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Unedited press release follows:
RTE Digital Chooses KIT digital to Expand Broadcast to Samsung Smart TVs
LONDON–(Jun 15, 2012) – KIT digital, Inc. (NASDAQ: KITD), a leading video management software and services company, today announced that it was chosen by Irish broadcaster RTÉ Digital to expand its RTÉ Player to smart TVs. Samsung, a development partner of KIT digital, will be the first TV brand to offer the RTÉ Player on its connected TV sets, allowing Samsung Smart TV users to access a selection of RTÉ’s flagship programs on-demand. The app, launched this month, is the latest to leverage KIT digital’s Connected Device Framework (CDF), which empowers broadcasters to easily deliver content through a consistent viewing experience across any connected screen.
The RTÉ Player app for Samsung enables viewers to access their favorite RTÉ programming whenever they want, directly on the biggest screen in their home. RTÉ’s decision to work with KIT digital to develop smart TV-compatible versions of the RTÉ Player comes after the successful worldwide launch of the RTÉ Player iOS app for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch in December 2011. The app has been downloaded 324,000 times to date. The expansion of the RTÉ Player to Samsung Smart TVs will give audiences even more choice as to how and when they view RTÉ content.
“RTÉ’s strategy is to be available wherever and whenever our audience wants, and our success in delivering this strategy is borne out by the popularity of RTÉ Player’s iOS apps,” said Marcus O’Doherty, Head of Technology Infrastructure RTÉ Digital. “In addition, our collaboration with KIT digital to bring RTÉ Player to connected TVs is another milestone in our strategy to ensure RTÉ Player is wherever our audience is. Partnering with KIT digital, RTÉ Digital has benefitted from their combination of software and service capabilities which we consider best-in-class, and they were the obvious choice to expand RTÉ Player to even more devices and screens.”
Working hand-in-glove with RTÉ Digital and Samsung on the solution for Samsung Smart TVs, KIT digital collaborated with RTÉ’s in-house designers who were responsible for the end to end solution architecture and project management. KIT digital was commissioned to deliver the graphic design for the user interface, and to implement the client-side player application based on the functional specification issued by RTÉ. Samsung and KIT digital have been partners for over four years, and the RTÉ Player for Samsung Smart TVs is the latest app the companies have delivered together.
“This app offers RTÉ’s customers a real added value benefit, and further supports Samsung’s leadership in the smart TV category,” said Laura Kaatz, Managing Director of Global Commercial Operations at KIT digital. “Our partnership with Samsung delivers rapid project ramp-up — we already speak the same language and understand each others’ processes. That ensured the on-time delivery of a deep integration of our software with Samsung’s world-class hardware. Samsung remains one of our valued development partners, and we look forward to continue to work together on future customer projects and technology development.”
KIT digital worked with RTÉ to design both the iOS and Samsung RTÉ Player apps using KIT digital’s CDF in order to create a consistent app ecosystem, overcoming the challenge of translating to Samsung hardware the interface and experience that users of RTÉ’s iOS app have come to expect. The CDF offered RTÉ two distinct advantages:
• Consistent user experience: end-users need to learn just one set of techniques for interacting with the apps. Sign-posts to data elements, navigational cues and patterns of behavior required to particular tasks are all transferable between apps;
• Consistent technical architecture: keeps the apps tightly convergent both during development and after launch, and enables a faster and lower-cost development of future apps on new platforms.
During the development of the RTÉ Player apps, each platform and device-class presented their own unique capabilities and limitations, challenging the design team to find a superset of features from which each implementation could draw. KIT digital’s development team also had to maintain the feature-set of each app in step as their work progressed, from the moment issues were identified and resolved to when new features were prototyped and rolled out. They faced the danger of their plan for a coherent set of apps turning into divergent implementations, each with its own quirks and nuanced behaviors.
All of these challenges were addressed using KIT digital’s CDF, which defines key data-structures, behavior implementations and workflows that can be used on any platform or device. The CDF allowed developers to articulate the superset of features at the heart of RTÉ’s consistent app ecosystem, and will ensure that ecosystem is maintained and updated uniformly across all devices. A CDF implementation across devices that are linked by a common programming language means that any update is automatically rolled out across all devices, dramatically reducing development time, costs and the risk of viewer alienation due to inconsistent user experiences.
“Device fragmentation is an increasingly expensive operational challenge facing media companies today. For broadcasters like RTÉ with a strategic imperative to offer their viewers a consistently excellent viewing experience on a broad range of popular devices, developing and managing an in-house point solution can quickly turn into an overwhelming proposition,” said Alex Blum, COO of KIT digital. “By partnering with us, those media companies can leverage the investment we’ve made in our Connected Device Framework to offer compelling video experiences to their viewers the world over.”
RTÉ Player will join an ever-growing collection of services available on Samsung Smart TVs such as, YouTube, Netflix, Muzu.tv, Facebook and Twitter giving viewers a huge choice of content and entertainment through their television. ‘Samsung Apps’ is the first and biggest app store available for TVs, with over 20 million apps already downloaded worldwide. The RTÉ Player app will work with all Samsung 2012 Smart TVs and Smart Blu-ray Players, as well as Samsung 2011 Smart TVs and Blu-ray Players.
About KIT digital, Inc.
KIT digital (NASDAQ: KITD) is a leading video management software and services company. The KIT Video Platform, the company’s cloud-based video asset management system, enables enterprise, media & entertainment and network operator clients to produce, manage and deliver multiscreen socially-enabled video experiences to audiences wherever they are. KIT digital services nearly 2,500 clients in 50+ countries including some of the world’s biggest brands, such as Airbus, The Associated Press, AT&T, BBC, BSkyB, Disney-ABC, Google, HP, Mediaset, MTV, News Corp, RCS MediaGroup, Sky Deutschland, Sky Italia, Telecom Argentina, Telecom Italia, Telefonica O2, Universal Studios, Verizon, Vodafone and Volkswagen. KIT digital maintains executive offices in New York and its operational headquarters in Prague, Czech Republic, with offices in 21 countries around the world. Visit the company at www.kitd.com or follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/KITdigital.