Interactive TV News Round-Up (III): HTC, SyncTV, Invidi, Microsoft Xbox, Comcast, HBO, MLB.TV

--HTC Acquires 20% Stake in SyncTV
--Invidi Awarded US Patent for Interactive TV RFI
--Kinect-Enabled Xfinity TV, HBO Go and MLB.TV Apps Launch on Xbox 360

Because the [itvt] editorial team has been working on The TV of Tomorrow Show 2012, we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format.

  • HTC and Intertrust Technologies have announced a strategic technology partnership that sees the former acquiring a 20% stake in the latter's subsidiary, SyncTV. "SyncTV is a cloud-based video service that delivers video over the Internet to a broad set of devices, including Android, Windows Phone, Xbox, iOS and Internet-enabled televisions," the companies state in their press materials. "HTC has also licensed Intertrust's broadly deployed open standards-based Marlin DRM software. Marlin DRM is used to protect and manage content in various national video distribution ecosystems in Japan, China and Europe."
  • Invidi, a company best known for its addressable advertising solutions, said Tuesday that it has been awarded an interactive TV patent (US#8,146,126) entitled "Request for Information Related to Broadcast Network Content." "Invidi's new RFI patent builds on Invidi's robust addressable and interactive television advertising system, and covers Invidi's groundbreaking RFI technology," the company states in its press materials. "This technology enables cable, satellite, telco and IPTV operators to receive a request for information from a viewer without any interruption to the viewing experience--for instance, via a simple remote-control click--and fulfill that request by sending information to a separate location designated by the viewer, such as an Internet portal, email inbox, text messages or smartphones. This allows the viewer/consumer to engage directly with the information and the information provider at his/her convenience...Invidi's new RFI patent complements other Invidi patents covering a wide range of advanced advertising technologies, including targeting optimized for the current audience (Patent No. 8,108,895), set-top based audience classification (Patent No. 7,698,236), and reporting of set-top decisions (Patent No. 7,730,509). Collectively, all of Invidi's patents provide protection for Invidi's customers who use its addressable advertising system for television and other video and audio consumption platforms." (Note: last spring, Invidi filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against rival Visible World and the latter's customer, Cablevision--see the article published on, May 11th.)
  • Microsoft on Wednesday announced the availability of Kinect-enabled apps for Comcast Xfinity TV, HBO Go and to Xbox Live Gold members who are also subscribers to those services. "Comcast launched the Xfinity TV on-demand service on Xbox 360, bringing its huge library of when-you-want-it entertainment to a console for the first time, including the new Streampix library," Microsoft states in its press materials. "With Kinect, you can control it all with your voice or a wave of your hand--however you like. HBO Go on Xbox 360 launched their entire catalog of live and on-demand original content--that means every episode of every show, from the latest hits like 'Game of Thrones,' to older favorites like 'The Sopranos.' With Kinect, you can voice-search the entire HBO catalog. MLB.TV transforms sports entertainment by providing live and on demand games in HD, coupled with exclusive personalization features only found on Xbox 360--jump between the action via the Mini Guide and watch two games at once with Split Screen [note: more information on MLB.TV on Xbox Live is available here]. With Kinect, you can pause and rewind live games and highlights using just your voice and motion controls." (Note: In an FAQ about its new Xbox app, Comcast states that use of the app will not count against the 250GB monthly cap that it imposes on its broadband data plans; in a blog post, it explains that this is because content for the app "will not travel over the public Internet." Nevertheless, according to consumer advocacy groups, Public Knowledge and Free Press, this exemption may violate--at least in spirit--the FCC's Open Internet rules.)
North America