CES 2019: Azure Giving LG an AI Bump; Western Digital Brings New Hardware

LAS VEGAS — It was a beyond busy week for TiVo at CES, with two new announcements coming during the middle of the show.

The entertainment technology and audience insights specialist announced that IPTV firm and supplier of service management infrastructure for pay TV delivery Minerva Networks has tapped TiVo as the primary metadata provider for their cloud service delivery platform, Minerva YourTV Now.

“TiVo’s IP continues to provide companies around the world with access to transformative entertainment technologies, and our license renewal with Minerva Networks underscores the leadership position of TiVo’s portfolio in the marketplace,” said Arvin Patel EVP and chief IP officer, Rovi, a TiVo company. “Thanks to our extensive IP portfolio, Minerva Networks can deliver compelling experiences to customers in the United States, Latin America, and around the world.”

“We are excited to expand our partnership with Minerva Networks and are honored by the trust they have placed in us,” said Sarah Gaeta, SVP and GM of metadata for TiVo. “We look forward to supporting Minerva with innovative entertainment enhancements that will be enjoyed for years to come by its current and future customers.”

Additionally, TiVo announced it had inked a new, multi-year deal with izzi Telecom in Mexico, with that cable operator signing a license for interactive program guides (IPG) and entertainment metadata for their service. The multi-year agreement also includes wider deployment of TiVo’s Passport Guide, along with adding comprehensive video metadata for TV and video programs.

“TiVo’s powerful technology platform is the best choice for our customers because it offers a whole solution – an HD user experience with advanced features plus high-quality and accurate entertainment metadata, which together creates an engaging experience for our subscribers to easily and quickly find the shows or movies they want to watch on TV,” said Guillermo Salcedo, corporate product director for izzi Telecom. “Thanks to our partnership with TiVo, we are able to offer our customers a new and advanced entertainment experience quickly and with minimal service interruption.”

Also at CES 2019:

• LG announced its partnering with Microsoft Azure, using the company’s cloud and artificial intelligence technologies to further develop LG’s autonomous vehicle and infotainment system business.

The deal sees LG applying Azure’s AI tech to its Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), Driver-Status Monitoring Camera (DSM) and Multi-Purpose Front Camera products, as well as incorporating Microsoft’s Virtual Assistant Solution Accelerator in LG’s infotainment systems.

“Together LG and Microsoft can help shape the future of transportation,” said Sanjay Ravi, GM of automotive industry at Microsoft. “Working together, we can empower automakers to deliver differentiated mobility experiences, create new services and revenue opportunities, and to build safer, more intelligent and more sustainable vehicles.”

“Our expectation is that the combination of Microsoft’s advanced cloud infrastructure with LG’s fast-growing automotive components business will accelerate the self-driving auto industry as a whole,” said Kim Jin-yong, president of the LG Vehicle Component Solutions Company. “We’re confident that the combination of Microsoft and LG technologies will create a new benchmark in autonomous auto AI.”

• Western Digital brought new personal storage solutions to CES, including new portable SSDs and an all new cloud backup service for USB drives.

The company also showed off a 4TB portable flash drive prototype.

“We continue to evolve our products to help consumers find new ways of enjoying the content that matters the most,” said David Ellis, VP of product marketing for Western Digital. “Our latest offerings reinforce Western Digital’s commitment to delivering a wide range of personal storage solutions that offer ruggedness, speed, reliability and ease of use.”

The SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD, available this spring, is geared toward entertainment creatives, with the ability to move massive files quickly and do real-time editing directly from the drive.

The My Passport Go features up to 1TB of portable SSD storage. Meanwhile the SanDisk Flashback, available for two of SanDisk’s popular USB drives, is a new cloud back up service that creates an online copy of USB drive content.

• DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group honored Dolby Vision at its annual CES event, awarded the company and its technology with the DEG Emiel N. Petrone Innovation in Entertainment Technology Award.

The award is named after DEG’s founding chairman Emiel N. Petrone, and recognizes new technology developments that create opportunities for the home entertainment industry.

“DEG member companies move quickly to meet consumers’ desire for more immersive home and mobile viewing experiences, and they regularly introduce consumers to new possibilities,” said DEG president and CEO Amy Jo Smith.

“DEG is delighted to recognize Sony Electronics, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and Dolby Laboratories as purveyors of best-in-class viewing experiences.”