Harris Corporation Acquires DESKTOPBOX

Harris Corporation has
acquired the assets of DESKTOPBOX, a Toronto-based technology firm that offers
a unique, real-time Internet broadcasting platform that enables synchronization
between a television or radio broadcast and an automatic PC browser Web-page
broadcast. Harris will integrate DESKTOPBOX technology into its H-Class
software product line and market it worldwide.
The DESKTOPBOX platform allows for a two-screen, enhanced TV and radio model in
which content distributors can send Web URLs synchronized with a live or
prerecorded program to the audience’s Internet browsers — enabling a rich,
interactive Web experience. During the program, Web URLs providing relevant,
supplemental information are automatically displayed on the viewer’s PC. For
example, when a baseball player comes up to bat, the URL can display his
statistics, or when a national automotive spot is run, the Web page of a local
dealer for that brand can be simultaneously displayed in the PC browser. The
music programming experience can be enhanced by Video on Demand (VOD) content,
blogs, lyrics, album notes, fan Web sites, concert schedules and CD ordering
information. Audiences can access the DESKTOPBOX-synchronized Web content
during the scheduled airing of the show or during playback from a Personal
Video Recorder (PVR), VOD server, or DVD.
“We’ve been working
with DESKTOPBOX since early 2007 on the application of their technology into
our content management platforms,” said Tim Thorsteinson, president,
Harris Broadcast Communications. “By bringing the technology of DESKTOPBOX
into Harris, we’re able to more rapidly and extensively integrate their
Internet synchronization technology into our media solutions.”
The DESKTOPBOX Web-based
communications technology is being integrated with a range of Harris products,
including the ADC and D-Series broadcast automation products, the Vision
scheduling system, and the Landmark, OSi and Novar traffic and billing
systems.
“Since our DESKTOPBOX
platform allows for an advertiser-supported model, interfacing with Harris
traffic and billing systems will allow us take advantage of Harris automated
electronic billing features, making it easier for our users to generate
incremental ad revenue and monetize the system,” said Mike Church, the
president of DESKTOPBOX. “Ultimately, the ability to track consumer dual
screen usage allows networks, stations, MSOs and content producers to increase
advertising revenue for a given program.”