Interactive TV News Round-Up (V): Oberon Media, Redux, Google TV, Rentrak, Rovi

--Oberon Media Brings Tetris to Samsung Connected TV's
--Redux Launches its Social Video Discovery and Curation Service on Google TV
--Rentrak Re-Designs OnDemand Essentials to Reflect Multiscreen Video Consumption
--Rovi Launches Solution to Bring its TotalGuide Platform to Legacy Set-Top Boxes
--Rovi Launches Multi-Device Video Distribution Solution

Due to the large volume of news being generated this week by the Cable Show, we are covering today's stories in abbreviated round-up/summary form:

  • Oberon Media, which says it holds the exclusive rights to deliver Tetris to connected TV's, has announced that it is bringing a customized version of the game to Samsung's Samsung Apps connected-TV app store. According to the company, the game--which is priced at $4.99 (a free trial version is also available)--has been optimized for Samsung's Smart TV platform. "We are excited by the phenomenal growth of Samsung Apps and are thrilled to debut Tetris on Samsung's robust platform," Bob Sirmans, Oberon's SVP of business development, said in a prepared statement. "This will bring one of the best and most well-known game brands to the leading manufacturer of connected living-room devices. As the demand for these devices and services continues to grow, we are leveraging our industry leadership position in developing games for televisions to steadily build a portfolio of the most sought-after and popular games."
  • Social video curation and discovery specialist, Redux, has launched a native app for the Google TV platform. "Redux for Google TV leverages the talents of your friends, interesting curators, and influencers to help you discover video you'll love," the company explains on its blog. "Redux feels like the traditional veg-out TV we've all come to love--videos play continuously, and you can flip between channels using the up/down arrow keys on your remote. As you discover channels or curators you like, just add them. They'll appear on your homepage for easy access. Once you start using Redux, your homepage will quickly fill with your favorite channels and curators. We've also added Facebook and Twitter as channels, allowing you to enjoy a continuously playing stream of videos your friends are sharing from those networks. Looking for something new? Browse a guide of channels curated by passionate influencers and tastemakers. We'll continue to introduce brand new curated channels on a weekly basis and we're excited to have Thrillist and Jetpack Media, the Internet content division of GreeneStreet Films as launch partners. Jetpack's first channel will be a documentary shorts channel, guest-curated by renowned, award-winning documentary filmmakers."
  • Rentrak has announced the release of a new version of its VOD audience measurement service, OnDemand Essentials. "The first series of new reports are available now and include cross-platform reporting, geo-demographic segments, and an enhanced user interface," the company states in its press materials. "Additional reports and features will continue to be introduced throughout the remainder of the year. Built on the DNA of managing census-level data from over 90 million televisions and 100% of the top-30 operators, Rentrak's OnDemand Essentials is being redesigned into a multiscreen measurement system in order to capture the rapid growth of on-demand content distribution across multiple delivery channels including pay-TV (cable, telco, satellite); Internet (streaming and downloaded); and over-the-top and mobile platforms. For the first time, providers can go beyond the performance of on-demand content and actually begin to understand the makeup of their audience through the combination of geographic usage data with demographic segments such as ethnicity, household income and education level. With streamlined reports and greater flexibility, users can more easily obtain key information for networks and titles by generating usage metrics, trending data over time (daily, weekly and monthly intervals), and breaking out performance across markets and operators. The new version of OnDemand Essentials also applies traditional TV measurements such as ratings, average audience, reach, and household metrics to on-demand content, enabling providers to leverage this highly targeted distribution model to increase the overall value of their traditional TV business." Rentrak is demo'ing the new version of OnDemand Essentials this week in its Cable Show booth (105).
  • Rovi is using the Cable Show (note: more information on what Rovi is demo'ing in its booth--603--can be found here) to launch the Rovi TotalGuide Application for Set-Top Boxes, which is intended to bring a richer programming guide experience to legacy set-top boxes. According to the company, the new application "is designed to initially work alongside Rovi i-Guide, one of the industry's most widely deployed on-screen cable guides, to smooth the adoption of a more in-depth user experience that includes advanced search, recommendations and rich metadata." According to the company, the new application "builds on the earlier launch of Rovi TotalGuide xD, a white-label search and discovery application that extends and connects the cable experience to tablets, smart phones and PC devices" (note: for more on xD and its feature set, see the article published on itvt.com, March 4th). Rovi says that BendBroadband and Armstrong "have signed licensing agreements...to launch versions of TotalGuide to complement their current on-screen programming guide experience. BendBroadband plans to roll out both TotalGuide for STB's and TotalGuide xD to their subscribers; Armstrong began trials of TotalGuide xD in April and plans to launch the application to their subscribers starting Fall 2011," the company claims.
  • In other Rovi news from the Cable Show: The company has unveiled a Video Distribution Solution for service providers which it says will "enable cable subscribers to access TV and video-on-demand (VOD) entertainment virtually anywhere through a range of connected devices including PC's, tablets, and smartphones," and "is based on a cost-effective, end-to-end platform that uses Rovi Cloud Services, RoxioNow and DivX technologies, and offers content preparation, cloud hosting, and multi-format IP delivery, as well as support for subscriber authentication. The Rovi Video Distribution Solution can reach service provider customers directly via tablets, smartphones and PC's, or it can be used to power over-the-top offerings developed by the service provider," the company's press materials continue. "In addition, the Rovi Video Distribution Solution will integrate with the company's tablet-based search and discovery application, Rovi TotalGuide xD, to provide a turnkey solution for both content delivery and consumption. Part of a broad range of cloud-based digital entertainment offerings, the Rovi Video Distribution Solution offers service providers a low maintenance, automated system for streamlining the presentation, management, and delivery of content across screens."
North America