Microsoft’s Xbox Game Bar is getting custom widgets and its own store on Windows

theverge | April 07, 2020

Microsoft is unveiling some significant changes to its Xbox Game Bar on Windows today, including new custom widgets that any developer can build. We’ve seen Microsoft gradually improve the Game Bar with widgets, but it’s now opening it up fully today with a beta SDK to enable any developer to create custom widgets. It’s a big move that’s accompanied by a new Xbox Game Bar app store within the overlay, allowing developers to create and list custom widgets for people to find and install. XSplit and Razer are both releasing custom widgets to support Microsoft’s updated Xbox Game Bar.

Spotlight

The $109-billion tie-up between Time Warner and AT&T announced last October meant 2016 was a massive year for mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the media and entertainment sector, and recent data displayed in this infographic suggests deal-making conditions in the industry should remain solid in the year ahead.


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TECHNOLOGIES,MEDIA AND BROADCASTING

ViewLift Rolls out Live 3.0 for Seamless Streaming

ViewLift | November 17, 2022

ViewLift, a global leader in end-to-end streaming and OTT solutions, today announced the rollout of LIVE 3.0. The new version from ViewLift allows streaming of events anywhere in the world and on any device – Web, iOS, Android, Connected TV devices, or Smart TVs. With the inbuilt Player SDK, Live 3.0 can stream events enabling sports and media companies to deliver high-quality live video.According to the latest report by ‘Reports and Data’, the global video streaming software market size is expected to reach USD 47.57 Billion in 2030 and register a revenue CAGR of 16.3% over the forecast period. Increasing use of mobile devices and internet, expanding demand for Video-on-Demand (VOD) streaming, technical improvements in the digital media business, and a growing requirement for transcoding to provide videos to large numbers of people are expected to be the main driving factors on projected market revenue growth. ViewLift’s sub-3 second glass-to-glass delivery with high performance low-latency live-streaming capabilities will be used by a large integrated sports and entertainment company – Monumental Sports & Entertainment – to launch a robust digital experience for Mid-Atlantic sports fans across all major streaming devices. The project, the largest and most innovative in ViewLift’s history, follows ViewLift’s recent announcement of its strategic alliance with Australia based SX Global to power the streaming channel WSX.TV and live stream the FIM World Supercross Championship series. Live 3.0 features Achieve 100% flexibility on ingest formats In-built Player SDK to live stream in content creator’s web app with no extra effort Host live events anywhere - Creator’s website, mobile app, or social media platforms. Or all of them, simultaneously Stream events anywhere in the world and on any device – Web, iOS, Android, Connected TV devices, or Smart TVs Live-to-VOD: Record and Publish event replays with a click of a button Major League Rugby in North America and Italy’s premier Basketball League (Lega Nazionale Pallacanestro) use ViewLift to give millions of viewers the joy of live games. ViewLift’s Live 3.0 services are also being used by leading media houses like Nexstar Media Group and TEGNA. The total number of hours of live stream from the last 12 months across all ViewLift’s clients stands at a whopping 66,000 hours. "Live streaming technology gives our clients a chance to delight their viewers and fans live in real time, with original and monetized content, and use it to scale live events globally to millions of viewers. ViewLift’s Live 3.0, clients launch live streams in less than a minute and stream events from anywhere in the world and on any device. That responsiveness and performance is perfect for today, and helps content owners future-proof for tomorrow.” -Rick Allen, CEO at ViewLift, About ViewLift ViewLift is a full-service digital content distribution platform empowering media companies, sports leagues and teams, broadcasters and others to monetize their content through native branded apps on all major OTT devices. ViewLift operates across the digital ecosystem, understanding each device's unique requirements and best practices. ViewLift offers clients a range of monetization models on a proprietary platform with advanced analytics, tracking performance in real-time.

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TECHNOLOGIES, MEDIA AND BROADCASTING

Grupo Globo Deploys BeBop OS to Migrate Post-Production Workflows to Google Cloud

BeBop Technology | September 08, 2022

BeBop Technology, creator of the BeBop OS, a powerful, reliable, and fast platform for remote virtual live production and post-production workflows, announced a deployment with Grupo Globo, the largest mass media conglomerate in Latin America, to Google Cloud. "Globo's transformation from traditional media conglomerate to a unified 'mediatech' company focused on its consumers is underway," -Marcelo Fontana, Technology Manager at Globo. Globo provides local news, sports and entertainment to more than 50 million people daily from all across Brazil, from its main offices in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Brasília, Recife and Belo Horizonte. Together with other partners associated with the deployment, Globo will migrate approximately 60% of its visual effects workload to the BeBop OS virtual environment on Google Cloud. "We're proud to partner with BeBop and support Globo as it digitally transforms its business and migrates significant portions of its editorial, visual effects, and post-production workflows to the cloud," -Kip Schauer, Global Head of Media and Entertainment Partnerships, Google Cloud. The BeBop OS provides seamless access to secure GPU desktops and convenient collaboration features, including high-speed file transfer, real-time and on demand review and approval, secure shareable links to send or receive content or streams, powerful enterprise features like Single Sign On (SSO), and the ability to access shared high-performance storage or BeBop Flex storage, powered by LucidLink. All of these features available in a single platform and for a single price differentiates the BeBop OS within the marketplace. We're thrilled to be able to provide Globo with precisely the innovative, cohesive, and scalable solution they need to not only deliver on their business goals, but exceed them across nearly every metric, said David Benson, BeBop Technology President and Chief Product Officer. "The BeBop OS as the operating system on top of Google Cloud infrastructure delivers very specific and very significant value to the Media & Entertainment market. The deployment of the BeBop OS on Google Cloud will enable hundreds of Globo editors and designers to be able to do their creative work virtually and remotely every day, no matter when or where they are. What's more, they'll be able to use the same software tools they use on premises, including Adobe Creative Cloud apps, Foundry's Nuke, Autodesk's Maya and 3ds Max, Maxon's Cinema 4D, and SideFX's Houdini. The rollout is already underway with "É de Casa," a popular Saturday morning variety show that mixes entertainment, news, and culinary tips and airs on Globo TV Network. Over the course of the implementation, more than 40 Globo media channels, including free-to-air and pay TV, VOD, SVOD, PPV, OTT and streaming, will be completing their post-production virtually and remotely on the BeBop OS. About BeBop Technology Los Angeles-based BeBop Technology has sat at the intersection of art and technology since its founding in 2015. It is the creator of the world's most powerful, agile, and reliable platform for remote virtual post-production, the BeBop OS. For more information visit www.beboptechnology.com or connect on Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter. About Globo Latin America's largest media company, Globo, brings together free-to-air and pay TV channels, in addition to digital products and services. Its linear channels speak to more than 100 million people in Brazil every day. And, thanks to its wide network of partner affiliates that covers the entire country, it is able to be local, regional and national at the same time. In 2018 it started its digital transformation journey, becoming a mediatech company, strongly supported by technology and focused on direct relationships with consumers. It provides audiences a complete viewing experience, which combines the ability to produce high quality content with technological expertise, with distribution on various platforms, such as TV Globo, a free-to-air TV channel; its 26 pay TV channels; its SVOD and streaming platform Globoplay; and digital products: news G1; sports GE.globo; and entertainment Gshow, among others.

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TECHNOLOGIES

New ZVOX Portable Speaker Features Patented AccuVoice Technology for Crystal Clear Dialogue and Voices for Entertainment and Video Conferencing

ZVOX | December 05, 2022

ZVOX, the world leader in voice clarifying technology, has added the compact portable AV70 Bluetooth AccuVoice Speaker to its critically-acclaimed line of dialogue enhancement products. Powered by a rechargeable lithium battery, the AV70 is a must have accessory for people who are always on the go, enjoy streaming entertainment or use video conferencing for personal and business use. It's great for conference calls on Zoom®, Microsoft Teams®, Facetime® or other video calling systems. It is also ideal for use while watching videos on a tablet or laptop computer – producing rich, full-range music and soundtracks while clarifying dialogue. "The use of video conferencing exploded during the first year of the COVID crisis. But many people had trouble understanding what was being said, On important business conference meetings, and on millions of family video calls, folks kept asking what did she say? Our little AccuVoice conference speaker fixes that." -ZVOX founder Tom Hannaher. Measuring just 4-inches wide by 2.2-inches high and with a convenient hands-free microphone, the AV70 can run for 24 hours on a single charge. Notably, it features ZVOX's proprietary AccuVoice dialogue clarifying technology, with advanced hearing aid technology to make voices crisp and easy to understand, even at low volumes. The AV70 connects wirelessly to any phone, tablet, or computer – using Bluetooth (a wired connection is also available) and lets listeners hear every word on every call! Noted ZVOX Audiology Consultant, Dr. Thomas Powers, Ph.D. Hearing and understanding speech clearly is a major challenge for seniors with mild to moderately severe hearing loss, as well as anyone using tablets, laptops, speakerphones, and similar devices. The issue has become so common that many people just hope to pick up the missing words or phrase from the context going forward. The technology in the AV70 speaker provides an ideal solution for this growing problem. Whether you're using a tablet or laptop to watch a movie, or participating in a Zoom or Board meeting, or just talking to a loved on the phone, the AV70 can make an enormous difference. ZVOX's Proprietary AccuVoice Technology Clarifies Dialogue Using a version of the AccuVoice technology that ZVOX utilizes in its advanced hearing aids and home entertainment A/V speakers, the AV70 both boosts audio frequencies in the range of speech and suppresses background noise. AccuVoice technology literally "lifts" dialogue out of phone calls or TV programming, so voices can be heard more clearly and succinctly. The net result is that words stand out and are easier to understand.Versatility is the AV70's middle name. The speaker is Bluetooth capable and can handle a wired connection as well. Simple topside buttons allow for the activation/deactivation of AccuVoice, volume, pause/restart video – and even phone answer and hang-up. ZVOX: A New Kind of Hearing Company. Committed to enhancing and discovering hearing solutions for almost 20 years, ZVOX was founded in 2003 by two long-time consumer electronics veterans. From its start as a traditional home theater speaker company, ZVOX soon gained success and industry recognition for its line of critically acclaimed sound bars and SoundBases. In 2014, ZVOX introduced a landmark technology that would change the company's focus and establish it as the unrivalled leader in dialogue clarity enhancement. ZVOX's patented AccuVoice technology uses advanced algorithms to mimic the function of a hearing aid, resulting in a dramatically new level of dialogue boosting and voice clarity. With the launch of its first AccuVoice TV Speaker, ZVOX created a new category of dialogue clarifying soundbars, speakers and headphones and found a broader audience among the over-fifty demographic and consumers with mild hearing loss. Today ZVOX offers a variety of hearing-related products including speakers, wireless headphones, and hearing aids. Based in Swampscott, MA. ZVOX sells though zvox.com, Amazon, Walmart.com, and selected retailers.

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TECHNOLOGIES

Streaming Video Technology Alliance Accepting Applications for 2023 Grant Membership Program

SVTA | October 06, 2022

The Streaming Video Technology Alliance (SVTA), a global technical association developing solutions to address critical technical challenges in delivering a high-quality video experience at scale, announced that the application process is now open for its 2023 Grant Membership Program. The Program enables smaller organizations, such as startups, to participate in and contribute to the SVTA’s work as Principal Members for one year by waiving the standard membership fees. To qualify for the Program, companies must be able to confirm that they generate less than $1.5M in annual revenue. Now in its sixth year, the SVTA Grant Membership Program has awarded a total of 21 grants and 14 grant renewal memberships. Grant recipients are eligible for membership renewals based on their contributions. A special committee chartered by the board is in charge of the renewal selection process. “It’s tremendously rewarding to introduce more voices and perspectives into the SVTA from across the streaming industry, a core tenet of the Grant Membership Program and our Diversity and Inclusion initiative, We are pleased to share that we have met our goal of awarding at least 50% of the grants for the past two years to businesses led by underrepresented groups.” -Jason Thibeault, Executive Director at the Streaming Video Technology Alliance Grant recipient companies are required to attend SVTA’s three member meetings each year (there are no limits on how many people from each company can attend) and participate in relevant working groups. They also have access to SVTA’s intranet and documents and can contribute to projects and vote on documents. Current grant members include Blockcast, Netskrt, picoNETS, Datazoom, Didja, Touchstream, and allt. In addition to contributing directly to SVTA efforts, this program also provides innovative and cutting-edge technology companies an opportunity to work side-by-side with major players in the streaming space. This can even lead to acquisitions of Grant awardees by other member companies as SVTA has seen with Streamroot (acquired by Lumen), Content Armor (acquired by Synamedia), and Quortex (acquired by Synamedia). Another grant member, Peer5, was acquired by Microsoft. SVTA Returns to In-person Gatherings with Q3/Q4 2022 Member Meeting The SVTA’s third and final member meeting of the year is scheduled for October 18 - 19, 2022, in Charleston, South Carolina. After close to three years of virtual events, SVTA members will gather in person for industry discussions, Working Group sessions, and networking. About the Streaming Video Technology Alliance The Streaming Video Technology Alliance is a global technical association addressing critical challenges in streaming video. By educating the industry on the technical nature of the issues, providing a neutral forum for collaboration across the video ecosystem, and publishing documentation that defines technical solutions, the SVTA is helping to improve the streaming video experience at scale. Over 100 companies including network operators, content rights holders, OTT platforms, service providers, and technology vendors – representing some of the biggest names in global streaming – participate in bi-weekly working group activities and quarterly face-to-face meetings. For more information, please visit https://www.svta.org.

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Spotlight

The $109-billion tie-up between Time Warner and AT&T announced last October meant 2016 was a massive year for mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the media and entertainment sector, and recent data displayed in this infographic suggests deal-making conditions in the industry should remain solid in the year ahead.

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