Interactive TV News Round-Up (IV): ConnecTV, Chyron, DG, Civolution, Microsoft

--ConnecTV's Second-Screen Social-TV App Integrated with Chyron's Broadcast Graphics Platform
--DG Taps Civolution for ACR-Powered Second-Screen Advertising
--Civolution's NexGuard Integrated with Microsoft Windows Azure Media Services

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. Due to the volume of news being generated by the NAB Show this week, we anticipate that it will take us several days to catch up: 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.

  • Broadcast graphics company, Chyron, has announced that it is integrating ConnecTV's second-screen social-TV app with its broadcast graphics platform, thereby "uniting the on-air and online experiences for instant viewer polls and a real-time social-TV relationship with the audience. Newscasters can now offer an on-air survey, prompt an instant vote, and chat on ConnecTV," the company's press materials continue. "The poll results quickly loop back on air for display on TV, as well as on ConnecTV, simultaneously. Leveraging Chyron's new Engage second-screen and social-TV platform [note: for more on the latter, see the article published on itvt.com, March 29th] along with Chyron on-air graphics systems, a station's news, sports, and entertainment producers can for the first time easily create interactive initiatives that begin with calls-to-action on television. The TV graphics and newscaster prompt drives users to ConnecTV, where they can interact with the TV poll seamlessly. The poll results then automatically appear on both screens with dynamic infographics...ConnecTV's social platform lets users instantly sync on their iPad, Mac, or PC (Android devices and smartphones coming soon) with whatever show they are watching on television. ConnecTV 'view-sers' instantly see what their friends are watching and share their favorite TV moments with a single touch. Seamless social integration enables 'view-sers' to share every 'Did you see that!' television moment from sports, news, drama, and reality programming--live or timeshifted--in a unique companion viewing experience. Chyron graphics systems enable template-based creation of rich real-time 3D graphics, and the ConnecTV app keeps creation of second-screen elements simple. As a result, broadcasters using both of these solutions via the Engage platform can produce dynamic, engaging, and complementary content for both the first screen and second screen, and without hiring specialized staff. Chyron will be demonstrating the integration at its booth, SL1510, throughout this week's 2012 NAB Show."
  • Ad management and distribution platform provider, DG, said Monday that it is using Civolution's SyncNow automatic content recognition (ACR) technology to enable the triggering of ads on second-screen companion devices from live TV content. "The announcement positions DG as the first monetizable ad platform for dual-screen advertising in the industry," the company states in its press materials. "The dual-screen video ad platform allows applications running on second screens, such as smartphones and tablets, to automatically recognize the content being played on the 'first' screen, the TV, and synchronizes with it. Upon synchronization, specific and relevant content can be triggered to the second screen enabling consumers to benefit from enriched brand engagement, without any interruption to their primary viewing experience...The announcement follows collaboration between DG and Civolution, a leading provider of watermarking and fingerprinting solutions. To enable integrated advertising across multiple screens and devices, the platform leverages DG's asset tagging and metadata, Civolution's automatic content recognition (ACR), and mobile video ad serving from MediaMind, a division of DG. Commercials broadcast by DG are automatically recognized in real time using Civolution's SyncNow-Smart Services and tapping into its extensive television monitoring infrastructure already in place." Said Civolution CEO, Alex Terpstra: "The integration of DG with Civolution means advertisers are now able to significantly enhance the time and ways consumers can interact with content in real time. Once you are able to synchronize the second screen with the main screen and develop multiscreen ad campaign strategies, you will create a wealth of lucrative opportunities." (Note: The Civolution-DG integration is being demo'd at the NAB Show this week in Civolution's booth (SU7923) and DG's suite (N204 North Hall)).
  • In other Civolution news: The company has announced that its NexGuard-Online Media Delivery (OMD) video-watermarking technology will run on Windows Azure Media Services. "Windows Azure Media Services is a new set of cloud-based media technologies that enable Microsoft Corp.'s customers and partners to create, distribute and manage customized media solutions across all types of devices and platforms," Civolution states in its press materials. "As the newest addition to Civolution's extensive and award-winning forensic watermarking application suite, NexGuard-OMD enables secure delivery of digital media assets processed through the cloud on Windows Azure. Civolution is one of Microsoft's 'build-in' security partners for Windows Azure Media Services, enabling customers to protect their content during delivery. Movie and television content producers, premium channels, and content aggregators can now take advantage of the cloud to organize online screening for professionals or over-the-top video-on-demand (OTT VOD) for consumers, both with video-watermarking capability...Windows Azure Media Services enables users to upload a video asset to the cloud and configure watermarked output renditions. The watermark insertion is performed in two stages. The first stage, referred to as 'watermark pre-processing,' is performed once per media asset while transcoding original assets to the desired delivery format. The second step, referred to as 'watermark smart embedding,' is applied upon streaming by Windows Azure Content Delivery Network (CDN) or third-party CDN's. After a media asset is passed through the NexGuard watermark pre-processor, the file is delivered in Smooth Streaming format to PC, Mac, Xbox and whole host of connected devices like iOS, Android and connected TV's which are all capable of supporting Smooth Streaming format. This format can then be uploaded to a CDN for delivery to the end-user and is fully compliant with Microsoft Silverlight. At the CDN level, a transaction identifier is applied by the NexGuard watermark smart embedder, making each delivered stream and copies thereof uniquely traceable. In November 2011 Civolution announced it joined the Akamai NetAlliance partner program as a Digital Media Solution Partner, integrating its NexGuard smart embedder technology with Akamai's HD CDN. Should watermarked content be illegally copied and redistributed, Civolution, through its automated online NexGuard detection service portal, will report the unique identifier back to the content owner. The identifier is inserted into the original stream at the point of delivery. The NexGuard solution acts both as a powerful deterrent and an efficient tracing tool for forensic analysis, with proven deployments in pre-release, digital cinema, pay-TV and online delivery applications."
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