Technicolour, one of the main suppliers set to provide Youview with the most affordable Set Top Box (STB) solution, have pulled out of the deal, according to industry insiders. Cisco and Humax are still slated to develop boxes but at a much higher price point. Huawei, Pace, Manhattan and Vestel have all submitted ‘expressions of interest’ back in August 2010 but have not committed which leaves the project with a shortage of suppliers.
YouView, now being headed by Alan Sugar, is a joint IPTV venture between some of the UK’s biggest names in TV and broadband, including the BBC, ITV, BT, Channel 4, Talk Talk Group, Arqiva, and Five. But the open project has been set back to a 2012 launch and been harshly critisised by the likes of Sky and Virgin.
According to the specifications (229 pages) released only a few weeks ago, all YouView boxes will ship with at least 320GB of hard drive storage, and offer a minimum of two USB connections alongside the Ethernet port. However, while Wi-Fi must be supported, this can be via an optional dongle.Add a comment
In a fresh report, digital media research company Futurescape reveals how Facebook and Twitter are now power brokers for the global television industry... their ability to create new business opportunities and engage viewers, boosting advertising and pay-TV revenue, gives them a significant and increasing influence over all aspects of television.The key findings come in the second edition of the Futurescape report, Social TV. Facebook and Twitter are now power brokers in global TV, through creating new business opportunities for the television industry.
The Connected TV Summit starts next Wednesday and will provide the most
important update of the year for what the key stakeholders in this new
market – CE manufacturers, Pay TV operators, broadcasters and online
content owners – are thinking. We predict that from the CE industry,
major themes are going to be more cooperation with traditional platform
operators, who can harness connected TVs to introduce multi-room TV with
minimal expense, and the advent of multi-screen Connected TV, where CE
vendors look to make their connected TV services available on tablets
that can sync with the main connected TV.
Multi-screen Connected TV is a natural evolution given that leading Pay TV operators want to create a unified and integrated multi-screen offer that covers all screens in their homes. It also increases pressure on any Pay TV operators who are not moving quickly towards a multi-screen offering.
For the Pay TV world, this is the year of the big fight back. Nobody really expected major content aggregators, with millions of subscribers, to let someone else serenade their customers with interesting premium content additions, niche long-tail offers that appeal to important minority consumer groups, enjoyable apps and enhanced content discovery without offering an alternative. Now they are.
Putting unified multi-screen TV services aside, which are an important way to dampen the temptations of Connected TV anyway, and focusing on the main television set, the plan seems to be to open up the walled garden to at least some complementary OTT content, provide great new User Interfaces with neat apps of their own, and make it much easier to find content and communicate with friends in relation to that content (social TV). Next-generation TV platforms, based on completely new middleware/software or at least new UIs, are already rolling out.
GabCast.TV announced today that it has released an alpha version of its innovative online platform and is now broadcasting free interactive shows inviting the public to join the community. GabCast.TV is the brainchild of TV powerhouse Fred Silverman and interactive guru and producer Paul Wagner. They have created an unprecedented, live technology platform that transforms video chats into live shows.
The advent of GabCast.TV signals the further democratization of content and creates a movement bringing the audience and content closer together. The result is an unparalleled interactive broadcast experience infused with significantly higher levels of engagement with viewers.
Unlike the plethora of online video predecessors, GabCast.TV is the first to bring like-minded people together utilizing thematic live channels and offering engagement tools where anyone can do a solo show, two-person show, multi-person show, or desktop sharing - with a live classroom in development - all with unparalleled interactivity. All it takes is a webcam.
The GabCast.TV founding members consist of an experienced, successful and renowned team, including Fred Silverman, Chairman and co-founder of GabCast.TV, who was the former President/CEO of NBC, and the only executive in history to run programming at all three major television networks (CBS, ABC, and NBC).Add a comment
MPP Global Solutions have been selected by Vision+Media to develop a payment module to integrate with YouView and other IPTV platforms for a new initiative.
MPP, the leading provider of Payment Services and eCommerce Solutions to the Media and Entertainment Industries are to integrate their eCommerce payment services into various IPTV platforms but with focus on the YouView platform to process payment transactions for on-demand services between consumers and content providers utilising the platform.
IPTV platforms such as YouView enable internet services to be delivered to television sets. Consumers are able to browse the internet, watch video-on-demand and catch-up TV and interact with smart-phone type ‘apps’ all from their TV.
MPP Global Solutions are well placed to integrate with the YouView platform, with a client list including BSkyB, for whom they provide the full online payment and packaging platform to monetise their complete library of digital content. With over 11 years of experience in the field of eCommerce payment solutions, MPP have a wealth of expertise in the monetisation of digital content and the effective processing of payment transactions and content entitlement. MPP have also recently been recognised as the Best eCommerce Tech Company at a leading Industry Awards ceremony.Add a comment
MegaPhone Labs, a market leader in phone-to-screen interaction, today unveiled its signature DialPlay TV offering, a real time, cloud-based on-screen television interactivity solution. With DialPlay TV, content creators, broadcasters, advertisers and even operators can instantly enhance TV programming with real-time interactivity, connecting both the viewers to their television content and each other.
Already deployed in more than one hundred million US homes, DialPlay TV is in use nationally on The Weather Channel, NBC 4 New York and many others.DialPlay TV takes interactive and social TV to the next level. Programmers now have the ability to not only add interactive overlays into their shows -- but can now add an "inlay" of interactivity that is an element in the programming itself. From polling to gaming or anything in between -- DialPlay TV's inherently social applications can help drive the content of programs allowing host(s) to interact in real-time with viewers and vice versa.
From a viewer's perspective, the only requirement is a phone -- a smartphone or even a landline. By dialing into a toll free number or accessing interactivity control via a web browser, a viewer is instantly connected to a live, interactive participatory experience, along with thousands of other viewers. To date, MegaPhone Labs' customers have seen an average of a 75 percent retention rate and as high as a 38 percent response rate from participants, powerful results for programmers and advertisers seeking deeper audience engagement and loyalty.
“The Weather Channel has a powerful brand presence on every platform, and we’re always looking for opportunities to use new technologies to create innovative content and advertising experiences that delight our audience and advertisers alike,” said Ann Brown, senior vice president, client solutions for The Weather Channel Companies. “This is an interesting technology that allows us, in a turnkey fashion, to unite those experiences in real time – using something as simple as a telephone. We’re the first national cable network to use this technology in real time, live on the air, and it offers another example of The Weather Channel pioneering cross-platform integration.”Add a comment
PlayJam, the world's largest TV games network, has partnered with Relentless Software, the developers behind Sony’s BAFTA award-winning game franchise Buzz!™, to bring social games to Connected TV.
Relentless Software is the latest game developer to partner with PlayJam to access the fast growing Connected TV space via its Aggregated Games Portal – an editorially-led causal-gaming destination that brings hundreds of renowned titles via a fun, interactive user interface.
PlayJam’s Portal is powered by Phoenix - its proprietary social engagement and monetization platform that drives customer loyalty through a number of features such as cross-network tournaments, leader-boards, mass participation gaming, virtual currencies and CRM.
Rovi said Monday that it has reached an agreement with Sony Electronics to sell and deliver ads via connected Bravia TVs in the U.S. through the Rovi Advertising Service, which is part of Rovi Cloud Services.
The announcement follows on the recent launch of Rovi Smart TV Field Trial, an initiative created to explore new and emerging advertising opportunities on television and other devices connected to the Internet. The announcement expands upon the Smart TV Field Trial initiative, and broadens the reach beyond the 30+ million homes that Rovi Advertising Network reaches today. Rovi Smart TV advertising provides the ability for advertisers to increase awareness of their products and services by creatively engaging consumers in an environment where they can interact with content and information.
“Smart TV advertising takes consumers beyond sitting and viewing advertising on a TV screen to actively choosing to learn more about products and services that the consumer is interested in,” said Jeff Siegel, SVP of Advertising at Rovi. “With the addition of Sony BRAVIA TV to our Advertising Network, we are working with Sony to offer advertisers more creative capabilities to connect with the consumer.”
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Rovi Advertising Service, delivered through Rovi Cloud Services, enables consumer electronics manufacturers to incorporate advertising on their devices and monetize their offerings to create recurring revenue streams. By using Rovi Advertising Services, CE manufacturers become a part of Rovi Advertising Network, making it easier for brands to place advertising on their devices.
Samsung Electronics has announced operator based billing for its mobile and TV application store Samsung Apps which will alllow users to buy apps easily in just 2 clicks and the price will be charged in the phone bill or deducted from the prepaid SIM card.
The price can be charged right on a phone bill or be deducted from a SIM card balance. The addition of these new methods provides further convenience and ease of payment, meaning customers no longer have to enter sensitive information such as credit card details.
The new billing features will see phased roll out in European countries that include Germany, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Ukraine and Asian countries like Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and India from 28th April 2011.
Kang-Hyun Kwon, Senior Vice President of Media Solution Center, Samsung Electronics, said
At Samsung Apps we’re committed to doing all we can to provide our customers with an enhanced user experience. The new payment method offers flexibility, choice and ultimately a simpler purchase journey.
Samsung has also announced new promotion called ‘Buy Hot Apps, Get Cool Gadgets!’ where they offer a chance for customers to win prizes. This offer is available for Samsung apps customers with Samsung Wave smartphones from 17th May to 20th June 2011. Customers who purchases apps from Samsung Apps would be entered into the contest automatically to win exciting prizes. Winners would be announced on 27th June 2011 at Samsungapps.com.Add a comment
Today E-ZONE unveiled its iPad app MyTVBuddy claiming it takes Social TV to the next level of exploration, interaction, engagement and participation. by letting users check in to TV programs, watch videos, post messages on Facebook, share Twitter messages, participate in conversations and see where other users are located. MyTVBuddy kicks off with a special launch edition of Eurovision 2011.
MyTVBuddy comes with a solution for turning TV viewing into a social experience by using mobile devices such as the iPad. According to a recent study from Yahoo, nearly 90 percent of people watching television are using a mobile device at the same time. Be it Twitter, Facebook, email or instant messaging, they are doing more than just watching.
Special Launch Edition: Eurovision 2011
The first event that will be covered on MyTVBuddy is the Eurovision Song Contest which will take place on 10, 12 and 14th May. With over 120 million television viewers, Eurovision confirms it's status as Europe’s favorite TVshow. MyTVBuddy will bring the Eurovision experience closer to the fans with an integrated feature set. First, the fans are the jury since they can rate every performance. The result of the user votes is aggregated in the‘Ranking’ section and can be compared with the official ranking after the show. Secondly, Eurovision fans will find all relevant and necessary information about the artists at their fingertips including picture galleries, video channels and the latest news updates.Add a comment
According to their website, UK Digital agency Mobile Interactive Group (MIG) has developed a system of allowing viewers to purchase Facebook Credits which will allow them to place votes, enter polls and competitions in shows direct from an app hosted on Facebook.
The service is an extension of MIG’s mobile voting platform, which launched in January and which has subsequently been used by ITV for Dancing On Ice and Sky for Got To Dance.
Ben Cusack, marketing director for MIG said the service would tap into the huge numbers of people who visit social networks at the same time as watching TV.
“Many live shows now have a Facebook app and we were keen to extend that service to give audiences the opportunity to vote,” he said.
He added discussions were underway between Facebook and a number of key international broadcasters with a view to adopting the service.
According to LakestarMedia:
A new interactive broadcast platform mobile phone app can be bought allowing smartphone users to buy a vote from a particular show’s Facebook page, and then cast it in support of their favourite act or personality. Broadcasters also get a news feed updated with the latest voting statistics, so that they can collect votes securely and within a pre-determined timeframe. However, no broadcaster or show producer has yet announced it has linked up with the app, but its developers say negotiations are under way for several shows to offer such a voting method for their shows.Add a comment
SeaChange International (NASDAQ: SEAC), the leading global multi-screen video software company, is demonstrating a range of multi-screen video solutions for Europe’s cable television operators starting today at the ANGA Cable Show, including a new tablet-based TV experience and an application that brings social media to on-demand video. Innovations on show this week are driven by the Company’s global software organization including eventIS, which is now fully integrated into the worldwide SeaChange brand.
“ANGA provides a platform for SeaChange to show its many European customers the ways in which we’re enabling them to capitalize on their existing back office, and for other operators to learn how we quickly bring multi-screen services to market”
Feature software demonstrations powered by the SeaChange Adrenalin™ multi-screen back office include: