Interactive TV News Round-Up (I): Access, CableLabs 3D Interop
--Access Launches AccessMyTV Multiscreen Social-Video Platform for Connected Devices
--Access Launches NetFront Browser NX 2.0 DTV Profile
--CableLabs to Hold 3DTV Interop Event
Due to the large volume of news generated by the recent 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format. We anticipate that it will take us several more days to process all the news from the show: 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.
- At CES earlier this month, connected-TV software company, Access, launched a product called AccessMyTV. "AccessMyTV is an open, multiscreen social video platform for connected devices, which allows for the monetization of free and premium Web content, games and apps," the company explains in its press materials. "The solution leverages the consumption of Web video to create new revenue opportunities for content providers, consumer electronics (CE) device manufacturers and service providers. AccessMyTV creates deep consumer engagement and a viral marketing dynamic through the creation of personalized Web video channels that can be shared with friends and family via social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. This deep consumer engagement in turn enables AccessMyTV to support highly targeted advertising...The AccessMyTV platform is offered as a white-label service, which can be privately branded and deployed globally on any connected CE device, while delivering low start-up and running costs...AccessMyTV is a comprehensive, IP-centric OTT solution managed by Access that can be privately branded and deployed throughout the world on any connected consumer electronic device including set-top boxes, TV's, mobile devices, tablets and PC's. AccessMyTV resolves the technical fragmentation barriers that impede the delivery of OTT content services to multiple devices and builds upon Access' experience of powering over 1 billion CE devices. Technical highlights include: 1) Client/Browser independent service layer for maximum flexibility using Web standard REST API's. 2) Pre-validated solution available with high-performance Access NetFront Browser. 3) PC's, set-top boxes/connected TV's, tablets and smartphones can be provisioned with a customized UI or application. 4) Highly customizable user interface for service operator-branded services. 5) Leverages latest standards such as HTML5, HbbTV and OTT Web video delivery. 6) Existing STB's/connected TV's with an integrated browser component can be upgraded over-the-air to enhance operators' current value proposition with an AccessMyTV service offering. 7) Consumers can build their own personalized channels from all content available to them (not just a single content provider). 8) Includes a multi-currency, multiplatform PCI-compliant billing engine to allow secure purchase by consumers of content from any provider with a single 4-digit PIN. 9) Personalization is also available via saved search results and favorites system recommendations and personal recommendations via social networks. 10) Dynamically updated as newly added content matches personal channels and favorites criteria. 11) AccessMyTV can provide access to regional catch-up TV services (where available) and premium content. 12) Open API's for content ingestion and management, payment/billing platforms, recommendation engines. 13) Premium content providers can create subscription, bundled or pay-per-view content offerings and branded destinations that can be accessed via the AccessMyTV UI or application. 14) Search results can be utilized to promote premium content and TV portal services. 15) Digital rights management (DRM) platform-agnostic, enabling integration with the widest range of content services."
- In other Access news: The company also used CES to announce the availability of NetFront Browser NX 2.0 DTV Profile, a WebKit-based HTML5 browser that it bills as offering "extremely efficient memory usage, high stability, high portability and comprehensive support for DTV and IPTV standards including HbbTV, BBC iPlayer, major video-on-demand services in Japan and CE-HTML. NetFront Browser NX 2.0 DTV Profile is an ideal solution for DTV's, set-top boxes and Blu-ray Disc players," the company's press materials continue. "NetFront Browser NX 2.0 DTV Profile is based on a WebKit core that has been optimized for embedded environments. It features excellent support for next-generation Web technologies such as HTML5 and incorporates unique technologies that achieve extremely efficient memory usage while minimizing the impact of memory shortages, ensuring highly stable performance even under low memory conditions. A uniquely developed, platform-agnostic porting API provides high portability to facilitate rapid time-to-market, while an application API enables flexible UI customization. NetFront Browser NX 2.0 DTV Profile delivers support for advanced specifications such as HTML5 and CSS3, as well as comprehensive support for the CE-HTML language for consumer electronics-device user interfaces. In addition, support functions can be optionally added for DTV and IPTV standards such as HbbTV and BBC iPlayer v3, as well as major Japanese VOD specifications by Digital TV Informatization Research Group. DTV/STB manufacturers, OEM's and service providers will be able to use NetFront Browser NX 2.0 DTV Profile to quickly launch high value-added DTV devices and services with rich, wide-ranging content while also lowering their development burdens. Key Features and Benefits of NetFront Browser NX v2.0 DTV Profile: 1) Unique platform-agnostic porting library for high portability. 2) Unique API provides flexible UI customization. 3) HTML5 support--Audio/Video tag, Canvas 2D, Web Workers, Web Storage, WebSocket (new) and WebGL (new). 4) CSS3 support--CSS3 3D transforms, transitions and animations. 5) CE-HTML (newly supported). 6) HbbTV, BBC iPlayer, and major Japanese VOD specifications by Digital TV Informatization Research Group (newly supported). 7) URL filtering (new). 8) Supported devices--Connected TV's, IP set-top boxes, connected DVD players, automobile infotainment systems and Internet appliances."
CableLabs said Friday that it will hold a 3DTV "Interop" event, February 13th-17th, in order to allow manufacturers of 3D-capable cable set-top boxes, TV sets and test equipment to evaluate products that are based on the OpenCable 3DTV requirements or are designed to interoperate with those products. According to CableLabs, the event "will draw from expanded testing capabilities in the CableLabs 3DTV research and demonstration lab, a facility for exploring and testing products and services tied to the rapidly emerging 3DTV category. CableLabs' 3DTV Lab, established in 2010 and located in the CableLabs facility in Louisville, Colorado, contains equipment representing the state-of-the-art in 3DTV and video technology over cable networks," the organization's press materials continue. "The 3DTV Lab is an integral, and invaluable, part of the cable industry's ongoing research and development cycle into 3DTV technology. The cable industry relies upon the 3DTV Lab to demonstrate prototype products and services, and for testing conformance to standards and specifications that promote interoperability of 3DTV technology and services on the cable network. A comprehensive suite of calibrated 3DTV video test streams based on the CableLabs specifications were recently added to the 3DTV Lab. These new test streams were made available by Allegro DVT...The CableLabs 3DTV test suite, now including the new 3DTV test streams, will be used in interoperability test events, the CableLabs Development Lab, and the CableLabs Certification Program."