Synctv Tackles Fragmentation in Connected TV and Mobile Markets With Slick New System

written by: Richard Kastelein

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SyncTV, a leader in delivering television services to the largest set of Internet-connected TVs, mobile devices, and other media-enabled devices, has recently announced that it has reached a significant achievement of 10 live customer deployments for this year alone, with several more major deployments such as M6 in France (Part of RTL Group) scheduled to go live by year-end. Customers that have launched over-the-top (OTT) video services on the SyncTV platform so far this year include: PictureBox by NBC Universal; Bollywood Nirvana; African Movie Channel; Aimflicks; The Concert Channel; Dream Link Entertainment; Jaroo; Kidlet; Oasis TV; and Wieder.TV.

“The current industry dynamic is creating strong demand for SyncTV services, which help content providers of all sizes in their shift to the increasingly prevalent digital channels by providing a convenient, end-to-end turnkey platform for media distribution,” said Alexander Garcia-Tobar, CEO of SyncTV.

“The global market momentum that we’re experiencing is evidence that more people are making the shift to consume media content through IP-based avenues like Internet-connected, media-enabled devices. With proven transcoding and encoding, content protection, monetization, user management, device compatibility and other functionalities, SyncTV is poised to help customers support and satisfy the rapidly evolving OTT market.”

SyncTV’s industry-leading media distribution platform allows content providers to easily reach millions of viewers through multiple digital channels including iPhones, iPads, Android-devices, Roku and Boxee streaming media players, Internet-connected TVs from leading consumer electronics companies like Samsung, Philips, VIZIO, LG, and more. SyncTV creates custom-branded channels via device applications that are centrally managed by customers through a robust web-based user interface.

Tony Klejna at Streaming Media recently wrote:

SyncTV has developed a platform that will operate a live and on-demand pay TV service on any connected device. Yes, that means PCs, Macs, connected TVs, Blu-ray players, iPods, iPads, Android devices, Roku, and Boxee, with more in development. It provides a turnkey service of content management, payment processing, device compatibility, and user management. SyncTV is not a content aggregator, but it works with many aggregators. It is a B2B video platform and can white-label anyone's content or service with a consistent app experience across devices.

The president of SyncTV is John Gildred. The company is headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., and has numerous sales offices in Europe and Asia. John began as SVP at Pioneer, leading a group developing streaming over-the-top to television. The idea was that the group would be a Netflix-style company but would be backed by television manufacturers. Along the way Pioneer decided to get out of the television business, and after a joint venture with Sony and Phillips, the company was spun off.

About 2 years ago, instead of building a system like Netflix, SyncTV decided to build the infrastructure to support as many Netflix-like channels as the market desired. As Gildred noted, "We decided that there was a much bigger need in the market to enable companies that had content and services they wanted to bring to market rather than be just another service." Sony and Phillips are still very much behind the plan, and SyncTV built the system and started launching services within the past year. NBC Universal was in the first group of customers and has a service in the U.K. called PictureBox, which provides all-you-can-view feature films for a subscription cost of £4.99 (about $8) per month. This is a typical application for SyncTV, and additional services are now launching in Europe, Asia, and the U.S.

Ryan Lawler at Gigaom writes today:

With SyncTV, however, video publishers don’t necessarily need to create apps for every device. Because it’s already built the user interface and has the back end necessary for ingest, encoding, digital rights management, ad insertion, reporting and billing, it can simplify the process of rolling out to new devices. It can also reuse a lot of the same code and infrastructure.

For video publishers, that reduces a ton of complexity associated with being everywhere that consumers want them to be. There are already a number of publishers taking advantage of that offer: SyncTV’s named clients include NBC Universal in the UK, French broadcaster M6, U.S.-based VOD provider Avail-TVN, German TV station Wider.TV and South Asian content provider Bollywood Nirvana.

SyncTV is being spun out of DRM provider Intertrust, and it is going independent. The company, which currently has more than 30 employees, is based in Sunnyvale, Calif., and also has offices in France, Spain, the UK, the Netherlands, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and China.

SyncTV  started as a project inside Pioneer, but was spun off as its own company in August 2007. It has successfully positioned itself as an enabler of online, mobile, and over-the-top video. Learn more about SyncTV at

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