IBC News Briefs: Round III

Show news from VDMS, Gracenote, Imagine Communications, Kaltura, Ericsson, and Arris
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Here’s another dispatch of news and announcements from the IBC Show, getting underway today in Amsterdam.

Complete Coverage: IBC 2016

-Verizon Digital Media Services (VDMS), Verizon’s cloud video division, is showing off a new live streaming platform that features a cloud-based scheduler and operator dashboard that enables partners to provision encoders, manage live feeds and insert ad breaks. The service also automates the creation of a VOD asset upon completion of the live event without the need for re-encoding, said VDMS, which recently added points of presence in South America, India and Asia via the expansion of its Edgecast Content Delivery Network. Verizon acquired Edgecast in 2013.

-Gracenote has launched a new music offering aimed at pay TV providers that enables those partners to create their own music video channels and services, help viewers identify artists featured on TV, and enable search for related artist appearances on linear TV and on-demand programming.  Gracenote said the new music data offering can help MVPDs create genre-based music services, allow users to personalize their music services (with a thumbs up/thumbs down capability).  Gracenote noted that it has mapped its Music Artist data to its Movie and TV Celebrity data. Gracenote’s MVPD clients include Comcast, Charter Communications, Dish Network, DirecTV, Vodafone Kabel Deutschland, Deutsche Telekom, Net, Hathway, Foxtel , and Arabsat.

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-Siemens Convergence Creators and Imagine Communications have struck a strategic partnership targeted at OTT that includes the integration of Siemens’s Smart video Engine and Imagine’s CloudXtream platforms and the support of VOD, live/linear TV and cloud DVR services and multiple business models, including subscriptions, targeted advertising and subscription/ad combos.

-Norwia said its miniHUB products have been selected by Sky (UK) for the distribution of 4K video throughout its Osterley HQ and broadcasting facility. The product, Norwia said, handles SDI-HDMI conversion issues, a big challenge faced when distributing 4K content internally over optical fiber.

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-OTT multiscreen specialist Kaltura is launching a VR Partner Alliance in partnership with Inception and other partners that include Encompass and Harmonic.  The demonstration at IBC will include VR360 content as well as a virtual store, powered by Inception, whose technology is currently in closed beta and will be officially launched in Q4.

-Nuance Communications said Orange is the first IPTV provider in France to offer a voice-based search and TV control platform to all its video subs. Nuance’s Dragon TV technology is powering Orange TV offering on mobile apps for Android and iOS devices, enabling users to find shows and movies with their voice.

-Harmonic has launched EyeQ, a video compression system for Internet-connected devices that, it claims, can reduce OTT bitrate requirements by 50%. EyeQ is an “optional enhancement” for the company’s software-based Harmonic PURE Compression Engine.

-Programmatic TV advertising clypd is broadening its international presence with the hiring of Henry Rivero as GM of Europe. Rivero most recently was senior executive, digital technology and special projects at RTL Group, which led clypd’s $19.4 million Series B round of funding.

-Ericsson and Intel are hooking up by tying together Ericsson’s video processing and cloud infrastructure with Intel’s focus on compute, storage, and networking technologies. The collaboration, they said, aims to “build the foundation for a cloud-centric media infrastructure and accelerate the delivery of an array of virtualized media applications and solutions.” That work includes the combination of Ericsson’s HDS8000 Hyperscale datacenter system and the Intel Rack Scale Design, with potential use cases that include media processing, media delivery and cloud DVR apps.

-Intigral, a video platform provider for the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region, has selected Arris to support a new video delivery service that will feature the vendor’s HEVC-capable VIP4302W set-tops and the KreaTV operating system/service platform.

-Video interface and apps maker Accedo has developed a Windows 10 app for TVNZ that enables the New Zealand-based TV provider to offer VOD fare on Xbox One consoles. TVNZ’s app is also available on PS3 and PS4 consoles, iOS and Android mobile devices, Samsung smart TVs, and HbbTV set-top-boxes via Freeview Plus.

-Ericsson said BT Sport is its first client for PIERO Augmented Reality, a software system that enables enhanced sports programming and was launched in April. The system lets broadcasters overlay 3D graphics in real-time during live studio productions and sporting events. BT Sport will initially use Ericsson’s PIERO sports graphics software for rugby.