Samba TV, Gracenote focus on live sports video tech

Samba TV and Gracenote are both coming out with new video technology focused on improving live sports viewing experiences.

Samba, a provider of TV data and audience analytics, is working with TV manufacturer Vestel Group (responsible for brands including Toshiba, Panasonic, Hitachi and JVC) on a new artificial intelligence technology dubbed Picture Perfect. Picture Perfect is designed to be embedded within the TV where it can recognize and optimize the quality of the content playing on the screen with or without an internet connection by using machine learning on the edge device.

Samba said the technology detects what type of content is being watched and automatically enables higher refresh rates when needed and disables when not.

“Smart TV hardware today integrates truly amazing display technology and algorithms for picture quality enhancement,” said Samba TV Co-founder and CEO Ashwin Navin, in a statement. “The promise of AI is to make our lives easier and, within the living room, we believe AI should remove the manual steps of setting up your television for the best viewing experience for sports and all of the latest movies and video games. We are excited about the collaboration with Vestel, a company that develops world-class TVs, to join us in this endeavor.”

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Gracenote, which is owned by Nielsen, said it is offering up its sports data to consumer electronics manufacturers so they can more easily integrate real-time team statistics, recent game results and live updates to TV and video home screens along with auto infotainment systems.

The company said notifications can be created to navigate directly to the game broadcast or stream on preferred services at home and connected car manufacturers embed “easy-to-read” game scores and other data on infotainment screens so drivers can follow game results while staying safe.

"Live sports are an increasingly important differentiator for entertainment platforms seeking to increase user engagement," said Simon Adams, chief product officer of Gracenote, in a statement. "For years, Gracenote has powered sports viewing experiences for the largest TV providers in the world. With Gracenote Global Sports Widgets, CE companies and automakers can easily launch new sports experiences which maximize audience engagement and drive consumption while minimizing development costs and engineering resources."

At launch, the new Gracenote Sports Widgets will cover major sports leagues including the NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL along with international football leagues like the English Premier League, Germany's Bundesliga, Ligue 1 in France, Serie A in Italy, Spain's La Liga, Brasileirão Assaí in Brazil and Mexico's Liga BBVA MX.