Movea Wants You to Control Your Cable Box by Flailing Your Arms

  • French company Movea is looking to provide motion control options for TV and set-top box manufacturers.
  • The company’s MoveTV platform offers remote control technology to OEMs, and “opens up the company’s tools to developers for building games and apps,” reports Engadget.
  • The post lists early partners: Korean cable provider C&M Media — and Remote Solution, which “will be licensing Movea’s SmartMotion and integrating MoveTV into the set-tops provided to C&M.”
  • “MoveTV is the first platform that takes an ecosystem approach, offering an integrated suite of SmartMotion technology components tailored to the needs of service providers, application developers and the different PayTV ecosystem partners. MoveTV platform components work together seamlessly on the backend and are designed to be modular, giving ecosystem partners the flexibility to adopt different levels of motion-driven functionality and capabilities,” says Sam Guilaumé, CEO of Movea.

Ooyala Everywhere Goes Social with TV Platform for Facebook Users

  • Ooyala Social, a new HD-quality Social TV platform (and additional entry point for Ooyala Everywhere) allows Facebook users to “share video with their friends and family, live chat while viewing, discover new content and watch video across multiple screens and devices,” according to the company’s press release.
  • It supports several business models including rentals, subscriptions, purchases and advertising.
  • Discovering new shows is based on user’s social circles. Viewers can share videos they “like” with their friends, or “loan” a show for later viewing.
  • Users can watch from tablets, mobile devices and connected TVs. They can purchase, rent, or subscribe to content by using Facebook Credits, PayPal, a credit card or a mobile phone number.
  • “Broadcasters, distributors and Hollywood studios can capitalize on the Social TV trend by using Ooyala Social to make premium on-demand and live video widely and easily available on Facebook,” suggests the press release. “The solution offers built-in social features and other tools that enable media companies to grow audiences, boost viewer engagement and realize new revenue streams.”

New Ad Campaign from Turner Educates Viewers about TV Everywhere

  • Turner Broadcasting has begun airing a series of television commercials on TNT and TBS that lets viewers know they can watch TV episodes streamed online if they have a cable subscription.
  • The campaign is designed to educate consumers about the concept of TV Everywhere.
  • “Consumers have bought tens of millions of iPhones and iPads,” explains Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks. “Our vision is that TV Everywhere kind of becomes the consumer-enabling technology that allows them to unlock the potential of those devices.”
  • An instructional video is also posted on YouTube that goes into detail about how to download the app and login (for example, viewers should be aware that they will need to have their cable bill account number available during the process).
  • It is interesting to note that Nielsen is crediting the viewing in its ratings if the show is watched within three days of airing.

HDTV Prototype Unveiled by Vestel: Would You Buy a BitTorrent TV?

  • The first BitTorrent certified HDTV was demonstrated at the IFA trade show in Berlin last week, although ZDNet points out that torrent fans will be “hard-pressed to get their hands on one (especially in the U.S.).”
  • The Vestel prototype uses BitTorrent’s Chrysalis platform to simplify the process of downloading and converting torrents to view.
  • Although the idea may be exciting to many, it’s a bit early to celebrate. “Not surprisingly, there’s no information about any kind of release dates or distribution model for the TV (or even basic specs like screen sizes, etc.),” reports ZDNet. “Vestel is obviously not a household name, and past BitTorrent-based networking products from the likes of Netgear haven’t been runaway successes.”
  • “Major retailers might not want to stock a BitTorrent TV for fear of offending their digital content partners,” adds the post, “so this might be a niche product that you’d have to track down online. Or it could wind up being vaporware altogether.”
  • ZDNet asks its readers if they would consider buying a BitTorrent TV — a good question for our ETCentric crowd. What are your thoughts?

Viewsonic Cancels Boxee HDTV: Will Apple Revive Demand For Smart TVs?

  • Viewsonic announced it will axe the launch of its planned smart HDTV, which would have run Boxee’s media center software. Coupled with Logitech’s price cut for Google TV, it seems there is little demand for smart TVs that are connected to the Internet.
  • However, some analysts believe that may change.
  • “The Logitech Revue and Boxee were both originally priced considerably higher than the $99 Apple TV, which has sold relatively well on Amazon, despite only being what Steve Jobs famously referred to as a ‘hobby’ for the company,” reports ReadWriteWeb.
  • We’re all expecting the future living room to be Web-connected and interactive — as initial steps are taken by mobile technology, social networking and second screen apps — but what we don’t know is exactly how this will play out. Apple has long been rumored to be working on a smart HDTV that would possibly play a more prominent role in our living rooms.
  • Will Apple TV jumpstart the smart TV market? ReadWriteWeb points out: “If Apple’s impact on the markets for smartphones and tablets is any indication, an Apple-branded HDTV may serve to popularize connected TVs in a way that Boxee and Google TV have failed to thus far.”

Liberty Global Looks Beyond the Horizon with Multi-Screen Video Platform

  • Liberty Global unveiled a new video delivery platform at IBC in Amsterdam that the company claims will reinvent television by combining the interactivity of the Web with cable and personalized content.
  • The multimedia gateway will create a wireless network that connects the TV to personal devices such as computers, tablets and smartphones, reports Communications Technology.
  • The technology, dubbed Horizon, centers on a PC as “the heart of the digital home,” includes a 3D user interface, and is presently undergoing field trials in the Netherlands. Liberty Global suggests it will be commercially available next year.
  • Sixty content providers — including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter — have already signed up to develop applications for the platform.
  • The platform has a number of tech partners including Samsung, which built the multimedia home gateway, powered by the Intel Atom CE Media Processor.
  • NAGRA Media Access will provide the conditional access solution that will support MoCA and Wi-Fi, and participate in the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) ecosystem.

Crowdsourcing: FilmFunds Wants You to Greenlight Film and TV Projects

  • FilmFunds, a new venture launching this week at the Toronto International Film Festival, will use a crowdsourcing approach to help determine whether a film or TV show would draw an audience.
  • FilmFunds’ test group of some 60 million moviegoers will review synopses, trailers, artwork and other marketing materials and vote whether to “Like” a project. The results can help put a project into production and get it completed, distributed and marketed.
  • According to Variety: “Site divides projects into three categories — materials of projects members can help put into production, completed projects member votes can help get finished or distributed, and a marketing portal where studio pics can gain support and members can recruit friends and pre-sell tickets through websites like Fandango.”
  • A FilmFunds mobile app provides more information after a user takes a snapshot of a poster, trailer or film title.
  • The article also references Emotional ID, which “translates real-time facial reactions and emotions during test previews into measurable results.”
  • The FilmFunds site allows users to enter as a Filmmaker (“Get your projects seen and potentially produced”) or a Fan (“Promote projects and interact with filmmakers”).
  • According to the site: “FilmFunds enables you to choose what you want to see and then we get it made. Our connections in the industry finalize deals but your vote is the catalyst. The more you participate the bigger the rewards. A few ‘suits’ used to call all the shots. FilmFunds puts YOU in charge. We’re just here to help!”

Broadcasters Beginning to Adopt Cloud-Based Services

  • Some TV broadcasters are beginning to embrace cloud-based tools and services for graphics, asset management, back-office functions and document and video storage.
  • While these broadcasters are attracted by cost savings and increased efficiency, others reportedly remain skeptical, citing security concerns when services are tapped via the public Web.
  • Among the early adopters, according to TVNewsCheck: “Gannett Broadcasting and Scripps Television. Both use Chyron’s AXIS cloud-based system for all their news-producing stations and both report that the service works reliably, saves money and has helped speed production and distribution of graphics among the stations.”
  • John King, Bitcentral’s VP of engineering, predicts broadcasters’ reluctance to use the cloud for all applications will dissipate. “Eighteen months ago I’d hear the term cloud every two months. Today, I hear the term multiple times a day,” says King. “I predict it will be accepted in three years … and we’ll see widespread deployment in less than five years.”

Entertainment Media Companies Not Ready for Digital Opportunities?

  • Most media and entertainment company senior execs believe they are not fully leveraging customer data that would make it possible to deliver customized content, suggests a new study by consulting firm Accenture.
  • The research indicates that 91 percent of these executives are not taking full advantage of the data, and as a result, are not adequately prepared to identify revenue opportunities related to current and future digital technologies. Additionally, 95 percent do not have strong digital customer relationship management capabilities.
  • If fewer than 10 percent of the companies have a fully integrated view of their digital consumers, a new operating model may be necessary for sustainable digital growth (Accenture recommends a shift from legacy vertical, channel-oriented structures toward a horizontally-layered operating model).
  • Only 55 percent said their companies had a clearly defined social networking strategy in place, while 80 percent believe the industry is still in a state of flux. And 42 percent anticipate that advertising will serve as their main source of revenue in the next two years.
  • Accenture’s “Global Media & Entertainment High Performance Study” canvassed 130 executives across Europe, North America, South America and Asia Pacific from industries including television, gaming, film, music, publishing, portals and advertising.

Researchers Create Device that Harvests Energy from Ambient Signals

  • Georgia Tech researchers have developed an energy-harvesting device that can collect power from various sources including radio and television transmitters, cell phone networks and satellite communications systems.
  • “We are using an ultra-wideband antenna that lets us exploit a variety of signals in different frequency ranges, giving us greatly increased power-gathering capability,” explains Manos Tentzeris of Georgia Tech’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
  • The device has the ability to capture energy from a range of banks, convert the energy from AC to DC power, and then subsequently store it in capacitors and batteries.
  • The team hopes that the device could provide a new means of powering networks of wireless sensors, microprocessors and communications chips.

Virtual Advertising Finds its Way into TV Syndication

  • Virtual advertising is making its way into re-runs.
  • An episode of “How I Met Your Mother” (that originally ran on CBS in March 2007) recently aired in syndication featuring a magazine cover that mentions a new movie, “Zookeeper.”
  • The Kevin James comedy that appears in the four-year-old episode premieres today.
  • The digital ad is an example of “virtual advertising” that inserts messages into video that wasn’t originally there — not a new technology, but perhaps an interesting approach for repurposed content.
  • The article includes links to images before and after the digital insertion.

Yahoo Study: More People Watching Online Video During Primetime

  • According to a new study by Yahoo, people are watching more and longer videos during primetime.
  • Back in 2009, online viewing declined as more people watched video on their TVs.
  • More consumers are watching Netflix and Hulu during primetime, but short clips still comprise 74 percent of video viewed.
  • Viewers are more likely (57 percent) to watch video when presented with a related article.

Microsoft and Nielsen Measure Cross-Platform Engagement

  • Microsoft’s ad division has created a research partnership with Nielsen dubbed the Television Online Effect program.
  • The project’s primary goal is to better learn how consumers are influenced by TV and the Web in terms of engagement with marketing messages.
  • The research, which begins in August, will use Nielsen’s TV/Internet Fusion panel and customized research Microsoft will develop.
  • The pilot will initially launch with entertainment advertisers, but will most likely expand in the future.
  • “If advertisers are looking to capture food enthusiasts for the launch of a new cooking show or networks are looking to drive Moms to primetime programming, they can leverage our exciting new service,” commented Microsoft’s Joslyn Moore in a blog post.

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