The new Free the TV challenge is designed to celebrate the recent release of version 2.5 of Samsung's Software Development Kit (SDK 2.5), create excitement among developers and showcase Samsung's unique ecosystem, which allows developers to create an entirely new category of "Converged Apps" - apps that work across multiple screens, running on both the TV and another device such as a phone, tablet or computer - to create new experiences for consumers.
The winner of last year's Challenge — MOVL's WeDraw — represents a perfect example of Converged Apps. By simply installing the WeDraw app on both a Samsung TV and any iOS or Android phone or tablet, users can use the handheld device to draw pictures that appear in real time on the TV. Other players then race to guess the word by typing their guesses into their phones.
"Samsung Apps has become the most popular TV Apps platform in the industry, with more than 900 apps available worldwide and nearly 10 million downloads to date," said Eric Anderson, VP of Content for Samsung Electronics America. "In addition, our Galaxy mobile phones and tablets have also been incredibly well received. The time is right to bring these devices together with Converged Apps. I'm excited and energized to see what creative ideas our developer community will come up with."
There are three categories of Converged Apps that Samsung is encouraging developers to explore:
To participate, developers can simply visit www.FreeTheTVChallenge.com to enter the competition and find information about downloading SDK 2.5. SDK is available free of charge at the Samsung D Forum site, www.samsungdforum.com , where interested developers can also find guides, tutorials, a Q&A section, and an emulator. The Samsung D Forum site also provides a community for developers to ask questions, discuss ideas and concepts, and otherwise interact.
MOVL, LLC, the developer of WeDraw, is also making its MOVL Connect(TM) Platform available to developers free of charge during the contest entry period. This service provides both tools and cloud-based infrastructure to developers, freeing them from concerns about bandwidth and servers when creating applications bridging multiple devices. "We are honored that Samsung has included MOVL in the new challenge. Last year we had a blast developing applications as contestants, and this year we are happy to share our technology and help other developers create multi-user, multi-screen TV apps." said Juan Pablo Gnecco, CEO of MOVL. The MOVL Connect(TM) Platform, documentation and examples are available to developers at http://connect.movl.com/samsung .
The esteemed panel of judges for the Free the TV Challenge 2011 includes James McQuivey (VP, Principal Analyst, Forrester), Ross Rubin (Executive Director, Industry Analysis, The NPD Group), Bob Borchers (General Partner, Opus Capital), Eric Anderson (VP of Content for Samsung Electronics America), Peggy Ang (VP of Marketing for Samsung Electronics America) and Greg Dudey (VP of User Experience for Samsung Electronics America).* The competition is powered by ChallengePost, a web platform that enables social problem solving.
Winners will be announced in Las Vegas at the 2012 International CES. The first prize winner will receive $100,000, a 65-inch Samsung LED TV and a Samsung Galaxy Tab. The winning app will also be highlighted in Samsung Apps, the world's first HDTV dedicated apps store.
Full Prize List:
*Final panel of judges subject to changeAdd a comment
Great news for TV App Developers! The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) will host its first-ever TV Apps Developer University event on September 29, 2011, at the CEA headquarters in Arlington, Va. This hands-on, interactive training event will help developers learn to build TV apps for the more than eight million app-enabled sets CEA projects will ship in 2011. This unique event will feature three sessions conducted by experts from LG Smart TV, Panasonic Viera Connect and Flingo.TV.
"The content, media and entertainment delivery landscape is rapidly evolving as TVs run apps similar to smartphones," said Brian Markwalter, senior vice president of research and standards for CEA. "Apps on TVs will revolutionize the delivery of content to consumers, and CEA is uniquely positioned to inform and train innovators who are building solutions that leverage connected TVs via TV apps."
This event is geared toward third party developers, entrepreneurs, start-ups, software companies, and media and advertising companies looking to design and distribute TV apps for entertainment, communication, lifestyle, gaming and more. To register, visit http://tvapps.CE.org . For more information, contact Deepak Joseph at djoseph@CE.org.
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the preeminent trade association promoting growth in the $190 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry. More than 2,000 companies enjoy the benefits of CEA membership, including legislative advocacy, market research, technical training and education, industry promotion, standards development and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA also owns and produces the International CES -- The Global Stage for Innovation. All profits from CES are reinvested into CEA's industry services. Find CEA online at www.CE.org , www.Innovation-Movement.com and through social media.
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Viewster on Samsung in TV, Blu-Ray Players, Tablets and Mobiles
The Viewster application - which gives access to Viewster’s on demand catalogue of award-winning movies and TV shows - will be available through Samsung Apps for 2010 and 2011 Smart TVs, as well as on blu-ray players in over 120 countries. Similarly, Viewster will be offered on Smart TVs and blu-ray players within Samsung's ‘Explore 3D’ 3D Video on Demand service and in ‘Your Video’, which delivers recommendations based on a user’s viewing history.
“We are delighted to offer our service to Samsung’s multiple platforms globally,” commented Richard Ganter, SVP Strategic Partnerships at Viewster. “Samsung has superb products in all device classes, and customers around the world will now benefit from Viewster’s video on demand service.”
In the mobile space, Viewster’s Android and Bada 2.0 based mobile applications will be included on key Samsung smartphone models, allowing its state of the art on demand movie service to be experienced across Galaxy smartphones and tablets as well as Wave smartphones.
Seamless viewing first for Samsung and Viewster
Covering most of Samsung’s platforms and device classes, the deal offers Samsung customers a seamless Viewster experience, with the ability to enjoy on demand movies anytime and anywhere.
The Viewster multiplatform Video on Demand application enables viewing across multiple devices using a single sign on. This means a user can begin watching a movie at home on their Samsung Smart TV, then resume viewing on their Galaxy Tab while waiting for a friend in a café with wi-fi.
Samsung customers will be able to choose to watch movies from Viewster either free with ads or as paid rentals. Viewster’s on-demand video application will be carried by Samsung devices on all platforms and in all territories.
KIT Digital, a premium cloud-based software solutions and technology services provider for multi-screen video management and delivery, today released a groundbreaking Social TV solution at the IBC 2011 conference. KIT digital's Social TV solution provides multi-channel video service providers (MVSP's) with new opportunities to offer socially enabled "lean back" experiences that transform the TV viewing experience with second-screen companion content and interactivity.
KIT Social TV is a key component of the KIT Video Platform, the company's next-generation cloud-based platform solution for broadcast-grade IPTV/OTT multiscreen broadband head-end deployments.
"Social TV is not just a buzz word; it's the future of TV -- driven by IP technology and people's desire to have a deeper engagement with their favorite content and with other viewers in a virtual living room environment," said Alex Blum, chief operating officer at KIT digital. "As MVSPs look to leverage the ubiquity of social media and the proliferation of connected devices to further engage audiences and monetize media content streams, the key to success lies in developing a second-screen strategy that provides control, while complementing and enhancing the viewing experience. KIT digital's Social TV solution provides the canvas for the most creative content producers, advertisers, and merchandisers to create impactful social TV experiences."
KIT Social TV was developed with a deep understanding of the relative social quotient for various types of programming, and emerging forms of user behavior in social discovery, social content breaks, social interaction and syndication -- originating in the expertise and multi-year product development initiatives of KickApps and Polymedia, two companies acquired by KIT digital earlier in 2011.
KIT Social TV easily enables companion device social applications that enhance the broadband TV viewing experience and provide new opportunities for audience engagement and monetization. This second-screen solution can include a smartphone or tablet being used as a remote control and program guide, as well as an interactive device that delivers personalized information about the content and feedback from other viewers -- such as currently trending programming and previous behavior-based viewing recommendations. It also enables the delivery of highly interactive personalized and targeted advertising and socially driven e-commerce functionality.
KIT Social TV Features
Mobile TV Synchronization - Turn user's companion devices (tablets, smartphones) into advanced second screens that synchronize with the TV program/movie being watched. The KIT Video Platform automatically manages authentication between the TV and specified devices.
Companion Viewing Applications - Allow publishers to easily build interactive apps for mobile and connected devices that enhance the experience of watching TV with live social media streams, exclusive content and commerce functionality.
Connected TV Apps - Harness social conversations around video content by aggregating relevant activity from a viewer's social graph (Facebook and Twitter, for example), directly to the user's mobile or tablet device.
Second Screen Advertising and Commerce - When an advertisement is screening on the TV, the mobile application accompanying the content can show a related mobile advertisement and brand experience that is interactive, web-connected and personalized based on the authenticated user.
TV Remotes and Electronic Program Guides - Sync mobile devices with the television, to become advanced TV remotes and automatically retrieve program guides, browse content by channel and day to watch instantly or record for later, and store viewer behavior for the purpose of future content recommendations and sharing.
Connected TV VOD Store - Enable users to browse and search KIT Video Platform-enabled video-on-demand stores on connected TVs, tablets, and other connected devices, and detailed information about the content including synopses, directors and actors. Before purchasing the content, viewers can preview a clip on their mobile device or television.
Social Search Functionality - Allow users to discover content recommendations based on shared tastes, via KIT's Social TV solution search tool. See what other viewers of the same content are watching or see what your friends are watching.
Content Recommendations - Use the activity, ratings and comments of the audience to discover the most popular content that viewers are watching.
Profile and Account Management - Enable viewers to manage their public and private profile details, view their purchased titles and record programs to their account on connected TVs, tablets, mobile and other connected devices.
Check-In Services - Provides a custom check-in capability or integration with leading third party check-in service providers to enable easy social syndication of TV engagement out to the social web.
About the KIT Video Platform
The Social TV functionality is fully integrated with the newly unveiled, next-generation KIT Video Platform. The KIT Video Platform provides media & entertainment companies, network operators, and non-media enterprises a comprehensive and highly flexible platform solution to produce, manage and deliver live and on-demand, socially-enabled broadband TV deployments. The KIT Video Platform's two editions, KIT Cloud and KIT Cosmos, are built on a common architecture and object model, and each caters to different ends of the video market--from enterprises deploying internal video systems, to broadcasters and telcos deploying multiscreen 'TV Everywhere' initiatives.
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PlayJam, the world's leading TV Social Games Network announced that the PlayJam Games Channel will launch in November this year as an app on Panasonic's VIERA Connect(TM)-enabled HDTVs worldwide.
The PlayJam Games Channel will bring hundreds of fun and engaging casual games directly into the heart of the connected living room via a single icon located within the main UI of Panasonic's VIERA Connect IPTV feature found on its 2011 line of VIERA IPTVs. PlayJam is engaged with a large number of 3rd party games developers to offer a mix of in-house and leading brand titles available through the PlayJam Games channel on Panasonic's VIERA Connect.
The PlayJam Network is powered by its social engagement and monetization platform, which drives increased revenue and customer loyalty via a rich set of features made available to game-developers such as cross-network tournaments, leader-boards, real-time mass participation events, virtual currencies and recommendations.
Says PlayJam's Commercial Director, Anthony Johnson, "We are delighted to be working in partnership with Panasonic to bring our games service into the heart of the connected living room. Connected TV is the next big platform for games and as such we have moved quickly to establish a coherent route to market for developers looking to enhance, monetize and distribute their content via this rapidly growing medium."
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"VIERA Connect breaks the boundaries of the walled garden structure of initial IPTV programs and delivers an unprecedented, more robust, two-way interactive set of features for consumers to enjoy directly through their Panasonic VIERA(R) HDTVs," said Panasonic Corporation of North America Vice President Merwan Mereby who oversees the development of Panasonic's rapidly expanding connected TV features and products. "The launch of PlayJam Games Channel on VIERA Connect is a great example of the amazing, cutting-edge interactive content and connectivity Panasonic is delivering to consumers that will take their home entertainment to a whole new level."
Jinni, the innovators of the only taste-and-mood based discovery engine for movies and TV shows, today announced an agreement with Microsoft Corp. to license semantic discovery technology for personalized, holistic discovery of video entertainment.
"Microsoft's choice to license the Jinni video discovery solution further validates our unique semantic technology and holistic approach to entertainment discovery" said Yosi Glick, CEO and Co-founder of Jinni. "At Jinni we believe finding digital entertainment should be as natural and enjoyable as consuming it. Our technology can power a wide variety of intuitive discovery tools, including; semantic search, personalized recommendations, and mood-based discovery features for a fun way to find movies and TV."
Jinni Semantic Taste Discovery
The Semantic Discovery Engine and Entertainment Genome, a rich set of more than 2,000 tags to describe the mood, plot and style of any title, was developed specifically for discovery of video content. The Jinni engine enables a variety of meaning-based discovery features to help users find what to watch on any screen, any time. Jinni's Entertainment Genome enables exceptionally intuitive, explainable and holistic video discovery to power any screen with a suite of features for the next generation of digital home entertainment guides.
Jinni offers unique features, such as:
· Mood-based Discovery – Search or browse within intuitive categories like mood, plot and style to choose content in a large catalog with fewer clicks. For example, just two clicks on 'witty', then 'sibling relationships' gets results http://www.jinni.com/s/Lla8
· Taste-based Recommendations – Highly personalized recommendations extracted from distinct groups of semantic genes that characterize a user's various tastes. For example, a user may enjoy 'Suspenseful, stylized, rough stories about gangsters, cons and scams and heists'
· Explainability – Complete transparency builds user trust, so natural language explanations of why each title is recommended are provided
· Similar Titles/Content Recommendations – Easy, intuitive way to find more shows or movies that are truly similar based on comparison of semantic attributes
· Effective Social Discovery – Cuts through the buzz to find friends as well as other users with similar taste that can be trusted sources of social recommendations
Learn more about the Jinni Semantic Discovery Engine for Digital Entertainment below.
At IBC today, Liberty Global, a leading international cable operator serving 18 million customers across 14 countries in Europe, Chile and Australia, today presented "Horizon" - an elegant media and entertainment platform for the home, which seamlessly integrates cable, web-based and personal content. Using a simple and intuitive interface and a powerful recommendation engine, consumers will be able to share and view content on multiple screens and devices wirelessly throughout the home.
The Horizon user experience was demonstrated today in Amsterdam by Mike Fries, President & CEO of Liberty Global. Commenting on Horizon, Mike Fries said:
"Over the last 20 years, Liberty Global has been at the forefront of driving technological innovation for its customers in Europe. Both in high-speed broadband and digital interactive television, we have constantly strived to improve our customers' experience. With Horizon, we're reinventing television."
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Open platform for a world of apps
In the same way that apps have added a new dimension to the use of smart phones and tablets, the Horizon open platform for apps aims to do the same for TV. The Horizon ecosystem is an open and scalable platform for the future on which developers can continue to improve and enhance the functionality for consumers. Liberty Global is working with international and national content providers, such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, to develop applications for its standards-based 'App Store'. In this store, subscribers using Horizon will be offered a full catalog of web-based apps & widgets that will be seamlessly integrated in the TV user interface.
Liberty Global is reaching out to potential content partners and third party application developers and will soon launch a software developers' kit for Horizon, inviting them to join the already existing 60 content partners that have developed apps for the new platform.
Horizon is designed to put a computer at the heart of your digital home. This multimedia gateway will create a wireless network that connects your TV to all of your personal devices - computers, tablets and smartphones. The TV interface uses 3D graphics and images that will bring your content to life and make navigating simple, instant and seamless.
Supported by search and recommendation features, it will integrate access to personal media content such as photos, music and movies stored in the home or in the cloud. Horizon will also allow customers to take their entertainment experience beyond their home TVs. Applications have been developed for smartphones and tablet devices (second screens) as well as web browsers that will enable a similar and complementary experience on different devices both in and out of the home.
Liberty Global is currently executing field trials on Horizon in the Netherlands and later in the year will move to consumer trials. Commercial launch is planned for Q1 2012 at UPC in the Netherlands, with UPC Cablecom in Switzerland and Unitymedia in Germany following soon thereafter. Horizon will be added to the company's existing line-up of advanced digital products, and existing digital customers will be offered an attractive upgrade package at launch.
Liberty Global has developed Horizon with a set of world class technology partners. Samsung has built the multimedia home gateway, which will be powered by the Intel(R) Atom(TM) CE Media Processor. The middleware and the user experience will be provided by NDS. Nagravision will provide the conditional access solution through NAGRA Media Access. This solution will support MoCA and WiFi, and participate in the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) ecosystem. The ability to enable the TV experience on different devices (computers, tablets, smartphones) both in and out of the home will be delivered by IOKO's enterprise service platform and by the Platform video content management system. Empathy Labs was responsible for the website design.
Accedo provides applications, both through its own app store solutions and through application platforms from all major TV device manufacturers. Among Accedo’s applications is Funspot©, the most widely deployed TV game service, as well as video on demand apps, live TV apps, news and information, social media apps, to name but a few. Its cloud based solutions power applications on a number of major TV services and CE platforms.
“We are excited to reach this milestone,” commented Michael Lantz, CEO, Accedo. “The growth is absolutely phenomenal at this point and we believe that we are seeing just the beginning of the emerging TV apps industry.”
Accedo has deployed apps on more than 50 operator platforms and has active application deployments with major media and Internet brands on most Smart TV platforms. With customers on all continents and local presence through five offices around the world, Accedo’s solutions are scalable for local requirements and global consumer demand.
“So far we have mainly seen the larger players launch TV apps, but we believe that smaller media companies will see the opportunity to generate new revenue streams and find new customer groups,” added Michael Lantz. “We have launched the SmartApp™ solution for such companies, to allow them to quickly launch high quality apps on multiple platforms. This product is already available for a number of application categories and platforms, with more on the way.”
Accedo is showcasing its products and solutions at IBC on booth 4.C81.
Mobile and digital technology business Mobile Interactive Group (MIG) today announced that it is working with broadcaster, Channel 5 and Endemol to deliver voting via Facebook for the next Big Brother season.
The broadcaster has developed a specially created Facebook application that will run alongside the current series which it bought the rights to from Endemol earlier this year.
Rebecca Whitlock, Commercial Dev Controller, Channel 5 commented:
“Trends in the broadcast and entertainment industry are constantly evolving, yet providing the best and most innovative interactive services for our viewer’s remains a core focus for us. We’ve worked with MIG for several years, and their knowledge and insight into the broadcast industry ensures our viewers receive the best and most engaging multi-channel experience possible.”
Rob Weisz, Commercial Director, Mobile Interactive Group said:
“This is a major development in the broadcast interactive space. It is widely acknowledged that viewers are moving to multi-channel experiences when watching traditional shows and we are delighted to announce this partnership with Channel 5 and Endemol. This technology has been developed specifically to create an exciting and engaging interactive experience regardless of whether you interact with a TV show via Facebook, iTunes, Android, traditional web and mobile web.
“We strongly believe this will allow global broadcasters and production companies a seamless way to monetise their audiences, whilst creating a deeply social experience within the show format and on the second screen. It is unlike anything this industry has seen before but defines exactly where interactive television is going. This is a watershed announcement for this industry.”
The application will allow viewers to vote for contestants using Facebook Credits through MIG’s mVoy Engage platform casting votes in real time through to the live show alongside traditional interactive voting methods. The platform is also integrated into the Official Big Brother UK iPhone and Android Applications offer a true multi-channel voting experience.
Additionally, MIG’s ‘Mobile, Facebook and Interactive TV’ white paper recently revealed that ‘40% of mobile users are most likely to be multi-tasking using their phone while watching TV’ and that ‘Social participation TV (S P-TV) will drive interactive behaviour to generate $2.9bn globally by 2016’. The white paper can be accessed here – http://info.migcan.com/MIGwhitepaper
In May 2011 MIG achieved Facebook Preferred Developer status, marking them as one of the only UK mobile, transactional and interactive businesses in the Facebook developer network.Add a comment
Apps on my TV? Yes, you heard correctly: web-enabled TV applications are
no longer the stuff of sci-fi films. At IBC 2011, Opera Software pulls
out of its hat the all new Opera TV Store, a simple solution for
developers to build HTML5 apps for connected TVs and devices. OEMs, on
the other hand, can take advantage of these ready-made apps and offer
them to their customers in an instant.
"Apps are a new must-have on TVs,” said Frode Hernes, VP Products, TV and Connected Devices, Opera Software. “With the Opera TV Store, developers can easily build cool and useful apps for millions of TV viewers. And, yet again, Opera takes these apps across devices, bringing games, news, video and audio apps to TVs, set-top boxes and Blu-ray players."
Why stop there?
Opera also presents the Opera TV Emulator, a tool that allows developers do all the nips and tucks needed to build various TV apps without leaving their computers, and without investing in expensive bells and whistles needed for TV development.
The Opera TV Emulator rocks the following innovative features:
"Developing applications for TVs could not be easier," said Andreas Bovens, Group Leader, Development Relations, Opera Software. "Opera TV Emulator offers a complete package to develop, debug and deploy TV applications right from your PC."
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No SDK left behind
Meet Opera at IBC
See the Opera TV Store and Opera TV Emulator in action at IBC 2011. Please visit the Opera Software booth in Hall 5, B47, or, for more information, contact Katrin Jaakson (firstname.lastname@example.org). The following partners also showcase Opera on their devices: AirTies Wireless Networks (Hall 5, B33), Albis Technologies (Hall 4, C71), Amino Communications (Hall 5, B40), CreNova Technology (Hall 5, B15b), Entone (Hall 13, 266), Ericsson (Hall 1, D61), HUMAX Co. Ltd (Hall 4, B70), IMAQLIQ (Hall 13, 372), SetOne (Hall 4, B50), Technisat Digital S.A. (Hall 1, A44), ViXS Systems Inc. (G104), Zappware (Hall 4, B51), 3view Consumer Electronics Ltd. (Hall 13, 154).
TV App Agency, a London based, specialist developer of Apps for internet connected TV’s and devices are working with Rightmove to develop a property App for connected TV. The App, to be launched later this year on Samsung Smart TV sets, will provide the ultimate shared viewing experience by allowing families and friends to use Rightmove to search for property and be able to view property pictures, floor plans, details and maps on the largest screen in the home.
Andy Eardley co-founder & Director of TV App Agency said:
“We are really excited about developing a TV App for Rightmove. As a leading adopter of technology they immediately bought into the vision our team created to develop a dedicated Rightmove TV App. The App looks amazing, viewing large images of property on a TV with families and friends is an enjoyable shared experience”.
Rightmove director Miles Shipside comments:
“TV App Agency have developed an exciting new Rightmove app for use on connected TV’s. The App is an ideal addition to Rightmove’s range of home-hunting platforms, allowing users to now search for their next home on the largest and most communal screen in the house. We see the TV app marketplace as having a lot of potential and it is a platform we were keen for Rightmove to appear on.”
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