Related Content Database, Inc. (RCDb) announced its corporate name change to Watchwith on March 20, in a move that sharpens the company’s focus on enabling second-screen and other syndicated content experiences for consumers around films, television programs, and advertising.
In addition to launching the Watchwith platform-as-a-service product offering, the company is also unveiling a new website at watchwith.com, and opening a beta developer program for the Watchwith Platform.
“Watchwith better represents the company’s focus on providing Hollywood studios and broadcast programmers with a platform to create, control and syndicate metadata around their film, TV, and advertising content,” chief executive Zane Vella tells M&E Daily. “The name ‘RCDb’ served us well over the past 6 years, reminding us of our mission to build a definitive database of value-added metadata around premium content, but now it is about the consumer experience made possible by our data and services.”
The Watchwith Platform adds a layer of time-based metadata to programming, enabling content owners to deliver syndicated, related content to consumers across devices such as smartphones, tablets, and connected TVs. According to the company, such related content properties can grow to become profit generators as licensed products for entertainment companies.
Components of the Watchwith Platform include:
• Watchwith Console: Web-based tools to create, manage and control time-based events;
• Watchwith Showrunner: A Mac OSX desktop application for creating and programming related content experiences;
• Related Content Database: An enterprise-grade database that stores content owner created time-based events and second-by-second metadata for thousands of films and television shows;
• Watchwith API: A scalable interface for multi-platform metadata distribution, supporting various file, syndication and delivery formats;
• Watchwith Sync Service: Client and server software that enables synchronization with IP-delivered content and also leverages EBIF to provide content synchronization in legacy set-top box environments; and
• Watchwith Tester Apps and SDKs: Accelerating the development of time-based metadata driven apps, with preintegrated support for Gracenote Entourage, Zeitera, and Audible Magic automatic content recognition (ACR) solutions.
App developers are invited to participate in the Watchwith Platform beta program by requesting access at watchwith.com/developers.
Ahead of the CES convention — where the interplay between TVs and second screen devices such as tablets is expected to be a major theme — interactive video solutions provider Related Content Database (RCDb) announces that it is integrating automatic content recognition (ACR) technology from Silicon Valley startup Zeitera into RCDb’s Watchwith Delivery Platform.
The Zeitera technology, RCDb says, enhances the company’s platform for creating second screen companion apps and sync-to-broadcast experiences. Automated content recognition, RCDb’s Zane Vella tells M&E Daily, “is the easiest way to sync a second-screen app with a film or TV program.”
The platform is capable of delivering frame-by-frame syncing between feature content and complementary app content. “Automatically identifying what the viewer is watching and the specific moment in the program,” Vella says, “is the starting point for a more engaging user experience and a game changer for consumer electronics.”
With RCDb’s WatchWith Service Delivery Platform, consumers can stream full-length movies to their TVs by inserting a Totalmovie disc into an Internet-connected Blu-ray player or PS3 game console and choosing from the service’s on-demand selections. Totalmovie’s Blu-ray streaming service works over any broadband Internet connection, including the fiber-to-the-home service offered by Mexican ISP Totalplay.
The Blu-ray-based technology is similar to the “instant streaming” disc that RCDb helped develop for Netflix’s U.S. customers in 2009. The new WatchWith platform, which RCDb introduced at the IBC trade show in Amsterdam last week, supports a range of video-on-demand business models, including subscriptions, purchase or rental transactions, and ad-supported streams.
Totalmovie plans to market its service to millions of households in Mexico that have Blu-ray devices connected to the Internet. Robert Delamar, the company’s managing director, says in a statement that the RCDb technology “prepares us for future monetization of our OTT (over-the-top) delivery business through contextual advertising and audience engagement.”
A new digital preparation and delivery solution from Panvidea and Related Content Database (RCDb) enables studios to take greater advantage of the streaming capabilities of Internet-connected Blu-ray players.
Using Panvidea’s cloud-based media processing tools and RCDb’s Blu-ray content preparation software, studios can quickly and economically process large libraries of content into the streaming BD-Live format, the companies say. Panvidea powers the digital video processing workflows of media companies such as A&E Television Network and Fox Broadcasting, while RCDb software powers Blu-ray disc products from Hollywood studios and network operators.
Studios to date have employed BD-Live chiefly to stream of trailers or bonus material for discs. But the technology is capable of streaming feature-length programming, as RCDb demonstrated with Netflix in 2009 with the renter’s “instant streaming” disc for subscribers using PlayStation 3 consoles.
The Panvidea-RCDb offering is available immediately.
Netflix is pushing the envelope of Blu-ray’s BD-Live technology with its “instant streaming” disc that brings the company’s online video renting service to PlayStation 3 owners.
The disc is the product of a technology licensing and services agreement between Netflix and Related Content Database (RCDb), which is providing Netflix with Blu-ray format consulting and BD-J software development for the PS3 implementation.
Available now for free to Netflix subscribers, the disc leverages BD-Live to access the Internet and activate the Netflix user interface on the console. Using the disc, Netflix members can choose a movie to watch from their “instant queue” or play titles directly from the site’s personalized categories. Users also can read synopses and rate movies on the Netflix site, and fast-forward and rewind the video stream.
“Netflix is dedicated to delivering a simple and elegant experience to its members,” says Netflix VP of Engineering Greg Peters in a press release. “The instant streaming disc for PS3 is the fastest and easiest way for Netflix members to enjoy instantly watching movies and TV episodes on the TV via the PS3. RCDb was integral in helping us deliver this experience.”
“We are excited about breaking new ground with Netflix,” adds RCDb CEO Zane Vella. “Blu-ray is now mainstream and BD-Live provides an important bridge between physical discs and premium digital content distribution.”
San Francisco-based RCDb says its BD-Live software is used by hundreds of Blu-ray titles as well as enterprise-class network services for both Hollywood studios and record labels.