SyncTV, the leader in delivering television services to the largest set of Internet-connected TVs, mobile devices, and other service-enabled devices, today announced a new partnership with UK-based video-on-demand (VOD) service, African Movie Channel (AMC), to deliver hundreds of authentic classic, recent and new Africa-origin films to both Africans and the global diaspora through Roku Streaming Media Players and Samsung Connected TVs.
“As African Movie Channel continues to sign agreements with strategic, high-profile content partners, we are also expanding our alliances with top distribution avenues to increase the awareness of our offerings. It is important for us as representatives of Nollywood and other African motion picture houses to expand the viewership and share our distinctive entertainment with those outside of the EMEA region,” said Lola Onigbogi, co-director and founder of African Movie Channel. “The digital platform is emerging as a top content distribution channel, and we recognize SyncTV as an extremely valuable asset in enabling the broader exposure of Africa-origin films to universal audiences. SyncTV will help us deliver excellent video experiences to all of our viewers as we continue to expand our library of exclusive films and content.”
Launched in 2006, AMC is the first and only channel dedicated to top-quality African films from the popular Nigerian film industry, Nollywood, and other major African studios. Nollywood studios represent one of the largest film industries worldwide, alongside Hollywood and India’s Bollywood. AMC sources all films and other videos directly from the original master versions, guaranteeing exceptional audio and visual quality. All content goes through an exacting selection processes to ensure that viewers experience original, entertaining and inspiring content at high-quality. SyncTV’s agreement with AMC will enable distribution of African films and content, which includes top titles like The Narrow Path, Silence Of The Gods, Arugba, Clinic Matters and Mary Slessor.
“African Movie Channel is a beacon for African culture and heritage that provides authentic video content to viewers around the world and SyncTV is proud to power their global distribution services,” said Dennis Wilkinson, vice president of sales and marketing for SyncTV. “SyncTV’s advanced turnkey Internet broadcasting platform allows AMC to significantly expand their viewership by providing unparalleled access to its high-quality content on numerous media devices.”
SyncTV will be at the International Broadcasting Convention in Amsterdam on September 8 – 13, 2011. Visit SyncTV for a demonstration and learn about the company’s global deployments at strategic partner Harmonic’s booth in Hall 1, Stand B20 or at the SyncTV Suite MR3 in Hall 13 in the Connected TV Pavilion.Add a comment
Pearson has announced its new Plug & Play Platform, allowing developers access to some of the company’s award-winning content. In line with the company’s strapline ‘Always Learning’, the opening of of data is part of a wider Pearson initiative to work with developers to explore new and innovative offerings.
Initially, three datasets have been made available on the platform: the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, the Dorling Kindersley (DK) Eyewitness Guide to London and the FT Press. Additional datasets will be added to the portal over time, based on developer feedback. Pearson is one of the first publishers of its size and breadth to open up access to its content for developers.
The aim of the initiative is for developers to unleash their creativity, coming up with new products and new ways of using, displaying and blendingPearson content. Showcase applications are available on the platform to show the range of possibilities the datasets offer.
Before building a production application, developers can work in a sandbox, an isolated testing environment, and explore the content. A sandbox is available for each dataset and contains a subset of the full dataset. Once developers are ready to create a production application, they can call on each API for free (quantity varies by API) with no authorisation required. After reaching a set threshold, they are charged on a pre-payment basis according to usage.
Diana Stepner, Head of Future Technologies at Pearson, says: “We are very excited about the Plug & Play Platform’s potential for innovation. By giving developers access to such rich and valuable content, we hope to see real creativity that will help take our content forward in directions we haven’t explored before.”
The FT Press provides essential insights from high calibre business books and original writings by leading business thinkers, in a bite-sized electronic format. The content is written by authors who are experts in their field and have a track record in demonstrating success. For example, The Truth About series sold more than 300,000 copies, Jerry Weissman’s Presentation books are international bestsellers, and The Rules series sold more than 1.5 million copies worldwide.
The Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English is the flagship Longman dictionary. It is a best-selling title in both print and digital formats, and was voted one of the best English dictionaries by iPhone® app users. The database is the most up-to-date dictionary of the English language aimed at non-native speakers of English.Developers working with the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English dataset will benefit from an established global brand that is associated with quality, accuracy and natural English.
DK Eyewitness Guide to London offers the tourist-eye view of the top sites and attractions in London along with restaurant, café, bar and hotel listings. As well as point-of-interest style content, the Eyewitness Travel Guide includes immersive graphics of key places in London, plus striking photographic images that distinguish DK content from other publishers’.The London guide content is entirely geocoded. In addition, points of interest are richly tagged to include details such as address, phone number, opening times, website and transport information. Cutaways and area walks are also arranged into geographical areas. This structure enables a coherent set of activities, guided walks, and area-specific listings to be identified by location.
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Leading the charge to global dissemination via Smart TVs, CNBC, a leading American business and financial news channel has launched the CNBC Real-Time TV App, available for connected TV platforms throughout the EMEA region.
Justine Powell, CNBC’s Vice President of Distribution, EMEA stated:
“CNBC’s Real-Time TV App is the latest tool in an unparalleled suite of digital products that makes the real-time data, news and analysis that investors care about, available to them across multiple platforms.”
The CNBC Real-Time TV App, which is free to use, allows viewers to access content from CNBC’s TV and online platforms via their internet connected televisions, giving them access to the latest essential business and financial news and data.
Features of CNBC’s Real-Time TV App include:
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The CNBC Real-Time TV App is available via different internet connected devices, including TVs, set-top boxes, Blu-ray players and home theatre systems, on Panasonic Viera Connect, Philips Net TV, Samsung Smart TV and the UK's Virgin Media.
The launch of CNBC’s TV app continues the network’s multi-screen strategy enabling viewers to access the network’s content either on-air, on-line and via a variety of mobile devices.
Great news for TV App developers as LG has hooked up with Sharp and Philips to standardise the code, based upon HTML 5, CE-HTML and HbbTV, between them which will allow for easy cross device development. By consolidating, the three CE manufacturers will undoubtedly attract more TV developers away from other platforms such as Samsung and others. Germany's Loewe Smart TVs are also using the platform.
Tony Smith from Reghardware who is in Berlin at IFA commented:
The problem, Philips and co. say, is that all these TV app platforms are different, making it harder for content providers to implement their services as widely as possible, and leaving TV makers fighting for content rather than concentrating on producing better tellies.
Their solution - now endorsed by LG, Philips TV group CEO Robert Smits revealed at IFA today - is to devise a common platform. Details remain scarce - this is a work in progress - but Smits promised the release of a software development kit to enable third-party development. He didn't say when it will be made available, but LG told Reg Hardware that an initial, beta release will be made in October.
The three companies from South Korea, the Netherlands and Japan will jointly create software development kits, which will be distributed to third-party developers to write TV applications, according to an LG official at IFA.
More from the Korea Herald:
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The strategic partnership among the three TV vendors is the latest indication that TV makers still believe the success of smart TVs hinges on the replication of the smartphone ecosystem.
Among the reasons for the iPhone‘s global success, some credit its vast ecosystem of developers, consumers and applications that enrich the experience of using the touchscreen smartphone, which is still unmatched by its counterparts in Google Inc.’s Android ecosystem.
While LG, Philips and Sharp will use different operating systems for their smart TVs, the applications that run on their TVs will become interchangeable once they adopt a common technology standard for building applications, according to LG.
“Consumers want all types of personal media and Internet content in their living rooms and the TV remains the most desired device for consuming this digital media, regardless of source,” said Hakan Kutlu, deputy general manager responsible for marketing at Vestel. “BitTorrent certification helps our TV line meet this consumer demand and ensures that Vestel products remain at the forefront of technology innovation and adoption.”
“The world of digital media has become unnecessarily complex and results in an increasingly fragmented consumer experience,” said Shahi Ghanem, chief strategist at BitTorrent. “People want access to their entire content library – personal media, Internet files, and artist approved content – regardless of source, media type, or file format. Vestel understands this consumer demand and will use BitTorrent certification to help ensure that users of their TV products will have access to a powerful, open ecosystem that guarantees consumers can play any content on any Vestel TV that is BitTorrent Certified. We’re exceptionally pleased to be working with Vestel and look forward to a long and beneficial partnership with the company.”
If you would like to take part in this competition please summarise in no more than 500 words the nature of your new solution or product, it's unique value proposition and benefit to the customer, how this will be displayed on the stand to maximise visitor interest, and why you believe your company should be awarded a place to showcase it at next year's Mobile World Congress. Application forms can be downloaded here and completed forms should be sent to email@example.com and arrive no later than 5:00pm on Friday 30th September 2011. Note there are three tabs in the Excel submission sheet.
FilmFlex Movies, the provider of the online movie service used by Film4oD, has added PayWizard as an online payment mechanism. The first deployment of the PayWizard e-wallet is now live on the Film4oD website.
FilmFlex Movies is the sixth customer to deploy the PayWizard platform since the beginning of the year; existing customers include Racing UK (Android/iPhone apps) and Omnimotion (online gaming). A number of as-yet unannounced customer contracts are slated for deployment during Q4 2011.
Film4oD customers simply select the films they want to watch, register for a PayWizard account (if they haven't registered already), top up their PayWizard account balance and pay quickly and easily using the PayWizard e-wallet. The e-wallet holds digital versions of a consumer's credit/debit cards, the current balance, and various personal data. It also facilitates continual card authorisation for true 'one-click' purchases and can handle a range of innovative subscription models.
Hayden Punter, Head of Finance at FilmFlex Movies commented: "PayWizard is ideal for our online movie service, which is used by companies such as Film4, because it makes the payment process painless and fast. We also liked PayWizard's flexibility, security and ease of use. Film4oD customers now have the option to pay for movies quickly and easily using the PayWizard e-wallet."
Jamie Mackinlay, Commercial Director at PayWizard, added: "As the provider of a high quality online movie streaming service to some of the UK's best-known brands, FilmFlex Movies wanted to deliver a new type of payment experience that is fast, easy to use and friction-free. The PayWizard e-wallet fits the bill because it supports true 'single-click' purchases and enables FilmFlex Movies' customers to experiment with a range of different payment models in addition to pay-per-movie."
PayWizard supports transactions made on multiple devices, including online, tablets, smart phones, connected TV's and digital set-top boxes. The complete PayWizard payment solution delivers much more than just an e-wallet: PayWizard features a web-based management dashboard that provides detailed real-time activity reports as well as valuable, actionable marketing information on viewer behaviour. This dashboard provides instant feedback on transactions, campaign effectiveness, consumption patterns and revenues and can be used to drive the development of personalised promotions and informed and creative cross-device marketing opportunities.Add a comment
on, tune in, surf apps! Apps are coming to TVs in a huge way, and Opera
Software now gives TV OEMs and developers the tools they need to make
the Next Big Thing on TV sets.
Introducing the Opera TV Store, a complete HTML5 based store solution for easy implementation into connected TVs by OEMs and easily reached by developers and content providers.
Got an idea for that killer app missing on the TV platform? With the Opera TV Store, developers can reach a large, installed base of compatible TVs and devices, using fast and easy tools to develop all kinds of apps. Movie trailer apps, Video on Demand apps, games, news apps, vodcast and podcast apps are now easy to develop and deliver to customers for developers using the Opera TV Store.
The Opera TV Store extends beyond connected TVs, making it an all-device experience. Running on the TV, set-top box or a Blu-ray player makes no difference for the Opera TV Store. Using the flexibility of the web platform, development and deployment of apps is done in a snap.
“Traditionally, the TV has been pretty static as a device. The era when you had to buy more expensive equipment to get new functions in the TV is over,” said Lars Boilesen, CEO, Opera Software. “New approaches to TV software, such as the Opera TV Store, makes it easier for OEMs to implement smarter functions on connected TVs and content providers to reach a wider audience with their HTML5 apps.”
The app always shines on TV
OEMs can harness the power of a multitude of developers to enrich the consumer TV world with after-market apps. The Opera TV Store can be installed on any device or connected TV and a wide array of content partners reached through the store.
For developers, the Opera TV Store means a quick and easy way to reach millions of users right in their living rooms. If a TV is based on the Opera SDK 3.1, Opera TV Store and its content is just a click away. An HTML5-based solution makes compatibility and app development quick and easy. Cloud-based storage of the users’ apps means no worries about storage, updates and upgrades, the Opera TV Store shines on all levels of connected TVs.
Running on top of the powerful Opera engine, the Opera TV Store supports HTML5, SVG, Canvas, CE-HTML and OIPF based applications which provide both the rich environment seen in desktop browsers, and the TV specific environment developers are used to in the TV markets.
But wait, there’s more!
Content providers have been adding apps for the debut of the Opera TV Store, and several leading web services have already published their apps.
"Vimeo is excited to be developing for such a great platform as Opera TV Store," said Andrew Pile, VP of Product Development, Vimeo. "We're always looking to expand Vimeo everywhere and with the addition of Opera TV Store, we continue to bring high quality content to a wider audience."
As for ease of porting to the Opera TV Store, it’s a snap for anyone with HTML5 app knowledge:
"After developing the DriveCast app for such different platforms as Yahoo! ConnectedTV, Samsung SmartTV and Philips NetTV, porting the app to Opera TV Store was really easy sailing," said Giorgio Bernardi, President and CTO, Inrete. “The development of an app for the Opera TV Store is really an easy task for any developer of web applications."
“Cooperation with Opera has been very smooth. Due to the easy to use and standard based Opera TV Solution, Foreca weather application development has been rapid,” said Marko Moilanen, VP Business Development, Foreca.
“We are overly happy to be part of the Opera TV store,” said Holger G. Weiss, CEO, AUPEO. “The Opera TV Store allows us to offer our free music discovery service on millions of devices worldwide with just one deployment. The technical integration worked well as Opera provided the latest tools and an outstanding support.”
The new Opera TV Store also bodes well for developers of games for the platform:
"We're excited to launch a range of Funspot games on the Opera TV Store," said Michael Lantz, CEO, Accedo. "Casual games are popular applications, and HTML5-based Opera TV solution offers a vast range of new possibilities that are particularly attractive for gaming."
“We are very happy to be included in Opera TV Store,” said Marco Dufour, CEO, DDM Srl and head of the project CineTrailer.tv. “We share the same attention to R&D Opera devotes to its products, and the same vision about the potential of the Smart TV market. Thanks to Opera TV Store and its widespread diffusion, we will have the possibility to reach platforms we presently do not cover, and, both as developers and content providers, this is really important to us.”
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As of today, Opera TV Store is available as trial software for OEMs and Content Providers and will be shown at ShowStoppers in IFA (Sept. 1, 6:00pm to 9:00pm Messe-Berlin Fairgrounds - Building 15.2) and IBC in Amsterdam (Sept. 9-13- Booth 5.B47). For more information, contact Pål Unanue-Zahl (firstname.lastname@example.org / mobile: +47 99 73 79 51).
The 2011 Video Music Awards generated more than 5.5 million social media mentions on Sunday. The majority of those mentions were from Twitter, according to Mashable who reports on an infographic by Trendrr. At the peak (Beyonce's performance) people generated a whopping 8,868 tweets per second.
For a larger image go to Mashable.
Interesting figures, for instance the usage of hashtags. According to Trendrr, this “shows the real maturity of hashtags as vehicle to drive connected TV conversations.”Dynamic channels of information that centralize chatter on a particular topic.
More interestingly is the big discrepancy between Twitter and Facebook. Twitter has been used much more to create context. Twitter is perfect for quick updates but still being able to focus on the primary content.
I would be interested in learning what is being said in all those conversations, and if intelligence can be extracted for MTV to align or enhance what is spoken about.Add a comment
IP Vision, the leading provider in the UK’s nascent hybrid DTT/IPTV over-the-top (OTT) TV sector, announces that the FetchTV™ content portal will be available this autumn via an app as a service to consumers on Panasonic’s VIERA Connect compatible TV sets sold in the UK and Ireland. Viewers will be able to access a range of FetchTV’s specialist TV channels as well as thousands of hours of on-demand content that comprise the FetchTV content portal.
The FetchTV app will form part of Panasonic’s VIERA Connect service. Launched earlier in 2011, Panasonic VIERA Connect offers an innovative personalised home entertainment experience, enabling users to access a wide range of applications within seven main categories: videos, music, sports, social networking, news and lifestyle, health and fitness, and games. The new FetchTV app will be demonstrated today by Panasonic at the IFA Consumer Electronics Show in Berlin.
The FetchTV app has been customised for Panasonic VIERA Connect service in order to provide the best possible user experience by simplifying the content discovery process. Viewers can watch trailers, sample services and select and view FetchTV content, all via a single, easy to use application. The FetchTV application will also be made available via Panasonic Blu-ray players at a later date.
Via IP Vision’s agreements with leading content providers, the FetchTV content portal will offer Panasonic VIERA owners on-demand access - on a pay-per-view or mini-subscription basis - to the latest movies and TV shows from Walt Disney, Paramount Pictures, National Geographic, Playboy and others.
David Bloom, IP Vision’s Commercial Director, said:
“Connected TV is the next logical step for IP Vision as a company and FetchTV as a service and represents a new era of convenience for TV viewers. It instantly offers enhanced choice of content for the consumer, enabling viewers to pick and choose the best of broadcast and the best of online, while enjoying it all on state of the art display technology”
“We are extremely delighted to offer the FetchTV content portal on Panasonic’s VIERA Connect TVs as our first partner in this fast growing space and we are committed to ongoing innovation in order to continue to engage new audiences,” he concluded.
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Multiple-award-winning FetchTV, the UK’s first commercial hybrid OTT/IPTV service for consumers, is also available on the function-rich, competitively priced SmartBox 8320HD PVR as a fully integrated TV entertainment platform providing access to Freeview HD/SD broadcast television as well as catch-up TV and premium Video on Demand content.
Audible Magic today announced that Trident Microsystems has integrated its SmartID automated content recognition system onto its digital TV (DTV) platform. Based on Audible Magic's patented digital fingerprint content identification technology, the SmartID system will help Trident OEMs and ODMs and their application developers more fully capitalize on new opportunities in the emerging social TV, interactive advertising, and personalization markets.
"Social TV, interactive advertising, and personalization are three enormous market opportunities for Trident, our OEMs and ODMs, and the apps developers who work with them," noted Dirk Wieberneit, Senior VP and General Manager for TV business unit of Trident Microsystems, when making the announcement. "To take full advantage of these opportunities, suppliers and developers must offer excellent content recognition capabilities. And, with the exclusive addition of Audible Magic's SmartID system, we believe that we have the most robust and accurate technology of this kind on the market."
For these developers, one key asset of the SmartID system is its ability to support both on-demand and continuous-identification modes. This makes it easy for applications to identify live television shows, movies, music, and advertising TV viewers watch, regardless of the media source: linear television, Blu-ray players, VoD, or over-the-top streamed media from companies such as Netflix or Hulu. As well as being critical to developing new applications for social TV, interactive advertising, and personalization, this capability is also essential to the integration of companion screen devices into the interactive viewing experience.
In addition to automated content recognition, the SmartID system offers developers other valuable features, such as:
Frame-accurate synchronization using Audible Magic's SmartSync capability, making it easy for developers to time events based on specific locations within a video such as polls, contests, and the timing of ads and other related content Local device and cloud-based media recognition services Audible Magic's SongID feature, allowing viewers to immediately identify a song when they hear it on TV using just a click of the remote control Minimal memory and CPU footprint that allows the SmartID system to scale from low- to high-end DTV systems An API for developers that is easy to integrate with their applications.
"Including digital fingerprinting on Trident's DTV platform will do for smart TVs what GPS did for mobile phones," added Jay Friedman, VP Marketing for Audible Magic. "Developers created thousands of geo-location apps never imagined before GPS became a standard feature of mobile phones, and - with the addition of digital fingerprinting - we expect to see a similar story unfold in the DTV environment."
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Come visit Audible Magic at IBC 2011, September 9-13, Hall 13 Stand 384. Learn about and see demonstrations of Audible Magic's technology for Smart TVs and Companion Screen devices. Use code 17530 to get free entry to IBC courtesy of Audible Magic.
Online digital video distribution now allows consumers to access more content, on more devices, and in more places, than ever before. This increase in access has made content more ubiquitous than ever, but availability is only a part of the story. Equally important is how, and on what devices consumers are accessing this content, and the increasing role of mobile devices for video consumption.
New In-Stat (www.in-stat.com) research, Q2’11 US Multiscreen Video Database, reports
that 50% of tablet owners are viewing not only feature-length movies on
their device, but TV shows as well; an important revelation to both
content producers and providers alike. Tablet and smartphones are not
only becoming vital new screens for video consumption, but are also
functioning as personal interaction devices for video-centric social
networking and applications.
“Tablets, in particular, have become a primary video device, both inside and outside the home,” says Keith Nissen, Research Director. “By 2015, our research projects that 65% of the US population will own a smartphone and/or tablet. As these devices become a center-point for video engagement and consumption, content providers, device manufacturers, and operators need to support a multiscreen usage model that reflects social interaction, screen interaction, personalization, and mobility.”
Additional research findings include:
Frequent mobile video users will more than triple over the next five years
Nearly 50% of 18 to 24 year old smartphone/tablet owners frequently social network about TV programs currently being viewed
86% of smartphone/tablet users will view video on their mobile devices
Nearly 60% of smartphone/tablet owners will also be viewing OTT (over-the-top) video at home
The average Apple household will have four Apple devices, while the average Google Android household will have at least two Android devices
The research is drawn from In-Stat’s new Q2’11 US Multiscreen Video Database (#IN11050139MSV) which examines the impact of mobile devices in the promotion, engagement, and distribution of premium video as an extension of the TV and PC video experience. The Q2’11 US Multiscreen Video Database is updated quarterly in Excel format, including forecasts and quantification of:
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Civolution, the leading provider of technology and solutions for identifying, managing and monetizing media content, announces that visitors to its media interaction zone at IBC Hall 2, Stand C30, will be able to see the most exciting synchronized 2nd screen applications developed by some of its partners including Ex Machina, Miso and Vejo Park, based on Civolution’s VideoSync watermarking technology.
"Media interaction is one of the hottest trends in the broadcast industry so it's really exciting to be a key enabler and see such innovative interactive applications on the Civolution stand," said Alex Terpstra, CEO, Civolution. "By synchronizing 2nd screens and connected devices with the TV program in real-time, we're really opening up the broadcast stream for interactivity and triggering. Content owners, broadcasters and advertisers are now able to offer a more immersive event-based viewing experience over which all players have greater control and which offers deeper consumer engagement."
Civolution's VideoSync - 2nd Screen product allows for the automatic identification of the TV channel being watched and the content being played. Upon identification it enables precise time-synchronization between content played on TV and portable devices such as tablets, smart phones and PCs. The real-time interactivity between the devices, enabled by content identification, automatically handles distribution delays and supports time-shifted viewing.
Ex Machina – is a leading pioneer in providing live online interaction with events. It has developed an exciting new platform, PlayToTV, which enables TV shows such as talent contests, sports, game shows and reality to provide real-time and social interaction such as live rating, voting, polling, quizzes, chat & twitter feed aggregation, and much more. Ex Machina has powered interactivity for shows such as The Voice of Holland and Germany's Next Top Model.
"The real-time synchronisation that Civolution's VideoSync technology provides between the TV program and the companion device enables us to offer unique applications for real-time or even time-shift viewing," says Jeroen Elfferich, CEO, Ex Machina. "The combined technology and application brings 2nd screen interactivity to life. And our clients love it, because using the application on a companion device ensures the deeper TV experience that our broadcast clients want and need to deliver. Using audio watermarking to add accurate synchronisation to our platform is a significant enhancement."
Miso – provides pioneering synchronous 2nd screen experiences for consumers by integrating with broadcast, hardware and content partners. Through the integration of Civolution’s VideoSync, Miso is able to understand who's watching what and when they’re watching, to provide interactivity that enhances the viewing experience.
"We’re delighted to be partnering and integrating with Civolution to extend the 2nd screen experience for content owners and viewers," said Somrat Niyogi, Chief Executive Officer of Miso. "With this partnership, content that has been watermarked using Civolution's technology is now available via Miso so that broadcast partners can gain unique insight into viewers' interactive behaviour around their programming and viewers can have an enhanced experience. This is an industry first for both Miso and Civolution that underscores how social TV is transforming the broadcast experience."
Vejo Park – is an incubator of web tech companies, its spin-off HyperTV develops eXperience a multimedia platform to create and publish user experiences spanning all the screens of our life: PCs, Tablets and Smartphones.
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"Through the partnership with Civolution we are extending our contents production and publishing ecosystem to Television" says Claudio Vaccarella, founder and CEO of Vejo Park, "HyperTV eXperience is giving Broadcasters, Contents Producers, Ad Agencies the set of out-of-the-box tools to provide their customers with interactive experiences and social network integration."