Interactive TV News Round-Up (I): Amazon, Kindle Fire HD, IMDb, Bell Canada, Discovery, TLC

--Amazon Enhances Kindle Fire HD Viewing Experience with IMDb-Powered "X-Ray for Movies"
--CEO Cope: Bell Canada Plans to Launch Netflix Rival
--Discovery's New TLC App for iPad to Support ACR-Driven Second-Screen Interactive TV

Because the [itvt] editorial team is busy working on our upcoming TV of Tomorrow Show event, TVOT NYC Intensive (December 10th in New York City), we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format:

  • As part of last week's launch of the new Kindle Fire HD, Amazon announced that it has teamed with its subsidiary, IMDb, on a feature dubbed "X-Ray for Movies," that is intended to enhance the experience of watching movies on the tablet with a range of supplemental information. "Without ever leaving the movie, customers can look up any actor in the scene or movie, see what other movies they have been in, and view photos, biographies and more," Amazon states in its press materials. "X-Ray is offered only by Amazon and is exclusive to the Amazon ecosystem. IMDb, an Amazon company for 14 years, is the #1 movie Web site in the world with more than 160 million monthly unique visitors worldwide...Didn't realize that the actress playing Katniss Everdeen also starred in 'Winter's Bone,' a movie you've been meaning to watch? With X-Ray for Movies, Kindle Fire owners can simply tap to see other movies that include the actors on-screen, another tap adds it to their Watchlist--all without ever leaving their current movie. X-Ray is powered by the over 100 million data items in IMDb's searchable database, including photos, bios, filmographies and other contextual information that has been accumulated over the past 20 years." According to sometime TVOT moderator and Furious Minds principal, Ashley Swartz, the technology behind X-Ray for Movies could eventually be used to serve contextual advertising.
  • Bell Canada plans to launch a broadband video service, CEO George Cope stated earlier this week. According to Cope, the service will offer VOD content on multiple devices, and will feature a range of Canadian and international movies from Astral Media (which Bell is in the process of acquiring), and news, sports and entertainment content from Bell's own Bell Media arm. "It's a made-in-Canada service--available in English and French everywhere we have rights--to all Canadians through the cable, satellite or IPTV provider of their choice," Cope told a hearing held by the CRTC, the Canadian regulatory body in charge of reviewing the Astral Media acquisition, adding that "the Canadian system needs companies with the scale to compete against foreign content companies like Netflix, Apple, Google and Amazon." The Canadian Press has more.
  • Discovery Communications has launched an iPad app for its TLC channel, which it says will soon support ACR-powered second-screen interactive TV experiences. "The TLC App is the official iPad experience for viewers of the network's popular series including 'Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,' 'Cake Boss,' 'Say Yes to the Dress,' 'Long Island Medium' and more, offering access to videos, show information, social sharing and other features for easy, on-the-go access," Discovery states in its press materials. "Additionally, fans can look forward to show-driven immersive experiences with behind-the-scenes content and extras audio-synched to episodes coming to the app in the coming months. Additional features of the TLC App for iPad include: 1) Show Highlights: Learn more about TLC's shows, when to watch and view the latest videos. 2) Videos: Enjoy daily video clips from top TLC shows and more. 3) Easy Sharing: Alert friends via email, Facebook and Twitter of videos and upcoming episodes. 4) Schedule Information: Browse TLC's full TV schedule and set tune-in reminders. 5) My TLC: Favorite shows and clips to watch later or share with friends."
North America