Multi-screen technology floods The Cable Show

Multiscreen programming distribution products dominated the opening of The Cable Show convention in Boston on Monday, with TiVo (Nasdaq: TIVO), SeaChange (Nasdaq: SEAC) and other vendors hawking new technology to cable operators attending the convention.

DVR pioneer TiVo announced two additions to its whole-home viewing solution, one an IP set-top box that delivers the TiVo experience on secondary televisions throughout the home, and the second a TiVo Stream capability that provides transcoding to enable content viewing on mobile devices-in theory similar to how a Slingbox works, though TiVo claims some differentiation.

Similar to other types of whole-home DVR services, the IP set-top box complements the home's primary TiVo DVR by setting up TiVo extensions over MoCA home networking technology to other TVs in the home. It works with the TiVo Premiere Q as the home's primary gateway device, giving consumers access to live and recorded TV, operator VoD, and  broadband-delivered content on every TV in the house.

TiVo Stream, meanwhile, boasts the ability delivers content to multiple tablet or mobile devices simultaneously without interrupting the content being played on a TV employing the TiVo Premiere or Premiere Q DVRs.

TiVo said both of its new offerings are optimized for operator distribution at low cost, and include automated provisioning and activation. The announcement comes not long after TiVo began to see a mending of its relations with service providers after reaching patent lawsuit settlements with AT&T and Dish Network. Both products will be availability through retail and cable TV operator partners, though availability timing will be announced at a later date, TiVo said.

Meanwhile, more multi-screen themed news at The Cable Show featured a demonstration from SeaChange and Avail-TVN of their ecosystem for targeted advertising in broadcast and on-demand streams viewed on TVs, PCs and tablets.

The companies have leveraged the SCTE 130 specification to enable content provided via Avail-TVN to have video-on-demand ads inserted in it on-the-fly from the SeaChange Infusion advanced advertising platform. The SCTE 130 spec is used for communication between SeaChange's Infusion Ad Decision Manger (ADM) and Infusion AdPulse Ad Decision Server (ADS) and Avail-TVN's National Placement Opportunity Information System (POIS).

The companies explained that when the ADM sees that a video stream has a marked break, it queries the POIS for information about stream type, ad break type and duration, and then inserts the appropriate ad based on rules supplied in the POIS metadata. Avail-TVN prepares content for the placement including marking, authoring and managing information about the placement opportunity as part of its AAIM meta-data information service.

The SCTE 130 spec recently received the endorsement of the International Telecommunications Union, and is quickly becoming a key feature in the multi-screen dynamic ad insertion strategies of many vendors, including, besides SeaChange and Avail-TVN, BlackArrow, Nagra-OpenTV, This Technology and others.

In other multi-screen news from the show, VisualOn announced integration of the MPEG-DASH standard into its OnStream MediaPlayer+; and Elemental Technologies announced Elemental Stream, a new processing system for packaging live and on-demand video content for multi-screen distribution.

For more:
- here's the SeaChange and Avail-TVN release
- see this TiVo release

Related articles:
TiVo has been looking to regain some competitive bite
CableLabs announced a free SCTE 130 toolset last year

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