Rovi has been very, very busy recently.
It has revised its DivX codec, which was written for file-based transfer, to support streaming, and it has arranged for Broadcom to support the upgraded DivX Plus Streaming in one of its major set-top box chips, the BCM7241. DivX is historically associated with Blu-ray discs, Rovi noted, but the streaming version extends its applicability to the OTT box market with inclusion in the Broadcom chip.
Rovi also said it is working with STMicroelectronics, which is integrating support for DivX Plus Streaming in a system-on-a-chip (SoC) designed for set-top boxes that will run Google’s Android operating system.
Rovi today introduced an HEVC codec. HEVC is designed as a successor to H.264, with expectations that it will be able to double the compression rate. While some believe the first most compelling use for HEVC will be compressing HD video transmitted on mobile networks, Rovi expects that the first application of HEVC will be in the PC market, used to increase the efficiency of video playback off of PCs, to be followed by use for video in mobile networks, according to Dirk Peters, Rovi’s vice president of worldwide sales for the professional technology group.
The company also said it is licensing the HEVC codec, which it calls MainConcept, along with a software development kit (SDK), for Windows Azure cloud-based video services. Peters said Microsoft will be using the codec for Azure.
Rovi today also announced that Belkin’s @TV over-the-top set-top boxes will run Rovi’s program/entertainment guide.
Finally, last week, the company unveiled a process that will help retailers support the conversion of their customers’ video libraries to online universal access.
Wal-Mart is the most prominent example of this thus far, with its disc-to-digital service launched last May. When customers purchase a DVD, Wal-Mart offers to arrange universal access through the UltraViolet “digital rights locker” system, with access provided via Wal-Mart’s own Vudu online rental service. Amazon also supports UltraViolet.
Rovi said its system, simply called Digital Copy, is more advanced than Wal-Mart’s. By leveraging its metadata banks, Peters said Rovi can tell the difference between a legitimate copy of a program versus a pirated copy with great confidence. With somewhat less confidence, the company believes it will frequently be able to tell the difference between a rental copy and a retail copy.
These abilities will help retailers create their own policies for their own disk-to-digital programs.
Rovi Digital Copy likewise leverages UltraViolet.