SAN JUAN, PR — TV manufacturer Vizio is beginning to issue over-the-top firmware updates to 10 million connected TV sets, to better deliver ads from FreeWheel, Google and Xandr.

The process is part of Project OAR, a consortium kicked off by Vizio’s own ad-targeting division Inscape to achieve better scale in the sale of connected TV advertising.

Its Project OAR aims to define technical standards for TV programmers and platforms to deliver targeted advertising in linear and on-demand formats on smart TVs. The Open Addressable Ready consortium was announced in March.

At CES in January, the group announced it had begun technical integrations with major ad delivery and enablement engines FreeWheel, Google Ad Manager, Xandr and INVIDI.

In this new video interview with Beet.TV, Inscape’s Jodie McAfee says: “That will start next week roughly, so mid-February. That will be sort of a continuous roll because you don’t push firmware to the entire footprint of TVs at the same time because that means you might blow things up.

“So that rollout will happen over the course of mid-February through April with a target of having roughly 10 million TVs by the upfront (TV ad sales season).”

Inscape uses automated content recognition (ACR) in internet-connected Vizio TVs to understand what viewers are watching.

At CES, Project OAR showed demos of “creative versioning” – its ability to swap out ads being played out in live broadcast TV feeds.

“That was a big deal,” McAfee recalls. “I think it caused everybody to go, okay this is for real.”

He says it led to ad agencies getting in touch with interest from their brand clients. In addition, OAR’s range of broadcast partners will also bring their existing brand advertisers to a beta test.

McAfee was interviewed by TV[R]EV co-founder Alan Wolk at Beet Retreat San Juan 2020, where he was a participant.

This video was produced at the Beet Retreat San Juan 2020 sponsored by 605, DISH Media, NBCU, Roundel & Tubi. For more videos from the series, please visit this landing page.