin watching entertainment within a few moments of beginning to download the content. Users can enjoy entertainment on the tablet's high-resolution display, or on an HDTV using the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet's HDMI output." 4) It has announced that Pantech Wireless's new Pantech Element tablet has achieved DivX HD certification. "The first DivX Certified Pantech tablet for the US market, the Android-based Pantech Element, is available through AT&T," Rovi states in its press materials. "The collaboration is the result of a DivX technology-licensing agreement between Rovi and Pantech, expanding the number of DivX Certified tablets and smartphones in the US carrier market and further contributing to Rovi's accelerating momentum with mobile OEM's."
  • Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) specialist, Shazam, said Monday that it has developed what it claims is "the world's fastest mobile content identification experience for music, broadcast media and television advertising. Shazam is also one of the select developers showcasing integration with Android Beam," the company's press materials continue, "giving Shazam fans a new way to instantly share content and unique offers from brands with friends just by touching two NFC-enabled Android phones back-to-back...1) Faster Tagging: A number of improvements have already been released for the Shazam App on Android, including enhancements to improve recognition speed. Another significant step that will make the app even faster will be released this week on the Android operating system with iOS to follow in the coming weeks. With the new release, songs, television adverts and other content can be identified in a fraction of the time it previously took--in as little as one second, making it even faster for people to discover their favorite songs and unlock content in television shows and ads. 2) Android Beam: People who use Shazam on the new Android platform will simply be able to hold their devices back-to-back with that of their friends to share their favorite music, merchant offers and television tags--giving their friends access to music samples, coupons from advertisers, tour dates and other great information. Android Beam makes sharing simple. Touch two NFC-enabled Android-powered phones back-to-back, then tap to beam your favorite tags across phones. If your friend doesn't have the Shazam App, they are introduced to Android Market to get it. Beam will be available on NFC-enabled Android devices running on Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich. The new capability is scheduled to be live in the Shazam App as part of a major update within the coming weeks."
  • Softel has published an "executive briefing" that is designed to help content owners and distributors to understand how they can comply with the latest FCC Communication and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) mandates for the provision of closed captioning of video programming delivered over the Internet. "The executive briefing provides a clear and concise summary of the mandates, examining their impact on each type of organization involved in the creation or distribution of programming," the company states in its press materials. "It identifies the critical challenges that will be encountered during implementation and provides guidance on what needs to be considered to resolve them in a way that will minimize workflow complexity, boost productivity and enhance returns on investment (ROI). With compliance required, in some cases within six months of content broadcast, the industry needs to perform the necessary reviews of existing workflows, licensing agreements and closed captioning processes promptly in order to ensure a smooth and efficient implementation. Softel is well placed to provide guidance, having been delivering advice for nearly 30 years on how to implement accessibility mandates across the world efficiently. Softel's suite of closed captioning solutions are optimized to support the latest Internet platform delivery formats and designed to integrate in complex modern workflows. Thanks to tight integration with leading server, storage and MAM manufacturers, Softel's solutions simplify complex closed captioning processes while delivering reduced operational cost and enhanced productivity. And, to speed up the caption creation and repurposing process, Softel now offers Swift ReSync, an automatic timing and resync functionality that integrates speech recognition technology."
North America