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Rovi system supercharges streaming

Fri, 09/02/2011 - 8:55am
Brian Santo

Rovi is now offering yet another streaming format, promising its technology will provide something missing in the market – streaming that duplicates some of the experience of watching video off a disc.

At the same time, the company introduced a version of its TotalGuide for consumer electronics: TotalGuide CE. CE companies incorporate directly into their products a guide that will give consumers an integrated view of all of their video options, combining content from their subscription service, over-the-top sources and their home servers.

While the announcements are separate, one instance where the two come together is in Samsung TVs. All Samsung disc players (as well as all LG players, plus a wide variety of other devices) now come with DivX integrated, and Samsung is also supplying the TotalGuide CE. Samsung is also a member of the Rovi Advertising network. With the combination, Samsung is setting itself up with the capability to encroach on areas long monopolized by multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs).

While it provides the products that companies like Samsung can use to scuff over old boundaries, Rovi intends to remain as neutral as a technology supplier can be. "We want to play nice with everyone," said Richard Bullwinkle, Rovi's chief evangelist.

DivX Plus Streaming, a secure adaptive streaming solution, will play out video to devices including HDTVs, Blu-ray disc players, smartphones, game consoles, PCs, Macs and cable set-top boxes.

Rovi says DivX Plus provides features competing streaming technologies simply do not provide, including quick starts, support for 1080p high-definition video, DTS Audio, subtitles, multiple language tracks and trick-play features, such as smooth fast forward and rewind, quick-start playback, and the ability to resume playback across devices.

DivX Plus Streaming is based on a flexible DRM framework that is capable of powering a variety of distribution models, including electronic sell-through, timed rentals or subscription, as well as an array of consumption scenarios such as streaming, downloads, and side-load transfer to enable both online and offline playback.

Rovi said it is aiming directly at the cable industry, with DivX Plus Streaming in Rovi offerings for cable, though it did not specify what those offerings might be.

The TotalGuide has been adopted by BendBroadband, an operator in central Oregon that has become the poster child for risk-taking among small MSOs. BendBroadband has, for example, established its own wireless network, was the first to deploy new Arris gateways and has built a data center that's a model of green technology.

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