DIRECTV, Time Warner, TiVo and Slingbox were among the winners of the Emmy Awards presented at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Many of the awards reflected the increasing importance of the internet and interactive services.
“These are truly dynamic and exciting times for the television industry,” said Peter Price, the president of the American National Television Academy of Arts and Sciences, acknowledging winners rewarded for their significant impact in enhancing the consumer viewing experience.
“This year, we are particularly pleased to commend those who are contributing to the technical development of television anytime, anywhere through the advancement of broadband and portable delivery platforms.”
The digital television section included nominations in the areas of interactive and on-demand television, the internet, and personal media display and presentation technology.
In the field of interactive television, DIRECTV Interactive Sports received an Emmy award for outstanding achievement in advanced media technology for the synchronous enhancement of original television content.
DIRECTV received the award for innovation in television sports interactivity for its NFL Sunday Ticket service which allows viewers to watch eight games on a single screen and provides detailed player and team statistics, real-time scores and live updates from other games. The award also recognized their Mega March Madness and Olympics Sports Mix mosaic channel.
“We are committed to providing innovative technologies to our customers and are constantly looking for new ways to enhance the television viewing experience,” said Eric Shanks, the executive vice president of DIRECTV Entertainment.
It marks the third Emmy for interactive services from DIRECTV and their sixth overall. Eddy Hartenstein, former vice chairman of the DIRECTV group, received a lifetime achievement award for his role in building the satellite television service from its inception.
The award for non-synchronous enhancement went to The-N.com, a television community web site, for its Video Mixer. The N is a night-time network from MTV Networks aimed at teenagers. “MTV Networks has a storied record of developing new forms of entertainment and The N is continuing this tradition in producing interactive content for our digital audience,” said Kenny Miller, their creative director.
The Slingbox from Sling Media received an award in the non-traditional programmes or platforms nominations for its pioneering placeshifting box which redirects television from the home for viewing over the internet. Sling co-founder Jason Krikorian said it meant that “the idea of ‘placeshifting’ has finally arrived”.
Sony received an award for personal media display and presentation technology for its Xross Media Bar, the iconic user interface found on the PlayStation 3, PSP and soon to be available for Sony Bravia flat-screen televisions.
The Start Over service received an award for Time Warner Cable in association with Concurrent Computer, Big Band Networks, Harmonic and Scientific Atlanta. Start Over allows users to jump to the beginning of selected shows as they are being transmitted from any one of 60 channels.
Among the on demand for public internet applications nominees, Stim TV beat the major networks with its NPOWR proposition. Stim TV is an online television network that presents a stream of videos sequentially in short clips that can be marked for later full-length viewing.
An award for the creation and use of commercials in non-traditional platforms and technologies was presented to TiVo for its interactive advertising platform. Tom Rogers, the chief executive of TiVo, said its interactive advertising features and custom advertising applications, such as product watch, interactive tags and programme placement, are “prime examples of TiVo’s ability to lead the industry in helping advertisers reach the fast forwarding consumer which increasingly defines advertising consumption in the household”.
In the broadcast television section, Visible World and The Weather Channel received an award for automatically assembled and customized television advertising.
Rather bizarrely, the broadcast television awards–which include satellite, terrestrial and cable television, as opposed to the digital television category–provided a joint award to Microsoft, Adobe, RealNetworks and Apple for streaming media architectures and components.