It appears that the Google TV division has been watching SageTV’s media streaming, DVR, and placeshifting technologies for some time and have decided to buy the tech rather than work it all out in-house. Being Java-based SageTV looks to be a comfortable fit with Android. Something tells me this is more than a Set Top Box (STB) play - this could be the ultimate box move perhaps - a central, grand central station box that will do more than offer up video and the web - but also perhaps offer fiber and connect the entire house.
There always will be one box in the house - and something tells me that Google wants to be the one.
From SageTV website:
We’re thrilled to announce that SageTV has been acquired by Google.
Since 2002, we’ve worked to change the TV viewing experience by building cutting-edge software and technology that allows you to create and control your media center from multiple devices. And as the media landscape continues to evolve, we think it’s time our vision of entertainment management grows as well. By teaming up with Google, we believe our ideas will reach an even larger audience of users worldwide on many different products, platforms and services.
We’ve seen how Google’s developer efforts are designed to stimulate innovation across the web, and as developers have played a core role in the success of SageTV, we think our shared vision for open technology will help us advance the online entertainment experience. We look forward to joining Google, and while we don’t have anything specific to announce at this time, we encourage interested developers to email:
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Screenreach’s Screach App, which allows two way
interactions between a smart device and content on a digital screen, or
just within the app, was rolled out at its first live US event last
TEDx Chapel Hill in North Carolina was the first live event that Screach has debuted at in America since Screenreach opened its New York office in May. The Screach platform allows two way, real time interactive experiences between a smart device and any content on any screen, or just within the app itself, and was used to allow attendees of the event to participate in multiple option polls.
TEDx Chapel Hill focused on ‘Global Health: What’s Technology Got To Do With It’ and in the true spirit of TED’s ‘ideas worth sharing’, Screach allowed delegates to learn new facts and share their thoughts on some of the event’s most thought-provoking topics.
The audience simply had to enter a unique code into the Screach App on their smart device to access multiple option answers to the questions shown on the huge digital screen at the event. They could then choose the answer that they believed to be correct and watch the results update in real time, allowing them to see what percentage of voters selected which answers and discover which answer was correct, as they interacted with the screen. All users that connected to the app through Facebook could also see their profile image appear on the big screen when they interacted.
The Screach platform experienced almost 300 interactions from the TEDx audience of 400.
David Weinfeld, Screenreach Chief Strategy Officer and head of the New York office said:
“It was great to integrate Screach into a TEDx event. It was wonderful to see so many people's faces pop up on the screen as the questions were posed to the audience. Since the questions we asked came directly from the other speakers and IntraHealth, the experience proved to be fun, engaging, and informative for the whole audience. It gave attendees the ability to interact with the event's subject matter in a way that sparked further learning and discussion.”
TEDx Chapel Hill rounds off a month of live event experiences delivered by Screach, launching the platform’s potential as a leader in live audience engagement. The Microsoft Ubelly Critter Awards used Screach to enable attendees to vote on their favourite nominations from a range of categories celebrating achievements in the computer development industry and view the winners in real time. Thinking Digital Conference, the UK’s leading technology event, used Screach to enable their delegates to vote on their favourite speakers and watch the results update on screen in real time. Delegates also had access an in-app event itinerary and location map. Event organisers are also able to utilise the option to sell products and merchandise within the app.
Live event engagement is the latest of Screach’s triumphs following successful launches in the sports and museum industry after securing deals with Newcastle United Football Club and the National Armouries Museum in Leeds. Screenreach also has plans to launch Screach in the broadcast and retail industries in the near future.
Both Matcha.tv and Bee.tv have one thing in common - they both tap deeply into social media and your own social graph in order to help filter content that your friends like - as well as helping cherry pick video that fits you own needs.
Matcha pulls in one's video subscriptions to Netflix, Hulu, YouTube as well as Facebook giving relevant recommendations for video content.
Rip Empson from Techcrunch had nothing but good words for Matcha.tv - raving about the new service:
Traditional recommendation engines that use collaborative filtering (users who liked “X” movie will like “Y” movie) have been around for awhile now, but results are often generic and superficial, often missing the personalization experience we’ve come to expect. When applied to video, which some would argue is social by nature, recommendations from those we know and trust is almost always preferable.
On the flip side, relying on friends for social recommendations only tells half the story. But with their powers combined, recommendations become more powerful and more personalized. After a year of algorithmic tinkering, Matcha has created a technology that relies both on users social graphs as well as traditional methods to provide a more augmented search and discovery mechanism.
Ryan Lawler from Gigom also had a good look and managed to talk to them:
“We want to be the social gateway to video subscription services and help you make the right decision of what to watch,” Piekarz said.
For now, Matcha.tv is focused on the big distributors, so you won’t see recommendations for web originals. Sources include Netflix, Hulu Plus, professional videos on YouTube and Facebook, as well as services like iTunes and Amazon Video on Demand. The idea is to provide one-click access to videos that users may want to watch on any service that they’re available.
Several video recommendation services have popped up over the last several years, and they are increasingly focused on hooking into social networks. Clicker added a social layer by integrating with Facebook to leverage user interests and social graph for its recommendations engine, for instance. And Netflix is reportedly integrating with Facebook to add social features that weren’t well executed through the “Friends” implementation. But with Clicker acquired by CBS Interactive and Sidereel acquired by Rovi, Matcha.tv is one of the few independent social recommendation engines left out there.
Mashable covered the release of TV recommendation engine BeeTV who released a new iPad app designed to let users get personalized show recommendations and share what they are watching with their friends.
In a lot of ways, BeeTV is similar to checkin services like GetGlue or Miso, but the difference is BeeTV’s approach is more focused on helping people find new things to watch — or share what they are currently watching — rather than necessarily being about checking into a program.
Users can enter their zip code and select a television provider to get customized updates and recommendations for content to watch now or at a future time. Using Facebook likes and ratings within the BeeTV ecosystem, the recommendations are tailored to the user.
Users can indicate that they plan to watch a future program by tapping a timer icon. They will then receive notification alerts before the program airs. BeeTV HD also lets users check out TV listings for their area, using a convenient link to Zap2it’s TV
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Associated Press has reported that Microsoft plans to push live TV into the living room via the Xbox, announcing their plans at Electronic Entertainment Expo, the gaming industry’s annual convention
The company said live TV would be offered by domestic and international broadcasters, but no other details were revealed.
Partnerships with international broadcasters currently bring live TV to Xbox 360 in the United Kingdom, Australia and France, but the service unveiled Monday would be the first such offering available on a gaming console in the United States.
The company also announced at the University of Southern California’s Galen Center that increased functionality with its Kinect camera system was coming to Xbox 360, including the abilities to fully navigate menus with voice commands, scour for online and hard drive content with Microsoft’s Bing search engine, and play games such as “Mass Effect 3” in tandem in the traditional controller.
The Daily Mail in the UK is even proposing that this may spell the end of the TV remote as we know it today:
Microsoft has announced upgrades for its Xbox and Kinect system that are designed to make the console the entertainment hub for the home.
In future the Xbox will incorporate a microphone, TV service, an internet connection and the ‘Bing’ search engine to transform viewing options through the set. The new system will allow viewers to talk to the Xbox and control what they see on the screen – anything from YouTube, to a library of films to music videos and live TV.
‘You say it, Xbox finds it,’ said Marc Whitten, corporate vice-president of Xbox Live. To watch live TV, you just say the words ‘Xbox live TV’.
Broadband TV News also covered the move by Microsoft:
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The company plans to work with, rather than compete with, traditional platforms such as cable companies. In Europe, there is already programming available in the UK (through a deal with BSkyB) and a similar one in France with Canal+. Under the French agreement, the Xbox console acts as a de facto decoder of the premium pay-TV provider. And just recently, the Russian IPTV service Beeline TV is to become available through the Xbox 360.