Friday, March 26, 2010

Roxio CinemaNow Continues to Expand Premium Entertainment Library

New Agreement with Warner Bros. Digital Distribution for the Electronic Sell Through of High Definition Next-Day TV Episodes

Sonic Solutions announced a new content agreement with Warner Bros. Digital Distribution to digitally distribute commercial-free TV episodes the day after they air on networks. Sonic has secured Electronic Sell Through (EST) rights for distributing standard and high-definition versions of popular TV shows including Fringe and Human Target. The agreement helps further expand the broad content library available through Roxio CinemaNow™ powered services and consumer electronic devices.

The Roxio CinemaNow entertainment platform serves a broad range of premium content to a growing, multi-manufacturer ecosystem of home and mobile electronics including PCs, connected TVs, set-top DVRs, Blu-ray Disc players, smart phones, and mobile media devices. The platform enables retailers and consumer electronics companies to participate in the entertainment supply chain, add value to product offerings and form ongoing relationships with customers.

For more information, click here.

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sonic Solutions sponsors CONNECTIONS U.S.

Parks Associates is excited to welcome Sonic Solutions as a new CONNECTION 2010 sponsor.

Sonic Solutions is powering the digital media ecosystem through its complete range of Hollywood to Home applications, services, and technologies. Sonic's Roxio products enable consumers to easily manage and enjoy personal digital media content and, through Roxio CinemaNow, access premium Hollywood entertainment on a broad range of connected devices.

A wide array of leading technology firms, professionals, and developers rely on Sonic to bring innovative digital media functionality to next-generation devices and platforms. Sonic Solutions is headquartered in Marin County, California.

For more information about Sonic Solutions, visit www.roxio.com.

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CONNECTIONS™ addresses business strategies and new technologies that leverage consumer interest in TV Everywhere services

Parks Associates reports TV Everywhere services are gaining popularity, with over 40% of U.S. broadband households very positive on these services, which will be a prominent topic at the upcoming CONNECTIONS™: The Digital Living Conference and Showcase.

CONNECTIONS™ includes multiple sessions on New Media and Digital Content:
  • TV Everywhere and Online Video
  • Mobile Internet and Cloud Services
  • Trends in User Interfaces
  • TV and Online Video Advertising Metrics
  • DRM, Conditional Access, and Payment Models
Other Event Sessions:

Entertainment Platforms & Value-Added Services
  • Digital Home Technical Support Services
  • Digital Lifestyles
  • Service Provider Innovation
  • The Service Provider and the Connected Home
  • Innovations & Investments: Venture Capitalist Insights
Consumer Electronics
  • Design Elements for Connected CE
  • Monetizing Connected CE
  • The Future of the Set-top Box
  • 3DTV
  • TV Technology in the New Age of Consumer Buying
Home Systems & Controls
  • Residential Energy Management
  • Getting Consumers to Care about Home Controls
  • Business Models for Energy Management
  • Architectures and Implications for the Home Area Network
  • Energy Management as a Key Application for Home Controls
For more information, visit www.connectionsus.com or contact sales@parksassociates.com, 972-490-1113.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Google Said to Work on TV With Intel, Sony, Logitech

Google is working to bring Web software to televisions through a partnership with Intel, Sony, and Logitech , according to a recent BusinessWeek article.

Moving beyond the Internet search engine business, Google is now challenging companies like Yahoo, TiVo, Rovi, and Microsoft in delivering the Internet to TVs.

Parks Associates VP of Research, Kurt Scherf is quoted in the article, “it’s a sign of the legitimacy of Internet connectivity moving well beyond the PC and mobile spaces, which Google has tackled already. It completes the third leg of the stool.”

More than one-quarter of TVs purchased by U.S. consumers in January already are capable of linking to the Web through a Wi- Fi or Ethernet connection, according to another research company.

Web-enabled TVs currently on the market allow users to watch YouTube videos, view online photo albums, play games and stream movies from Netflix Inc.

To read the full article, click here.

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Number of smartphone users to quadruple, exceeding 1 billion worldwide by 2014

The demand for smartphones is creating a demographic shift among users, who will exceed 1 billion worldwide by 2014, stimulating demand for more entry-level models that offer mainstream solutions such as mobile email and social networking applications, according to Parks Associates’ Smartphone: King of Convergence.

This new report includes consumer data from Parks Associates’ primary study Mobile Convergence: Platforms, Applications, and Services. This consumer survey finds only 30% of current smartphone users are the stereotypical young and tech-savvy aficionados.


The other user segments exhibit more mainstream demographic attributes and more divergent usage patterns. One such segment, dubbed “pragmatists,” consists of budget-conscious, middle-aged users who prefer mobile email service over Internet access. Another group is keen on the smartphone’s communication features, ranging from mobile Internet to social network access.

Smartphone: King of Convergence tracks smartphone sales and market shares and analyzes carrier strategies, new mobile applications and services, and mobile technology trends. Mobile Convergence: Platforms, Applications, and Services is a survey of U.S. mobile consumers about ownership and attitudes regarding mobile devices and services.

For more information, visit http://www.parksassociates.com/mobile.

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Hillcrest Labs launches new Web browser for TVs

According to CED Magazine, Hillcrest Labs announced that it has launched a new Web browser for viewing Internet videos on your television. Working with both PCs and Macs that are physically connected to TVs, the Kylo Web browser let consumers visit Web sites of their choosing. This development lets viewers watch Internet content on their TVs from a distance in living rooms or family rooms.

Since viewers can access all types of over-the-top services that are available on the Internet, the Kylo is more of an open approach than “walled gardens” that keep customers in designated areas of the Internet.

While Hillcrest is offering the Kylo for free, the company is hoping it will drive sales of its Loop in-air mouse, which can be used as a remote control, that retails for $99, although Kylo works with a standard mouse.

To read the full CedMagazine.com article, click here.


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Next generation applications drive the future of TV

Accedo Broadband, the provider of app stores and IPTV applications and Netgem, a leading provider of IPTV technology and services to Telecom operators worldwide, today announced that Accedo’s IPTV applications are to be made available via Netgem’s IPTV platform – NetgemTV.

The two companies will introduce a range of customised and innovative IPTV applications over the next 12 months.

Netgem technology is employed in over 2.5 million homes globally and is among the Top 10 most deployed IPTV solutions worldwide. Netgem's customers include leading telecom operators such as SFR in France, Telstra of Australia, Elisa in Finland, Monaco Telecom, Algeria Telecom, FetchTV in the UK and Melita in Malta.

For the full press release, click here.


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ADB & Mariner Integrate Monitoring, Diagnostic, Resolution Software

Advanced Digital Broadcast, a leading supplier of technology to the global digital television industry, and Mariner, a leading provider of innovative IP video technologies, today unveiled a solution to enable proactive pay-TV service monitoring which increases the quality of subscribers' experience and reduces operator costs.

The joint solution integrates new software capabilities in ADB's latest IPTV set-top boxes with Mariner's award-winning flagship service assurance suite, xVuTM. The solution provides quantifiable metrics on the quality of the video, audio and performance of each set-top box in each home. The operator has visibility into problems of long channel change times, errors within the video such as frame drop, and can proactively resolve them, sometimes even before the subscriber notices them, let alone calls for support.

For the full press release, click here.


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Thursday, March 18, 2010

CONNECTIONS Europe Welcomes New Sponsor

Parks Associates welcomes Advanced Digital Broadcast (ADB) as a 2010 Advisory Sponsor for the CONNECTIONS Europe Summit in Amsterdam.

Advanced Digital Broadcast (ADB) provides set-top solutions to the worldwide digital television industry. We supply advanced customer premise equipment across all transmission platforms including cable, IPTV, satellite, and terrestrial. We strive to bring to market innovative solutions that help our customers deliver the best consumer TV experience. A leader in hybrid set-top devices with deep software expertise, ADB enables the Internet/TV content convergence, letting operators provide innovative services such as push video-on-demand, multi-room DVR, interactive TV, over-the-top applications and more. We fine-tune the entire software and hardware set-top solution for each operator’s specific infrastructure to deliver peak performance. With over 15 million digital set-top devices sold to a global customer base, our products have been recognised for being among the industry’s most advanced and reliable.

For more information, visit www.adb.com.


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Digital Living Conference & Showcase features keynotes from Sony Pictures, Samsung, Sony Electronics

Parks Associates announced the preliminary agenda for CONNECTIONS™: The Digital Living Conference and Showcase, which will address the future of digital entertainment and connected CE with keynotes from Sony and Samsung. In addition to the focus on digital content and new service offerings for consumers, the three-day event will feature research presentations and speaker panels on support services, DRM, energy management and controls, advertising, and mobile applications and services.

CONNECTIONS™, in its 14th year, will take place June 8-10 at the Santa Clara Convention Center and is the premier event for research and analysis on connected home technologies and digital living solutions. CONNECTIONS™ attracts over 600 executives in the connected home industries and is the only event that addresses developments within each industry sector while also focusing on the impact and opportunities for convergence across industries.

Keynotes include:

· Scott Birnbaum, Vice President, Samsung LCD Group
· Mitch Singer, CTO, Sony Pictures Entertainment; President, DECE

For more information, visit www.connectionsus.com.

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Owe Someone Money? Just Bump Your Phones

PayPal’s new iPhone application could finally change that. It promises to let you quickly divide a restaurant bill and send a friend the portion you owe just by bumping your iPhones together.

To send money, users choose a recipient from their cellphone contacts or bump two phones together. For that, the app uses technology from Bump Technologies, which developed it to swap contact information between two phones. The money is transferred immediately.

But now might be the time, for a few reasons. PayPal’s iPhone app is easier to use than the text-message service, in part because people do not have to remember the exact language to use in their messages. And most are familiar with PayPal —80 million people actively use it on the Web and 200 million are registered.

The number of PayPal mobile transactions climbed from 24 million in 2008 to 140 million in 2009, according to Eric Duprat, PayPal’s general manager for mobile. In addition to person-to-person payments with cellphones, PayPal has ventured into mobile commerce. Last year, people spent more than $500 million using eBay’s mobile apps, which incorporate PayPal.

For the full article, click here.

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The Masters Broadcast In 3D

The Augusta National Golf Club just announced that the 2010 Masters Tournament will be produced and broadcast live in 3D for the first time.

Two hours of live afternoon 3-D coverage will be available each day beginning April 7 and continuing through April 11. Comcast will carry the 3D broadcast, and you'll need a 3D TV and glasses to see the effects. It is the first time a golf telecast has been shown in 3-D and will include multiple 3-D cameras placed strategically throughout the course, according to a club announcement.

Samsung and Panasonic just rolled out their $3,000 3D TVs into retailers last week, so we don't expect too many people to enjoy the 3D action from their living rooms. Even if big sporting events in 3D convince consumers or bar owners to pick up a few TVs, we still think 3D TV is dead on arrival.

For the full press release, click here.

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CONNECTIONS Europe features Technicolor keynote & executives from ADB, HbbTV, IBM, NDS, Omniphone, OpenTV and more

The speakers for CONNECTIONS™ Europe Summit: Monetizing Connectivity and User Experiences, announced today by Parks Associates, offer unique executive insight into business strategies for digital content, value-added services, connected CE, and advanced video devices and services. International research firm Parks Associates will host the Summit on April 27, 2010, at the M√∂venpick Hotel in Amsterdam.

Benoit Joly, Vice-President, Home Network & Applications, Technicolor, will present the opening keynote. Other speakers:

-- Jonathan Beavon, Director, Segment Marketing, NDS
-- Paul Bristow, VP Strategy, Middleware & Consumer Experience, ADB (Advanced Digital Broadcast)
-- Ronald Brockmann, Managing Director, Europe, ActiveVideo Networks
-- Rob van den Dam, Global Telecom Sector leader IBV, IBM
-- Klaus Illgner-Fehns, Managing Director, HbbTV
-- Trond Neergaard, Founder and Managing Partner, Cloudberry Associates
-- Steve Oetegenn, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Verimatrix
-- Rolf Uwe Placzek, CEO, Acetrax
-- Kurt Scherf, VP, Principal Analyst, Parks Associates
-- Stuart Sikes, President, Parks Associates
-- Andrew Wajs, CTO, Irdeto
-- Olivier Wellmann, VP, Product Management, OpenTV
-- Speaker TBA, Omnifone

For information or to register, visit http://www.connectionseurope.com.

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Roundbox Completes Acquisition of Jacked Technology

Roundbox, Inc., the global leader in mobile broadcast software, today announced the acquisition of Jacked, Inc.'s technology and intellectual property. Jacked, Inc., an innovator in real-time, broadcast-synchronized data services, developed pioneering platform and companion applications, which seamlessly deliver rich, real-time Web content contextually synchronized to and complementing live broadcast television. Jacked's patent-pending technology will be integrated into the Roundbox Mobile Broadcast Suite to enable its broadcast and device customers to deliver enhanced TV viewing experiences.

The Jacked product portfolio provides viewers with a customizable "second" screen experience providing real-time access to Web-based news, local information, sporting events, and other video links and images that are available elsewhere on the Internet but previously could not be pulled together in a single screen or coordinated with currently playing television. The Jacked platform has supported interactive experiences for over 9,000 NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, NCAA football and basketball games for leading broadcasters. Additionally, the Jacked product suite also includes search technology which supports all genres of live and on-demand content.

For the full press release, click here.

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Friday, March 12, 2010

CONNECTIONS US 2010 Agenda Live

CONNECTIONS: The Digital Living Conference and Showcase, hosted by leading research firm Parks Associates, is the premier executive event focused on the market developments and growth factors for advanced digital lifestyle solutions.

This unique research-driven executive conference and showcase delivers insight and recommendations for new business models and opportunities in digital media/content, connected consumer electronics, broadband and value-added services, and home systems.

To view the CONNECTIONS US 2010 agenda, click here.

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

New Keynote Announced, CONNECTIONS US

Scott Birnbaum, Vice President, Samsung LCD Group will be one of the keynote speakers at the upcoming CONNECTIONS: The Digital Living Conference and Showcase.

Scott's presentation, "TV Technology in the New Age of Consumer Buying," will occur on June 9th at the Santa Clara Convention Center.

Scott Birnbaum is vice president of the LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) Business at Samsung Semiconductor, Inc., responsible for sales operations throughout the Americas. In this capacity, he focuses on working closely with customers to develop new applications for LCDs, while building strategic OEM relationships in the TV, PC monitor, notebook and cellular phone sectors.

Birnbaum brings with him a thorough “hands on” understanding of all aspects of the electronics value chain, leveraging more than 20 years of leadership in sales, marketing and operational management roles within the LCD, semiconductor, electronic manufacturing services and distribution industries.

Register before April 15th to receive early bird pricing.

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Free Tech Support Webcast: Enhancing Remote Customer and Technical Support

Register today for the Parks Associates March 18th webcast, Enhancing Remote Customer and Technical Support, sponsored by PlumChoice and support.com. Kurt Scherf, VP, Principal Analyst, Parks Associates, will discuss the evolution of the support market - including consumer electronics, home computer and networking configuration, and a variety of maintenance, diagnostics, and troubleshooting services.

Parks Associates estimates that revenues for remote tech support services have doubled in the last year, with revenues in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

As consumers demonstrate a willingness to pay for premium remote technical support services, what are the opportunities and challenges for companies developing and expanding customer care and remote technical support services?

How does the industry move from reactive services to developing a perspective on holistic customer care?

Join Parks Associates, PlumChoice, and support.com for this special Webcast on the evolution of the support market.

Register Now

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Samsung Celebrates the Global Launch of Full HD 3D LED TV at Times Square With The Black Eyed Peas and "Avatar" Director James Cameron

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the award-winning innovator in consumer electronics, today celebrated the worldwide availability of the first-ever Full HD 3D LED TVs with a one-of-a-kind special performance by The Black Eyed Peas in Times Square. "Avatar" director James Cameron, who has been a crucial driver in furthering the development of 3D content, also joined today's celebration.

Samsung Electronics 3D LED TV global launch celebration in Times Square was filmed in 3D by James Cameron and Vince Pace's production company Cameron/Pace, and streamed live via Dipdive.com, the popular lifestyle engine for music, arts, action and more. The Times Square surprise performance by The Black Eyed Peas kicked off Samsung Electronics' global campaign to raise awareness for its 3D TV technology leadership, which also includes worldwide launch events and a global television advertising campaign.

Together, these leaders in each of their respective industries showcase a commitment by consumer electronics, music and content organizations to bring the 3D TV vision to life in consumer homes everywhere. It also symbolizes the beginning of a new era of home entertainment.

For the full press release, click here.

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BlackArrow and Fox Cable Networks Partner on Dynamic Advertising Trial for Video on Demand

BlackArrow, a leading worldwide provider of advanced advertising solutions for New Television platforms, announced it has partnered with Fox Cable Networks to trial the BlackArrow Advanced Advertising System across the video-on-demand (VoD) content of FX, National Geographic Channel and SPEED.

With the BlackArrow system, Fox Cable Networks is testing the ability to deliver addressable advertising to viewers in multiple cable markets. Fox Cable Networks is utilizing the BlackArrow Sales Suite to customize on-demand campaigns based on factors such as viewer demographics and viewing behaviors, as well as specific content on its three networks.

The Fox Cable Networks trial is using the sophisticated capabilities within the BlackArrow Sales Suite. Among the key features essential in the execution of this trial are tools that leverage content information and anonymous subscriber data for audience addressability; manage business arrangements between networks and cable distributors, and modules to optimize avails using BlackArrow’s Placement Opportunity Information Service (POIS).

For more information, visit http://www.blackarrow.tv.


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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Consumers growing more aware of Energy Consumption

One key finding from Parks Associates energy research is that consumers are growing more aware about their energy consumption. Eighty percent of U.S. households are interested in learning more about how to cut their energy costs (although this interest does not equal a desire or need to learn about smart grids, which will be discussed later). Over one-half already have a programmable thermostat, meaning the majority of U.S. households have at least one energy-saving device in their home.

If current utility plans come to full fruition, U.S. households will soon have many more energy-saving options through AMI (advanced metering infrastructure) deployments. Utilities have deployed over 13 million smart meters, with plans to install 50 million more over the next five years. Predictably, other firms are eyeing this space for new market opportunities, hoping to build off this new bedrock technology and create more avenues for service and product opportunities in the home.

Click here to sign up to read
Parks Associates Home Systems Newsletter.


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Consumers growing more aware of Energy Consumption

One key finding from Parks Associates energy research is that consumers are growing more aware about their energy consumption. Eighty percent of U.S. households are interested in learning more about how to cut their energy costs (although this interest does not equal a desire or need to learn about smart grids, which will be discussed later). Over one-half already have a programmable thermostat, meaning the majority of U.S. households have at least one energy-saving device in their home.

If current utility plans come to full fruition, U.S. households will soon have many more energy-saving options through AMI (advanced metering infrastructure) deployments. Utilities have deployed over 13 million smart meters, with plans to install 50 million more over the next five years. Predictably, other firms are eyeing this space for new market opportunities, hoping to build off this new bedrock technology and create more avenues for service and product opportunities in the home.

Click here to sign up to read Parks Associates Home Systems Newsletter.

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Accedo Broadband Presents App Store for SVG and Flash

Accedo Broadband today announced that its App Store Solution for IPTV is now compatible with SVG and Flash. SVG and Flash are becoming increasingly popular with operators as an alternative to standard browser solutions, offering them smoother animations and transitions and a more attractive user interface.

The App Store UI has been created to be easily modified and re-branded to suit the customer’s requirements. It is designed for a smooth and attractive user experience in High Definition and is integrated with the same back-end services that operate all of Accedo’s App Store solutions.

Accedo Broadband will be demonstrating its App Store solution at the IPTV World Forum, from 23rd – 25th March, stand number 17. In addition to the App Store itself, Accedo will also demonstrate a range of applications from the Accedo Application Portfolio, including games, social media, music and video services.

For the full press release, click here.

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Friday, March 5, 2010

Technicolor mp3HD format adopted by Samsung

Technicolor today announced that its mp3HD format, introduced in 2009, is featured in the Samsung “IceTouch,” the company’s first mp3HD portable player, which was recently unveiled at CES 2010.

The mp3HD format offers lossless audio compression as well as compatibility with the widely-used mp3 standard. mp3HD enables content creators, the music industry and consumers to benefit from the ultimate audio quality experience with the same ease of use as the mp3 format.

For the full press release, click here.


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Sezmi Personal TV Service now available, LA Best Buy Stores

First-ever all-in-one service integrates live TV, on-demand movies and programs, and web video; breakthrough pricing starting at less than $5 a month

Sezmi announced an introductory release of its all-in-one television service, available in the greater Los Angeles area exclusively through Best Buy. The first-of-its-kind personal TV service seamlessly integrates live television, on-demand movies and television shows, and web videos in an easily self-installed system that automatically records, recommends and organizes the favorite shows of each individual member of the family.

The Sezmi System can be purchased for $299 and includes an HD Media Recorder that automatically organizes live, recorded, on-demand and online content and can store up to 1,400 hours of programming. It also includes an advanced indoor television reception system for receiving local HD broadcast channels and Sezmi’s programming lineup of cable channels. Finally the system includes a remote control featuring personal “mi” buttons for each member of the family to quickly discover and enjoy the programming they care about most.

For more information, visit www.sezmi.com.

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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Want to know what happens at CONNECTIONS™?

Download the event summary and program guide from past events. All sessions and keynotes are summarized, and event summaries include research perspective from Parks Associates analysts.

Click here for more information.

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RedEye mini Turns Your iPhone Into Remote and Program Guide

ThinkFlood, maker of RedEye universal remote control products for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, announced RedEye mini. RedEye mini is the affordable ($49), portable way to turn any iPhone, iPod touch or iPad into an advanced universal remote with free, integrated program/channel guide and infrared code database.

RedEye mini users can control their TVs, DVRs, stereos, game consoles, etc., whether they are at home or on the go, and can save button layouts for favorite activities such as, "Watch Blu-ray in Living Room," "Listen to Music at Work," or "Watch TV at Gym."

RedEye mini plugs into the headphone jack, which frees the dock connector for charging while while the remote is in use. This is a significant advantage because iPhone users will not have to flip their phones upside-down to use the remote, and having a low battery will never leave users stranded without a remote.

Free integrated electronic program guide allows users to access program and channel information without interrupting what is happening on the TV screen.

For more information, click here.

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