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Smart TV just grew smarter

How today’s consumers feel when they view or interact with what they see on their TV sets, and whether the experience is engaging and easy to navigate, shapes the “TV Experience” today, suggested Aneesh Rajaram, CEO of Vewd.

Having had 15 years’ experience in delivering over-the-top (OTT) software for some of the leading consumer electronics brands, Vewd now wants to help define the TV Experience with the launch of Vewd OS, an entertainment operating system designed for smart TVs.

Rajaram told APB: “We now see smart TV as being the most important platform for long-form content, because people don’t want to watch movies and TV shows on their mobile phones.
“So, it makes sense that Vewd OS leads with video. Beginning with a cinematic home screen, Vewd OS really immerses the viewer in video. Static app icons give way to dynamic thumbnails, giving users a real-time overview of content.”

He also sees a shift from app-centric display to video-centric display of content in 2018, where viewers relate to content instead of just a static display of apps.

Opportunities also abound in Asia-Pacific, where technologies such as HbbTV emerges, as Rajaram explained: “This means there’s an opportunity to provide a good linear TV experience blended with OTT content. Doing this now will give viewers a more cohesive and seamless viewing experience between all content sources.”

At the heart of Vewd OS is Vewd Core, a software development kit (SDK) that provides an HTML5 rendering engine. “Vewd Core is the industry’s most chosen third-party HTML5 SDK. It’s proven and shipped on tens of millions of devices, and comes with all the robustness and dynamism of core Web technologies,” said Rajaram.

Vewd OS also enables the cloud-launching of apps, a “great win” for Vewd’s content partners, he described. Rather than asking consumers to download an app, they can see video choices from each content company immediately, thus enhancing content discovery.

As to how artificial intelligence (AI) can further augment this process, Vewd is “watching the space closely”, Rajaram said, before adding: “Already, Vewd OS lets consumers ‘favourite’ everything, from apps to specific videos. These are great signals we can use when it comes time to recommend content.”

Going back to HbbTV, he believes ad replacement is one of the most valuable benefits broadcasters can derive from the standard. “Because you can dynamically insert IP content into the broadcast stream, you can unlock all of the targeting and personalisation that comes with IP technology and this, of course, applies to serving more targeted advertising content.”

Another of Vewd’s key goals is to help broadcasters monetise their content. For instance, the company works with South Korean network Arirang to bring the latter’s content to viewers all over the world through Vewd Snap, which allows content owners to create and submit a TV app in minutes.

Rajaram concluded: “In­creasingly, broadcasters are content owners who can monetise their content globally, and with our tools, any broadcaster can service their expatriate populations globally.”

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