Interactive TV News Round-Up (VI): ThinkAnalytics, TiVo, TV Genius, Netgem, Marmalade
--ThinkAnalytics Trumpets Major Operator Wins in Europe, North America
--New TiVo DVR Features Four Tuners, Two-Terabyte HD, THX Certification
--TV Genius in Content-Discovery Partnerships with Netgem, Marmalade
Due to the large volume of news generated by the IFA, IBC and CEDIA trade shows--and because the [itvt] editorial team has been working on TVOT NYC Intensive 2011--we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format. We anticipate that it will take us several days to catch up with all the recent news: so if your company has sent us a press release or briefed us on an announcement, and you don't yet see your news covered in this issue, please bear with us.
- ThinkAnalytics (IBC: Hall 1, Stand D.93) says that over the past 12 months, eight major European and two North American operators have begun using its content-recommendations engine. "ThinkAnalytics, as industry leaders in this space, are trail-blazing this technology uptake," the company states in its press materials. "Leading customers, including BSkyB and Virgin Media, have chosen ThinkAnalytics against other vendors as the company offers a true personalized viewing experience with fast and highly scalable deployment. ThinkAnalytics offers the most complete recommendations engine in the media space today with over 70 million customers across 12 countries and languages worldwide utilizing our technology and personalizing their viewing experience. Content discovery is now high on the agenda of most operators, who have seen the potential to increase customer engagement and loyalty with personalized content, significantly raising ARPU. This increase in ARPU comes from increases in pay-per-view services and subscriptions. ThinkAnalytics customers have seen uplifts of between 30% and 100% in pay-per-view purchases, demonstrating a compelling return on investment." Said ThinkAnalytics CEO, Eddie Young: "The past year has seen a dramatic uptake in the number of customer implementations of our leading recommendations engine with multichannel implementations across set-top box, Web, iPad and mobile in Europe and North America. Consumers are now very familiar with recommendations being provided by major consumer online retailers such as Amazon and Apple's iTunes. What ThinkAnalytics have been doing over the past five years in live customer deployments is bringing this technology and more to media. Recommendations provide consumers with the ability to rediscover their pay-TV service, an invaluable way for operators to substantially improve customer loyalty, reduce churn and increase user revenues. Our intelligent, personalized recommendations and business rules platform has demonstrated the ability to substantially enhance viewer experience in large-scale customer deployments, and in partnering with the major middleware providers we are now able to extend the reach of our services worldwide."
- TiVo has unveiled the TiVo Premiere Elite, a high-end ($499) four-tuner DVR that incorporates a two-terabyte hard drive and is THX-certified. The device, which is intended for use with digital cable and does not work with analog cable or over-the-air antennas, will be showcased in TiVo's booth at CEDIA 2011 in Indianapolis (September 8th-10th). TiVo says that it will be available later this year "pending FCC approval of TiVo's request to waive a requirement to include analog tuners." The Premiere Elite is TiVo's first quad-tuner DVR, and its hard drive allows users to record up to 300 hours of HD programming, the company says. "TiVo Premiere Elite's quad-tuner design enables users to dramatically vary their program recordings and create a library of personalized entertainment content suitable for any viewer," TiVo states in its press materials. "This flexibility, and the mind-bending 300 hours of HD recording space, ensures that no program has to be deleted for the sake of space. Further enhancing the TiVo Premiere Elite's appeal as an all-encompassing entertainment hub is its ability to send content to other TiVo devices in the home, or integrate seamlessly with home automation remotes. TiVo Premiere Elite offers MoCA as a networking option in addition to its integrated Ethernet connectivity. By integrated MoCA support, custom installers can use the coaxial cabling within the home to connect the TiVo Premiere Elite to the home network in set-ups where an Ethernet connection is not available to the DVR. Home theater installers and custom integrators will also appreciate the TiVo Premiere Elite as an exceptional solution through its compatibility with some of the most popular home automation controllers, including Crestron, Control4, and RTI. This compatibility allows installers to seamlessly incorporate the TiVo Premiere Elite into existing home controls. Harnessing the power of the world's first smart DVR, the TiVo Premiere Elite offers an intuitive search and browsing experience that enables users to quickly and easily search and browse television and broadband programming from a convenient unified screen. When searching for a particular program, TiVo scans across cable channels, on-demand services like Netflix and Amazon Instant Video, as well as Web-based entertainment sites like YouTube to offer users an easy way to select and schedule recordings. The TiVo Premiere Elite is also compatible with the TiVo Slide remote with a QWERTY keyboard, as well as TiVo's integrated apps for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. The TiVo App brings intuitive remote control operations to the tips of users' fingers with simple gesture-based controls. Users can quickly uncover program guides and information, view, schedule and manage recordings, get recommendations, or even explore an actor's entire career with a single tap. First-time installers and high-end integrators will appreciate this level of customization and control, further distinguishing the TiVo Premiere Elite as a premium product for the connected home. Training family members or a client is simple and intuitive, allowing installers to connect with clients on a more personal basis and provide a more thorough level of service." Said TiVo's VP of retail sales, Doug Bieter: "This product was designed specifically for the high-end custom home theater integrator or enthusiast looking to complete their home entertainment system with a best-in-class TV experience. Only TiVo Premiere Elite seamlessly combines digital cable programming with the best of Web entertainment, in full 1080p HD, and with 300 hours of HD recording space. With the added distinction as a THX-certified DVR, the TiVo Premiere Elite offers a high-end solution for premium quality installers looking for an improved way to get the most out of a customer's high-definition television and cable subscription."
- TV Genius, the content-discovery specialist that was recently acquired by Red Bee Media (see the article published on itvt.com, August 11th), has announced new partnerships with Netgem and Marmalade. "TV Genius has teamed up with Netgem, a leader in connected-home and IPTV technologies, to combine its award-winning content-discovery platform with Netgem's IPTV software and middleware," the company states in its press materials. "This partnership simplifies access to relevant TV content on all devices within the home, including Netgem's set-top boxes (STB). By integrating the unrivalled relevance of TV Genius' solution with Netgem's industry-leading and award-winning software solutions for STB's, operators are able to provide next-generation services to their subscribers that enhance access to premium content, leading to increased consumption. TV Genius has also partnered with Marmalade, the software that allows developers to easily build and distribute cross-platform applications, to produce a series of next-generation mobile apps. TV Genius' content-discovery platform was combined with the Marmalade SDK to create an interactive and informative mobile TV guide. With the TV guide app, consumers will never be more than a click away from a personalized and interactive TV portal--anywhere, any time." Said TV Genius general manager, Tom Weiss: "By expanding our ecosystem of partners, consumers will benefit from finding more of the content they want to watch, and discovering more of what is of interest to them, while operators can provide the personalized service that their subscribers are increasingly demanding, thus increasing consumer satisfaction and loyalty. Navigating their way through multichannel services can be a difficult and often frustrating process for consumers. The easier we make the content-discovery experience, the more they are likely to watch and therefore gain greater satisfaction from their services. We're delighted to work with Netgem and Marmalade to deliver a truly relevant and consistent content-discovery experience across any device."