Roku 2 players also feature a sleek new design that’s more energy — efficient than before, using less than two watts of power.
“Roku is the best-selling streaming player on the market because of its simplicity, breadth of content and value. Now we’re setting the bar even higher with Roku 2 – a more powerful platform with new features including casual gaming,” said Roku Founder and CEO Anthony Wood. “We’ve worked closely with Rovio to bring the first full version of Angry Birds to the TV – and best of all, we’re including it for free with the top-of-the-line XS model.”
New channels launching soon on Roku 2 include Facebook, AOL HD, and FOXNews.com. Additional games will be available shortly after launch including Angry Birds Rio and Angry Birds Seasons. The Roku 2 platform offers nearly 300 channels of streaming entertainment including movies and TV shows from Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video and Crackle; live and on-demand sports from NBA Game Time, NHL GameCenter Live and Ultimate Fighting Championship; music from Pandora, MOG, Rdio and TuneIn Radio; photos and videos from Flickr and Vimeo; plus news and entertainment from around the world.
A Streaming Player for Everyone
All three Roku 2 models feature built-in wireless, Bluetooth for connecting a game remote and a MicroSD slot to support additional game storage. The Roku 2 HD player supports up to 720p HD video while the Roku 2 XD player supports up to 1080p HD video. Roku 2 also adds several significant enhancements to its acclaimed Netflix experience, including support for English subtitles, Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 surround sound pass through and up to 1080p HD video quality (on the XD and XS models). 2 The Roku 2 XS player provides the ultimate casual gaming experience on the TV.
Now, Angry Birds fans who love to launch birds at jeering green pigs can enjoy the full version of the game for the first time on the TV, free of charge. The Roku 2 XS includes the new Roku Game Remote with motion control which has been optimized for bird — slinging action on the big screen. The Roku 2 XS also features an Ethernet port for a wired Internet connection and a USB port for playing music, videos, and photos off of any USB drive.
Pricing and Availability
The Roku 2 HD, the Roku 2 XD and the Roku 2 XS are expected to be available by the end of July for suggested retail prices of $59.99, $79.99 and $99.99 respectively. Retailers include Roku.com, Amazon.com, Best Buy, Fry’s Electronics and RadioShack. Since all Roku 2 players support casual games, customers will be able to purchase the game remote with motion control for use with the Roku 2 HD and Roku 2 XD players. The Roku Game Remote will be available in the coming weeks as part of a bundle that includes a 2GB MicroSD card for a suggested retail price of $29.99 at Roku.com.Add a comment
This is according to DisplaySearch research, In 2011, more than 25% of all flat panel TVs shipped is expected to have some form of Internet connectivity. Cens reports:
The display market researcher and consultant recent reported that this number of Internet-connected TVs shipped is forecast to grow to 138 million units in 2015, accounting for 47% of all flat panel TVs shipped.
Paul Gray, DisplaySearch Director of TV Electronics Research, said:
"The adoption of connected TV is not just taking place in developed regions. Emerging markets often have good broadband services, and there is a thirst from consumers to get the best content available."
The Internet is changing the TV industry and decision's like the Indian government's one will only boost new markets for Connected TV. The Indian government is going to switch off the analog terrestrial signals and move to DVB-T2 digital broadcast in 2015.
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SocialGuide has launched a daily raking of the top programs, networks and sporting events based on the social media activity that takes places while the show is airing, according to Broadcastingcable. The rankings are available at www.socialguide.com/social100:
The rankings are built on an intelligent social TV recognition system that takes U.S. TV listing data from Tribune Media Services and tracks the Twitter activity with every show that airs on around 160 of the most popular broadcast and cable networks. About 90 million social TV comments from about 9 million unique users have been collected since January.
Social Programming Guide
The guide allows users to follow three different feeds:
* A feed with all the tweets during the show;
* A feed of tweets just from their friends and
* A third feed of tweets from cast and team members of the programs and sporting events being tracked.
B2B revenue model
Socialguide is creating a platform for networks and advertisers to mine all this data, CEO Sean Casey said:
"The Social 100 data is consumer facing but we will be launching a data product with a full dashboard for networks and advertisers that will allow them to get deep into the data we are collecting around these shows," Casey notes. "This will provide them with a very interesting metric that will provide them with a measurement of what level of social engagement is going on around their TV shows. It offers a cross-section of the activity around the Twitter user base and shows what younger people who are into social media are watching and talking about. We think that is a very interesting demographic that is highly sought after by advertisers and networks."
Rich consumer insights
These rich consumer and real-time insights can be used for co-programming and rich details about users which can be used for advertising rates to brands/advertisers.
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"I think we will see a big push in the fall," Sean Casey adds. "This is going to be the biggest fall season yet for social media and I think over the next 12 months the networks are really going to embrace it and find ways to more effectively use it to drive behavior."
Wiredset came with best practices to socialize TV programming via Twitter:
Great to read these insights. How do you think content / shows will adapt but also evolve in incorporating the crowd?Add a comment
Social TV apps are a hot topic, next to the earlier reported news on BeeTV's new socializing app for TV, Rapid TV News reports that Orange is also looking forward to "revolutionize the Social TV experience." Available free, the TVcheck community app automatically recognises programmes users are watching on the 19 French DTT channels based on visual recognition technology.
TVcheck provides a multi-screen and game experience for discussing about TV content. The application allows users to share their thoughts on the show they are watching thanks to a number of social features such as status updates, comments and program recommendations. Users will be able to log in using their Facebook credentials, making it easy for them to add friends’ from their Facebook account.
"We are all looking for shared digital experiences to stay connected with others. With TVcheck, there's no need to wait until the next day to talk about a good show seen the evening before. One can immediately do it when sitting in front of the TV in the living room".
Features of the TVcheck app:
Scan and share your favourite shows
TVcheck is the first application for iPhone that offers automatic program identification based on visual recognition technology. The application recognises shows broadcast on the 19 French DTTV channels. Based on the automatic detection function, discussing what you watch on TV is now an even more enjoyable experience. What's more, you no longer have to look at the TV guide, just trust your friends'.
Play and watch TV at the same time
TVcheck offers users a new TV experience by combining the power of the social network with games. All popular programs have their own badge. By using the check function, you can win points which go towards badges.
The most actively involved users win the title of 'Master', i.e. the member who has won the most number of points on a program or channel. TVcheck also offers a number of surprises to Masters, including the chance to watch their TV shows being recorded.
Key word definitions
Pre-check : to show your friends that you plan to watch a TV program
Check : to show your friends that you are watching a TV program. The check is usually automatic because the application automatically recognises the show you are watching. You can also manually check a program.
Badge : there are several types of badges, such as "serial TV watchers" for series, "peace and love" for lovers of reality TV, and "reporter". They are awarded based on the number of checks you make
Master : the most active users are awarded the title of master of a program or of a TV channel
Quiz : questionnaires on TV programs which enable you to win points
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BeeTV has integrated TV viewing, social media and check-ins in one app for the iPhone. BeeTV lets users “tune-in” to a show they are currently watching so they can easily join the conversation about that particular show. With just one tap users can see all the relevant tweets and Facebook posts about a show and can instantly jump into the conversation as written by iPad News Tracker.
Yaniv Solnik, BeeTV CEO said:
“BeeTV is different from other social TV apps because we take the experience beyond the check-in. BeeTV is focused on the conversation, in a sense like a Twitter client for TV, that lets users instantly find the discussion about what they are watching on TV and easily take part in it. BeeTV does the hard work for users, matching relevant conversations with shows, so they can start talking with friends and fans immediately.”
Differences between BeeTV and for instance Miso and GetGlue are discussed by AppScout:
Yes, you can check-in to your favorite show, and yes, you can share a tweet or a status update to let you people know what you're watching. You can even chat with others who are watching the same thing. That's pretty much where the similarities stop between BeeTV HD and other apps like Miso, and GetGlue. BeeTV HD kicks it up a notch and shows you all the relevant tweets and status updates about the show you're watching in real-time. People who are updating their timelines or streams, chatting about the show you're checked into on BeeTV will be populated into your view...and you can join the conversation without ever leaving the app.
Significant enhancement and new features are:
Start talking about your show, quickly:
When users open the app they are presented with a very simple question. The “what are you watching now?” screen directs users to find the show they are watching. Users are also offered several options of the most popular shows at that moment. Once a user has tuned-in to the show he is watching, he can instantly share what he’s watching with friends on Facebook or Twitter.
What are you watching?
Additionally, the BeeTV iPad app – taking advantage of the larger screen – provides users with a quick post system that lets them quickly string together messages from commonly used phrases, handles, hashtags and emoticons. Users can even create their own custom messages for a highly personalized experience.
Finding the conversation for you:
Once a user has tuned-in to the show he is watching, BeeTV pulls in all the tweets and posts about that show, all in real-time. Users can filter tweets and posts to see what everybody is saying, or to see just their friend’s comments. BeeTV HD also knows which VIP and celebrity accounts are connected to a show and presents tweets and posts from those VIPs to users as well. So the next time a user watches “How I Met Your Mother” and wants to carry on a bromance with Neil Patrick Harris, BeeTV will make it easy.
Get together with friends:
Everything is better with friends and watching TV is no exception. Inviting friends to watch shows in BeeTV HD is now super simple. Users can simply drag their friends’ pictures onto the invite section to ask them to watch a show. This makes it easier than ever to get together with friends and talk about the shows that users love. Users no longer have to send individual emails, tweets or Facebook invites to invite friends to watch shows together. Once users and their friends are together it’s easy to see comments and to talk about the show.
It will be interesting to learn what users think about the new BeeTV experience and socializing it. Have you used it? What are your thoughts?
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Earlier this month, Netflix said they were going to expand into in 43 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean which sent the stock flying up to $291.23 before settling at $289.63, up $21.64, or 8.1%. It's expected that Netflix will pursue an IP only strategy rather than mail order DVDs like they did in Canada - meaning that web and Connected TV devices will be the focus of deliver.
More from Variety:
Sources at leading European film distributors say as recently as last week Netflix reps confirmed plans to put roots down in both Spain and the United Kingdom in the first quarter of next year. Netflix declined comment.
The European invasion would come after the 43-country blitz scheduled to take place by the end of the year across Latin America and the Caribbean. Netflix surprised many analysts who predicted the UK would be one of the first targeted territories only to end up absent from the list released last week.
That could be a reflection of tougher competition it will find in England, from Amazon-owned Lovefilm to incumbent multichannel services like BSkyB, which may seem newly vulnerable given the turmoil that has engulfed News Corp.'s aborted attempt to grab a bigger stake in the satellite service.
Ryan Lawler from Gigom also reported on the move:
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Interest in Spain and the U.K. markets makes sense, if only because by next year it will have both English and Spanish-language services in place. But unlike its venture to Latin America, where existing streaming operations haven’t taken hold, Netflix could face some stiff competition from existing services in Europe.
Lovefilm, which was bought by Amazon earlier this year, already has a robust streaming service in place in the U.K., Germany and the Nordics (Sweden, Denmark and Norway). And the U.K. market has a number of incumbent TV services that also have a streaming component. Take, for instance, the BBC’s wildly popular iPlayer, or BSkyB’s satellite service, which allows viewers to stream live and on-demand TV over the web and to a growing number of mobile and connected devices.
Meanwhile, in Spain, there are less visible streaming competitors, which could create a lower barrier to entry. But Variety notes the market is also known for being a hotbed of video piracy. At the same time, offering a low-cost alternative is one way Netflix could possibly help studios fight piracy there.
TV Genius has announced the launch of its Facebook-integrated TV guide solution, further improving content discovery experience for TV viewers.
The new solution (www.tvgenius.net/
As a Cloud solution, the Content Discovery Platform makes it easy to deploy Facebook-integrated EPGs on the web, connected TVs, smartphones, and tablets. Users of the TV guide will be able to quickly and easily find new content to watch that is personally relevant, while encouraging them to connect and engage with their friends in a new way.
The solution taps into the increasingly popular use of social media. A ResearchNow study, sponsored by TV Genius in September 2010, shows that while traditional media remain dominant over TV content discovery, newer media are also having an emerging influence, especially among the younger generation of ‘Digital Natives’.
“In world where operators are battling to be the key entertainment hub, a Facebook-integrated TV guide will increase stickiness, encouraging users to interact with the TV guide and their friends,” says Tom Weiss, CEO of TV Genius. “Powerful social recommendations will help viewers stumble across the content they want, while helping providers offer relevant, timely content.”
TV Genius is already powering TV-centric Facebook apps for ITV, Freeview, and Tjek TV.
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PlayJam, the world's largest TV games network, has launched its global games service for Samsung Smart TV.
PlayJam aims to create the richest environment for games on TV. Now live on Samsung’s 2010 range, the games network will roll out across Samsung Smart TV and blu-ray players.
Says PlayJam's CEO, Jasper Smith:
"Samsung is the world leader and we are delighted to bring a new generation of games to TV. I have a fundamental belief that games on TV will evolve in to a huge commercial opportunity and our combined aim is simply to provide the best games experience possible to our customers. To help make that a reality we offer great game developers simple access to our global games network - so that they can monetise their IP and make their games famous. TV has some extraordinary advantages over the web and mobile, and the ability to make stand out formats has never been greater. We are very excited to share our passion for bringing great games to TV with Samsung.”
The PlayJam service is a social and casual games network available at Samsung Apps-- the world’s first HDTV-based application store offering about 640 paid and free apps globally that help people connect to their various passions, PlayJam offers a mix of in house and leading brand titles, providing consumers worldwide with easy access to thousands of casual and social games at the touch of a button on the remote control.
The PlayJam games network is a social engagement and monetization platform that drives increased revenue and customer loyalty through core features such cross-network tournaments, leader-boards, real-time mass participation events, virtual currencies and recommendations. PlayJam has launched a beta SDK to provide game developers with a simple one-stop route to global games distribution via TV.
“The overriding mission of our Smart TV proposition is to provide easy access to content that can be shared and enjoyed by the whole family, and games are a key genre”. says Kang-Hyun Kwon, Senior Vice President of Media Solution Center at Samsung Electronics. “PlayJam’s gaming service can bring such enrichment to our Smart TV.”
* The service may vary by country.Add a comment
The current buzz around Transmedia is justified to its capital T, to listen to some of the original and fascinating ways theatre, film and even toys are being developed. The award winning Unlimited Theatre Co. and Makieworld were two of the best which showcased at the Children's Media Conference in Sheffield, UK, last week.
Unlimited is responsible for the hugely successful children’s production, Mission to Mars. The core story concerns the adventures of a pair of astronauts who set out on the first manned mission to Mars in 2035 but what makes it different, according Creative Director Jon Spooner, is the company’s trademark focus on the “liveness” of the experience and its “cross platform curiosity”. As well as being an engrossing yarn, the show imparts key science info and is the centre of a number of brilliantly executed satellite projects.
Most of these involve collaboration with real scientists, notably schools agency Radiowaves. Under their aegis, the company have mounted “performances” in a number of primary schools with The Astronautical Challenge, an adventure where the children can immerse themselves in space over a five week period, receiving packages and message from the astronauts and ultimately mounting a rescue mission. Unsurprising, kids LOVE IT.
And it doesn’t stop there. As well as employing the now ubiquitous social media websites, the company also engage their audiences in conversation via “Space Camp” – a game where children and parents train to be astronauts, which takes place at theatres, festivals such as “Greenman”, and London’s Science Museum. The kids get involved by asking the scientists any manner of questions from “how far is Mars?” to the jaw dropping “what is quantum physics?”
And Unlimited’s progress certainly looks limitless. Already holders of the National Charity Award, last week, they won the prestigious Sir Authur Clarke Award for Achievement in Space Education and Outreach. They have the ear of David Willetts, Minister of State for Universities and Science, and are currently developing what Spooner describes as:
“A massive multiplayer online game – where you sign up, lead missions, team up and follow stories. It’s Hogwarts for geeks”.
At the other end of the children’s transmedia spectrum is London based Makieworld, founded by fount of all knowledge on toys: Alice Taylor. Alice’s description of her work at Makielabs brought forth gasps of amazement from the CMC audience because what they do is not just make toys but customisable, 3D-printed, locally made (i.e. not in China), and internet-enabled toys. According to Alice:
“These are ground-breaking, future-smashing toys that a user can customise to their liking, and have delivered from their digital avatar to their doorstep. It’s disruptive. We’re calling it 3D-Printed Fun: it’s an infinite loop between digital play and physical play. We have a 3D prototype doll (action figures and toys to come), an awesome team and some big ideas.”
The 3D manufacturing is taken care of by what is essentially a printer, there are several of these on the market including Makerbot, winner of last year’s Consumer Electronics Show and one by Z Corp. The price which used to forbidding is gradually coming down. The material used is usually the same plastic as that utilised by Lego but anything can used: gold, ceramics, the only impact is on the price.
What emerged from this panel and others at this year CMC is overwhelming evidence that today’s kids don’t want to be a captive audience. The phenomenal success of multiplatform products such as Moshi Monsters only goes to back up US company Latitude’s research that kids want participation with the computer and TV, they want to create and be involved. They are game players, watching the least TV and their imagination, of what’s possible in the future, has no boundaries: one of Latitude’s studies found that nearly 40% of kids imagined tech that bridged gap between virtual and physical experience: touching/feeling things on the screen.
In a bold move to try and reinvigorate Big Brother, a format that has been tanking over a decade of milking for Channel 4, has some industry insiders questioning whether it can be pumped back up, Channel 5 is to use Facebook as a voting platform for reality show Big Brother for the first time. It's one of the first real experimental journeys by a broadcaster to revitalize an older format using multiplatform engagement. And this is only good news for innovative 3rd party companies like MIG, The Application Store, Ex-Machina, Monterosa, Screach and Live Talkback who offer white label dual screen experiences for broadcasters and producers and could open up a significant new market pumping up older shows for them.
According to Jessica Davies at NMA, Facebook won’t be the only voting mechanism... but will be one of several on devices yet to be confirmed and Channel 5 also in talks with YouTube to extend the use of the platform beyond video content for Big Brother. Fans will be able to purchase votes using Facebook Credits to use on either their laptops or smartphones. Channel 5, which bought the rights to broadcast Big Brother after ten years at Channel 4, is yet to determine pricing.
Undoubtedly there are risks for all broadcasters that form tie-ups with third parties, particularly ones as powerful as Facebook. But all are aware that to meet the rising demand for social TV, they must collaborate in some shape or form. Channel 5 already took a risk when it bought Big Brother, a show which had been run to death for ten years on Channel 4, with audience numbers plummeting in its last few series.
It has also arguably made its bed when it comes to Facebook. It has embedded its TV catch-up player Demand 5 on the social network and remains the only broadcaster to have done so. It retains control of its video ads across its embedded player, while Facebook enjoys additional premium-quality broadcast content.
The broadcaster is working closely with Endemol, Facebook and mobile agency Mobile Interactive Group to develop a Facebook app that lets viewers vote for the contestants they want to leave the Big Brother house, using the social network’s Credits payment system - which is a significant shift from using telephony and SMS voting as has been done traditionally in the past. MIG’s mVoy Engage platform was also recently used for Sky’s Got to Dance iPhone App.
More from NMA:
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Channel 5 is the first broadcaster to establish such a tie-up with Facebook, having embedded its TV catch-up player Demand 5 on the social network as part of its syndication strategy. This brought its entire catalogue of long-form content, including shows such as Home and Away, The Gadget Show and The Hotel Inspector, to the social network for the first time .