Remember Gracenote's plans for an Automatic Content Recognition system for TV? (think: Shazam to help you work out which The Mentalist episode is on). Now it's got a name: Gracenote Entourage. It'll run on smartphones and tablets to identify movies, TV shows and music just from the audio clip. It'll then show you related programming, actor bios and, erm, relevant advertising (but hey, they've gotta make money somehow, yeah?). It'll run on mobile devices and smart TVs, although would that really be easier than pressing the "TV Guide" button on your remote? We'll leave that for you to judge.
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Gracenote Launches Interactive TV Platform

Gracenote Entourage™ Enables Electronics Manufacturers, Content Distributors and Developers to Deliver Interactive Video Solutions

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- CONSUMER ELECTRONICS SHOW (CES) 2012 --Gracenote® is transforming the interactive TV experience for viewers with the launch of Gracenote Entourage™, an Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) platform. Gracenote Entourage will enable electronics manufacturers, content distributors and developers to turn the TV watching experience into a vehicle to generate revenue and build direct and engaging relationships with viewing audiences.

"The era of simply sitting on the couch and watching TV is over. Gracenote is enabling a dramatic transformation for TV as we know it – taking it from a passive experience to one in which a whole new world of search and discovery is available from a variety of sources," said Stephen White, president of Gracenote. "This will give viewing audiences new and exciting ways to engage in the TV experience, while providing content owners, CE device makers, and application developers ways to drive new revenue."

At its core, Gracenote Entourage features audio fingerprinting technology that allows smart phones and tablets to instantly and automatically identify movies, TV programs and music in real time by simply "listening" to short sound clips. Then, Gracenote Entourage unlocks data from the Gracenote database to create paths for TV viewers to explore related content, such as actor filmographies and advertising brands, and link to on-demand services to purchase, stream and download content that intrigues them.

Gracenote Entourage can be featured on mobile devices or integrated directly into Smart TVs to let viewers identify content from any source playing on-screen, whether it is coming from their cable box or streaming from an on-demand service. This creates opportunities for TV manufacturers to connect viewers to related programs and help them discover movies and TV shows from on-demand sources built into the Smart TV.

Gracenote Entourage is a fully hosted solution that leverages Gracenote's network infrastructure and rich set of global data, including descriptions of more than 130 million songs as well as filmmaker and cast bios for movies, TV listings, and Album and Movie Cover Art which power the world's leading music and video products - from Apple iTunes and HTC smart phones to Ford Sync and Sony BRAVIA TVs.