The Interactive TV Month in Review

In this recorded episode of [itvt]’s new talk radio show, “The TV of Tomorrow Show with Tracy Swedlow,” Ashwin Navin, co-founder and president of peer-to-peer technology provider, BitTorrent, discusses that company’s recently announced agreement with Comcast, which calls for them to work together to address infrastructural issues raised by the growing popularity of video and other rich media on the Internet. 

In addition, a panel of high-profile interactive TV experts–Paula Byrne, founder and managing director of Pushbutton; Bill Niemeyer, chief of analysis and research at BlackArrow; and David Preisman, VP of interactive television at Showtime Networks–discuss their picks for the most important ITV stories of March. Topics discussed include Navic’s announcement that its Admira media placement platform now supports interactivity; UK broadcaster Five’s abandonment of red-button services; Showtime Networks’ launch of a range of multiplatform interactive services to support its high-profile new series, “The Tudors”; the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ call for entries for its interactive Emmy awards; and much more.

To listen to the show, click here.

Next Live Broadcast of [itvt]’s Talk Radio Show

The next live broadcast of “The TV of Tomorrow Show with Tracy Swedlow” is scheduled for Thursday, April 3rd at 10:00AM Pacific/1:00PM Eastern. Phil Bender, CableLabs‘ project director for OpenCable, and Roger Brinkley, community leader for the Mobile & Embedded Community at Sun Microsystems, will provide a general update on the latest developments in OpenCable/OCAP/tru2way; discuss the “OpenCable Project” that recently launched on Java.net; provide a preview of CableLabs’ upcoming Interop events; and more.

To listen to the show live, click here.

To call in with a question during the show’s broadcast, dial 1-646-595-4343.

To submit a question or comment via text, use the chat application that appears on the show’s homepage during live broadcasts.

Archived Broadcasts

[itvt] is making past broadcasts of the show available on the show’s homepage:

Broadcast #14: Will Kreth, director of product management for interactive TV at Time Warner Cable , provides [itvt] readers/listeners with an exclusive on OEDN.net, a newly launched OCAP/EBIF developer network. He discusses, among other things, the group’s resources and goals, its efforts to reach out to the Hollywood and academic communities, the current state of OCAP and EBIF development and deployment, the relationship between OCAP and Blu-ray, and much more. In addition, a panel of high-profile interactive TV experts–Patrick Donoghue, VP of ITV product management at Time Warner Cable; Bill Niemeyer, chief of analysis and research at BlackArrow; and David Preisman, VP of interactive television at Showtime Networks – discuss their picks for the most important ITV stories of February. Topics discussed include new VOD technologies from SeaChange International that allow advertising to be inserted into interior program breaks and streamed video games; the emerging market for VOD games services; ESPN360’s launch of HD broadband video, powered by Move Networks’ technology; Ensequence’s new Blu-ray Disc partnership with Sony; and much more.

Broadcast #13: A panel of interactive TV experts–Patrick Donoghue, VP of ITV product management at Time Warner Cable; Bill Niemeyer, chief of analysis and research at BlackArrow; and David Preisman, VP of interactive television at Showtime Networks–discuss their picks for the most important ITV stories of January. Topics discussed include CES; next-generation remote control and touchscreen technologies; the emergence of cable MSO’s as broadband TV content aggregators; new technologies that bypass the traditional set-top box; CableLabs’ rebranding of OCAP as “tru2way”; the future of EBIF; new data on ITV from Ensequence, Backchannelmedia and Gemstar-TV Guide; and the persistence of two-screen ITV.

Broadcast #12: Andrew Solmssen, EVP of multiplatform interactive design agency, Schematic, discusses the impact of the company’s recent acquisition by advertising and marketing giant, WPP; its work on the ABC.com Full Episode Player, Starz’ Vongo service, and other interactive and broadband TV projects; its work on video walls, touchscreens, “Wiimotes” (Wii remotes) and other new interactive platforms; using design to boost the efficacy of broadband video advertising and of content navigation systems; and much more.

Broadcast #11: Steve Shannon, EVP and general manager of product management at EPG developer, Gemstar-TV Guide, discusses, among other things, the company’s EPG products and its product roadmap; new features that will be offered by its EPG’s over the coming year; My TV Guide, its new suite of cross-platform (TV, Internet and mobile) guidance solutions; its work on social TV and programming recommendation solutions; its work–via GuideWorks, its joint-venture with Comcast–on a new, graphically rich OCAP-based EPG; the future of EPG advertising; and much more.

Broadcast #10: Kristen Fergason is VP of marketing at Maven Networks, a company that offers a software platform which allows content providers and brand marketers to create interactive broadband VOD channels (its customers include 20th Century Fox, Gemstar-TV Guide, Univision, Virgin Records, General Motors, PepsiCo, Gannett, Scripps Networks, and A&E Television Networks). The company recently launched an advertising platform which it bills as introducing a series of new, non-proprietary formats that are significantly more engaging than pre-roll ads (the currently dominant form of broadband video advertising), make for a better user experience, and deliver higher-value ad units for advertisers. In the interview, Fergason describes the new platform and the kinds of interactive advertising it enables; outlines Maven’s product-development plans; and discusses the Internet TV Advertising Forum, an industry group that Maven and a number of other companies recently established in order to “solve the challenges and deficiencies associated with current online video advertising models” and to develop new standards and formats for interactive broadband video advertising.

Broadcast #9: Hans Fischmann is general manager of advanced media at Charter Media, the advertising arm of cable MSO, Charter Communications. Since he joined Charter Media in January, 2007, he and his team have launched over 600 interactive TV and VOD advertising campaigns. He describes the kinds of interactive TV advertising offered by Charter Media; provides statistics on the efficacy of the company’s ITV ads; describes its efforts to market its ITV advertising capabilities; provides some thoughts on the cable industry ITV advertising initiative, “Project Canoe”; discusses “Did You See It?,” a new channel Charter is launching that will be devoted to interactive TV advertising; and much more.

Broadcast #8: Peter Price, president and CEO of the New York-based National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, one of two organizations that are responsible for television’s annual Emmy awards (the other is the Los Angeles-based Academy of Television Arts & Sciences), discusses, among other things, the relationship between the two Academies, and their ongoing legal dispute over the National Academy’s awards for Advanced Media (which were presented Monday at CES 2008).

Broadcast #7: Upstate New York resident, James Cawley, whose background includes, among other things, a stint as an Elvis-impersonator, is the executive producer of Star Trek New Voyages (startreknewvoyages.com), a production company that produces original episodes of “Star Trek,” based on the characters from that show’s first season (Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, Sulu, Uhura, etc.). Downloads of these hour-long, fan-generated broadband TV episodes have been in the multiple millions, and their audience base appears to be growing rapidly. Cawley shares his thoughts on producing original, fan-generated “Star Trek” programming for the Internet; describes the events that led to the formation of Star Trek New Voyages; discusses the company’s relationship with CBS (the owner of the “Star Trek” franchise); provides a preview of new episodes and new characters that the company has in the pipeline (including “Star Trek’s” first gay character); discusses the possibility of making the show interactive or building a social network around it; and much more.

Broadcast #6: Three high-profile figures from the interactive TV space–Patrick Donoghue, VP of ITV product management at Time Warner Cable; Bill Niemeyer, chief of analysis and research at BlackArrow; and David Preisman, VP of interactive television at Showtime Networks–provide a retrospective of the year in interactive TV, present their picks for the year’s most important ITV stories, and predict the important ITV trends for 2008. Topics discussed include the rise of user-generated content; the demise of TMG; the significance of the top-secret interactive TV advertising initiative, “Canoe”; the emergence of big-budget broadband TV programming; EchoStar’s purchase of Sling Media; DirecTV’s purchase of ReplayTV; and much more.

Broadcast #5: Three senior executives from mobile interactive TV specialist, SinglePoint–president and CEO, Rich Begert; VP of industry relations, Doug Busk; and director of marketing, Philippe Poutonnet–discuss, among other things, the company’s recent deal with NBC Universal. The deal will see SinglePoint providing mobile interactive/participation TV services for a range of NBC Universal’s programming and channels, including NBC, CNBC, MSNBC, Bravo, Telemundo, USA Network, NBC Sports, and NBC News.

Broadcast #4: Steve Rosenbaum is founder and CEO of Magnify.net, a company that provides a new Web 2.0 service which allows end-users to create video galleries/channels complete with social networks. He discusses Magnify.net’s service and the business model behind it; provides examples of how it is being used; outlines the company’s current strategy and future plans; and more.

Broadcast #3: Brian Seth Hurst, a well-known figure in interactive TV circles, was recently elected as vice chairman of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, the organization behind the Primetime Emmys. His election marks the first time ever that a new media specialist has served in such a senior role at the Academy. Hurst discusses what his election says about the evolution of the Academy and of the television establishment in general; the significance of the ongoing writers’ strike for the interactive and broadband TV industries; and much more.

Broadcast #2: Jodie McAfee, who was formerly SVP of corporate development and marketing at The Media Group (TMG), a high-profile interactive TV advertising and programming company that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this year, discusses that company’s demise; his new company, BoomerangiTV; the cable industry interactive TV advertising initiative known as “Project Canoe”; the current state of the ITV advertising industry in general; and more.

Broadcast #1: Louis Slothouber and Dan Levinson of BIAP discuss their company’s technologies; the challenges involved in deploying the company’s interactive TV applications (which include eBay on TV, Yellow Pages on TV, and Fantasy Football and Baseball Trackers); the company’s patent portfolio; the current state of the cable industry; ITV standards; artificial intelligence; emerging market opportunities; and more.