Sky Deutschland in Germany has announced a deal with Samsung Germany to offer and push exclusive live Sky Sports content on the Samsung Galaxy smartphone and Samsung Galaxy Tab tablet PC from Q1 2011.
The move signals the launch of the Sky Sport App, already available for the iPad, onto Android devices. The Sky Sport App for Samsung Galaxy devices will received Sky Sport 1, Sky Sport 2 and Sky Sport Austria content via Wi-Fi and 3G.
In addition, all consumers buying a new CI Plus-enabled Samsung TV from December will benefit from an introductory offer for the new Sky CI Plus module: Samsung customers will be able to get a Sky World basic subscription, two additional premium packages and respective HD channels for EUR 29.90 per month for 12 months.
Sky Deutschland has had a tough time breaking into the German market with their pay TV offering, but since focussing on sports, has managed to gain more traction, according to German industry experts at www.apps-world.net this week.Add a comment Add a comment
- Game-changing interface brings together the best of TV, on-demand and web through a single box
- Unique content discovery and personalisation tools
- A world of apps for the living room
Virgin Media has today unveiled details of Virgin Media TV powered by TiVo, the UK’s first next-generation entertainment platform. But still now word on third party app development on the platform. It's proprietary it appears.
However, the new service will likely lead a much-anticipated revolution in the way people find and enjoy their favourite content. An easy-to-use graphical interface will combine the live TV schedule with catch-up TV, a huge library of on-demand programming and popular web-based applications alongside a market-leading personal video recorder.
The platform will be supercharged by Virgin Media’s strong digital network and thick pipes, ensuring guaranteed quality of service, whether watching in Standard Definition, High Definition or 3D.
Cindy Rose, executive director of digital entertainment at Virgin Media, said:
“This is a landmark moment in the UK’s digital revolution and vividly illustrates why Virgin Media is the only company who can provide the ultimate digital lifestyle. For the first time, viewers will have a truly personalised viewing experience so they can get the most out of the wonderful worlds of the internet and TV all in one place. We’re really excited to bring our customers what is just the first of successive generations of transformational services based on this unique TiVo-powered platform.”
The platform features a highly intelligent recommendations engine with strong algoriths which will learn to predict the type of shows that a particular customer loves and will recommend great content on offer. The search technology will find films, music, TV shows and online content as well as providing rich programme information and details about the actors and directors, allowing viewers to discover even more content connected to the cast and production. The user will be able to create a WishList search based on a particular show, theme, actor or director and all future content relevant to that will be automatically recorded.
The iconic peanut-shaped TiVo remote control will also give viewers the chance to rate shows through the instantly accessible TiVo ‘thumbs up/thumbs down™’ buttons. Using this feature to help ensure even greater accuracy, the intelligent service will provide suggested shows and store them in the ‘My Shows’ folder.
As well as planning TV viewing over the next week, the service allows viewers to scroll backwards by up to seven days in the TV Guide and access catch up TV and programming information instantly. This will ensure catch up TV becomes simply a seamless extension of live TV viewing.
Through its dedicated 10Mb cable broadband modem, which is built into the personal video recorder, the new platform will also bring the ever-growing popularity of the app store to the living room for the first time, alledgedly adoing for TV what the iPhone and Android have done for the mobile phone, without external help from 3PD developers apparently.
Built on an Adobe Flash-based platform, the latest videos, social networking and information apps will be updated regularly. The service launches initially with apps from major web brands including catch-up TV from BBC iPlayer, videos from YouTube, shopping from the online marketplace eBay, Tweets from Twitter and photos from sites such as Facebook, and the app line up will expand over the next several months.Add a comment Add a comment
The software powerhouse has held talks with TV networks to create a new subscription-based TV service on its Xbox gaming console that would rival efforts by Google Inc, Apple Inc and Netflix Inc, sources told Reuters.
Microsoft's latest explorations after investments in MSNBC and WebTV come as efforts to redefine living room entertainment have accelerated in the past year, with technology companies seeking to offer lower cost alternatives to pricey pay-TV subscriptions.
One scenario under consideration by Microsoft is to create a new TV service on its Xbox gaming console that would establish a "virtual cable operator." The service would charge a monthly fee for access through the Xbox to networks such as ABC, NBC, Fox, CBS, ESPN or CNN, according to two sources familiar with the plans. Other options include allowing cable subscribers to use the Xbox to watch shows with more interactive functions. Viewers could, for instance, message with friends over the console while viewing their favorite shows.
Microsoft is also exploring the possibility of creating programing packages for customers, setting up a bundle of sports or children shows, for example, these people said. In addition, it could sell more individual channels, such as an HBO or Showtime, directly to subscribers. It already has Walt Disney Co's ESPN on the Xbox Live online service.
These people said a service may not arrive for another 12 months, but early discussions have been productive.
It appears this time they are aiming directly at cable, satellite and phone companies.
However this could all be conjecture as Microsoft officially will not comment, nor will the leakers involved in the talks back the rumour as the discussions were confidential.
But programmers have said they would welcome new types of competition to the cable and satellite companies.
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"The emergence of platforms like that -- from people like Microsoft which is really more a theory at this point, or Netflix -- increases the value of content and brands and those who create the content and channels that actually the business and drives consumer demand," News Corp Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey said at the Reuters Global Media Summit on Monday.
China Economic Net is reporting some interesting developments in the Chinese TV market with a distinctive shift from export to consumption with more domestic inventory than ever coupled with the overseas market demand.
"The aggregate output of color TVs will surely be over 100 million this year." Sun Xinguo, Assistant Secretary General of CVIA (China Video Industry Association), made such a positive judgment at the Quarterly Conference on the Operation of China Electronic Information Industry in the Third Quarter and China CTV Industry Research.
And Connected TVs are expected to have a significant impact:
With the trial policy on the integration of three networks being carried out, smart TVs, which are richer in content and more advanced in interactivity of entertainment, will become a new opportunity for the development of the color TV industry. Since the third quarter of 2010, the speedup of integrations of three networks and three screens has pushed the intellectual life to penetrate from mobile phones to TVs. The smart TV has become the newest hotspot and is leading the development trend of color TV industry.
The smart TV is approaching to be a flat computer. It has not only high-speed processing chip and complete operating system, but the software can be installed and uninstalled freely.
Hisense was the first to release the bulk production of "3D LED XT39" series of smart TV products. The users can customize the "TV Channels" freely, as well as surfing on line through the built-in browser. "The typical feature of a smart TV is that it can realize the functions of 'program on demand', 'program transmission', 'access to network' and 'playing games'." said Gong Lianfa, System Engineer of the Network Technology Research Centre of Hisense.
Over the past decade the Chinese video industry witnesses a new tide of development featuring flatness, digitalization, intellectualization, and networking, and plays an important role in the information age with the development of technologies and applications by improving the functions and broadening the application increasingly.Add a comment Add a comment
Smart TVs also known as Connected TVs will capture 50 percent of the South Korean market by 2013 on the back of the rapid integration of the Internet into TV sets, a Samsung Electronics executive forecast Friday in a forum hosted by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. Kwon Kang-hyun, vice president of Media Solution Center at Samsung Electronics said he also expected worldwide smart TV sales to surpass 100 million sets over the next three years.
"In the future, technologies will converge to create an environment in which contents will be ubiquitously connected through the Internet to television sets, smart phones, computers and all electronic devices," Kwon said. "Smart TVs will serve as a hub for this continuous consumption of contents."
Other experts agreed that smart TVs will emerge as a major growth engine for the next-generation TV market in the next few years, with Web-connected TVs becoming the magnet for enticing viewers to various forms of media.
"Smart TVs are increasingly becoming the central conception for growth in all areas of the broadcasting and communications industry," said Lim Jin-chae, head of SK Broadband New Media Business headquarters.
Samsung plans to unveil an improved version of its smart TV during a January trade show in Las Vegas. LG Electronics, Inc. will also launch its smart TV in the domestic market later this month and on the global market in January.Add a comment Add a comment
American company OnLive, a pioneer of on-demand, instant-play video games, today announced that the OnLive Game System is available for pre-order, with delivery starting December 2, 2010. Available in limited quantities, the OnLive Game System includes the OnLive MicroConsole TV adapter and OnLive Wireless Controller.
As a special holiday promotion, the company is offering a bundle of the OnLive Game System along with any OnLive game for free.
The OnLive Game System delivers instant-play, high-end, new-release video games to TVs for the first time. Now players of all skill levels can enjoy games in the comfort of their living rooms — instantly and on-demand — without ever having to bother with discs, downloads or updates.
“The OnLive Game System marks the start of a new era for video games and home entertainment,” said Steve Perlman, founder and CEO of OnLive. “Not only is the OnLive Game System the fastest, simplest way to play, watch and test-drive top-tier games instantly on the living room big screen, it also opens the door to a new world of options for gaming and entertainment — from media-rich social networking and massive spectating to game portability across TV, PC, Mac and mobile devices.”
The sleek, pocket-sized OnLive MicroConsole TV adapter, backed by high-performance Internet-based (cloud) game servers, delivers an unprecedented gaming experience, launching top-tier games in seconds instead of the minutes they take to start on high-end consoles or PCs. Whether players are checking out a demo, joining a premium multiplayer game or watching people from around the world play games live, with the OnLive Game System it’s as effortless — and as fast — as changing channels.
The OnLive MicroConsole hookup is simple: Connect it to a broadband Internet connection and a TV. Within minutes, players will have instant access to OnLive’s growing Marketplace of premium, new release, indie and classic game titles.
Also included in the OnLive Game System is the OnLive Wireless Controller, ergonomically crafted to minimize fatigue and weighted for balance. Designed for the video-rich OnLive environment, exclusive OnLive media controls provide one-touch Brag Clip video recording, as well as the ability to pause/play, rewind and fast-forward through videos. Up to four OnLive Wireless Controllers as well as an optional keyboard and mouse can be used simultaneously.
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“Because MicroConsole performance and features are defined by OnLive’s continually upgraded cloud-based servers, the OnLive Game System experience steadily improves with time,” said Joe Bentley, OnLive VP of Engineering. “We designed it to deliver state-of-the-art gaming in every way — to not only deliver a great user experience for the games of today, but also for the games of tomorrow.”
The two companies will unveil products at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, the people said, declining to be identified because the companies haven’t made their plans public. Samsung Electronics Co. is considering making Google TV devices as well, the company said.
The support would give a boost to Google after the company clashed with TV networks over allowing their online content on the system. Google is counting on the product to parlay its dominance in online search advertising into a foothold in broadcast ads. Until now, the software has been used only in televisions and Blu-ray players from Sony Corp. and in a set-top box from Logitech International SA, all using Intel Corp. chips.
“We are very happy with the launch of Google TV with our initial partners Sony, Logitech and Intel,” Google said yesterday in an e-mailed statement, without naming any new participants. “Our long-term goal is to collaborate with a broad community of consumer electronics manufacturers to help drive the next generation, TV-watching experience.”
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From November 25th, UK VOD company SeeSaw is rolling out a new advertising system that will allow people to choose which adverts they want to watch prior to the programmes they are watching. Alternatively, SeeSaw clients can also turn off ads with a "Nonstop" feature that will allow viewers to switch off advertising during programmes, for a mere £2.99 a month. However there will be an introductory offer on Nonstop of 99p a month, until the end of the year.
This is on the heels of Google's Youtube announcing it has designed a new ad unit which will give viewers the option of of which ads they want to watch, or more importantly, not watch. Google has coined the new system TrueView, and now users will have the option to watch three different ads or simple to skip the ads altogether in which case the advertiser is not charged. YouTube is giving consumers the ultimate control over the commercial aspect of their viewing, which is similar to Hulu's choose-your-own ad feature, except Hulu does not allow for complete skipping of ads.
At this stage, Nonstop only applies to certain content – programming from BBC Worldwide and independent producers.
In a partnership with tech company Branient, The Ad Selector system allows targeted advertising by user choice and SeeSaw said it expected the feature to be rolled out across programming from the service's other content suppliers, including Five, Disney, MTV Channel 4, and NBC Universal soon.
Ben Williams, Head of Advertising for SeeSaw told Tech Radar:
"We're excited to launch the Ad Selector format - a win-win for the advertiser and the user. The Ad Selector is simple and effective, essentially giving the user the choice to pick the advert they wish to see. This puts the user in control of the advertising experience and therefore increases their engagement and purchase intent. Our vision is to create a unique environment for advertisers to reach their audience through innovative methods, and today's announcement is the first step towards this with more initiatives in the pipeline."
This is SeeSaw's first subscription-based consumer offering, and it plans to introduce premium content packages at a later date.
Matt Rennie, SeeSaw's commercial director added to Marketing Magazine stating:
"On-demand viewing is by definition about flexibility, and NonStop is another way to bring choice to our viewers."
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Motorola Mobility’s Global 2010 Media Engagement Barometer – an independent global study of video-consumption habits among 7,500 consumers in 13 markets by research agency Vanson Bourne – shows that while free-to-air services are available to 67 percent of global viewers, compared to 57 percent for paid-for services, the most preferred TV services are subscription only.
The research also shows that social media is changing viewing experiences. Forty two percent of viewers globally have had an email conversation, engaged in an instant message chat or used a social network to discuss a program or video while they were watching it. Of this group, 22 percent said that social-media multi-tasking is a regular part of their viewing experience and 61 percent would be prepared to pay more for a service that offered these capabilities.
The future looks bright for high-definition television products and services worldwide. Of viewers surveyed, 75 percent either own or plan to own an HD television in the next 18 months and 25 percent are expected to upgrade their TVs to include 3D in the same timeframe.
“The research clearly shows a changing television landscape, one where subscription services are becoming mainstream, augmented by social activities revolving around Internet chat and networking channels,” said Bill Ogle, chief marketing officer, Motorola Mobility. “As we advance further into the Internet Era of TV, the ability for service providers to differentiate their offers will become even more crucial as consumers look for extra value from their subscriptions. The good news is that, based on these findings, consumers are willing to pay for the services providing the value.”
Though the TV is still central in most homes, viewing habits have evolved alongside consumer expectations of where content is consumed. Just over two-thirds of the sample said it was either quite or very important to be able to access free content on devices other than the main television set in the home; that compared to only 39 percent when asked a similar question for subscription content. This suggests the majority of paid-for content is consumed on one device (the TV) and will remain so for the foreseeable future.
A quarter of respondents said it is important to be able to access free content when out and about; this is even truer in China where 49 percent of respondents said this sort of access is very important.
“The findings suggest that the huge increase in the availability of video content is leading to viewers tiering their viewing habits in terms of preference, notionally based around payment,” Ogle said. “Yes, they’re watching content on laptops and other devices, but they are still staying loyal to the television set. This is a powerful message for the service providers. Stickiness does exist, providing all parts of the offering are attractive to subscribers.”
China, the United Arab Emirates and Russia are the most enthusiastic when it comes to integrating social media into their viewing habits. The Japanese, Germans and viewers in the Nordics are the least likely to chat, use instant messaging or a platform like Twitter or Facebook® to discuss a program or video while they are watching it. According to the study, 84 percent of Japanese viewers have never undertaken such an activity. Globally, however, 58 percent of people who have used social media during a TV program would change their service provider if this was offered as an integrated service.Add a comment Add a comment
Social TV app Miso will be partnering with Universal Studios Home Entertainment to create a unique viewer experience to promote the highly anticipated December 14th Bluray and DVD release of the animated comedy blockbuster Despicable Me during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade airing on November 25.
Through Miso's second screen experience (on iPhone, iPad, Android, and Web), fans watching the parade on TV can engage with the television event, earn rewards, and share their actions with friends. The new app is the latest component of Universal's "Minion Madness," a promotional rewards program in which fans can earn points interactively by collecting Minions, the endearingly mischievous characters popularized in Despicable Me. The Minions along with teen sensation Miranda Cosgrove, the voice of Margo in the film, will be featured on a float in the parade.
Viewers who use Miso to "check-in" to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade can unlock an exclusive Minion Madness badge and earn Minion points redeemable for coupons or prizes as part of the "Minion Madness" campaign. "Minion Madness" enables fans to participate in up to 25 sweepstakes entries each day through a variety of online and offline activities. While watching the parade, Miso users will also have the opportunity to interact with other fans on the Miso platform and share the excitement with friends by broadcasting messages to their social networks.