November 2009

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Netflix Over-the-Top Service Now Available on Sony's Bravia TV's and Network Blu-ray Disc Player

--Facebook to Launch on PlayStation 3
Video rental company, Netflix , announced Tuesday that subscribers to its service can now instantly watch its streaming movie and TV show offerings on Sony Bravia connected HDTV's, on earlier Bravia models that are compatible with the company's Bravia Internet video link module, and on the Sony Network Blu-ray Disc Player . An OTT partnership between Netflix and Sony Electronics was first announced in July ( see the article published on itvt.com, July 12th ):...

ITV Launches Interactive TV Games for "I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here!" on Sky and Virgin Media

UK commercial terrestrial broadcaster ITV's ITV Studios Digital Productions arm on Tuesday announced the release of red-button interactive TV games for the reality show, " I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here! ," on the Sky satellite and Virgin Media cable platforms. The games offer a free point of entry, followed by a pay-to-play option for higher-level playing. "We're incredibly excited about the launch of these pay-to-play branded games for 'I'm A Celebrity,'" Patricia...

ATIS's IPTV Interoperability Forum (IIF) Releases Three New IPTV Standards

Standards-development organization, the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) , on Tuesday announced the release of three new IPTV standards, which were recently completed by its IPTV Interoperability Forum (IIF), and which it says standardize multiple areas of the IPTV ecosystem. The organization says that the new standards cover a test plan for validating objective quality models in the context of IPTV services; IPTV software download sequence and remote management security considerations and requirements to...

Zugara, RichRelevance Launch Augmented Reality-Driven Social Shopping Application on Tobi.com

--"Fashionista" App Lets Consumers Use their Webcams to Try on Clothes "Virtually"
Interactive marketing company, Zugara , and RichRelevance , a company that specializes in personalization and product-recommendation tools for ecommerce sites, on Monday announced the launch of a new, augmented reality-driven "social shopping" application, called "Fashionista," that they describe as combining "the benefits of the fitting room with the convenience of online shopping and the power of the social Web." The app, which is initially being offered by fashion retailer, Tobi.com, is billed by the companies...

New Social TV App, NBC.com Communicator, Lets Viewers Interact with One Another via VoIP

Broadcast network NBC on Monday announced the launch of a new social TV application called the NBC.com Communicator . According to the broadcaster, the app, which was developed by Toronto-based Itibiti Systems, offers users a "one-stop mix" of custom NBC content, services and communication tools--including, most notably, computer-to-computer voice calling over IP--on the computer desktop.

According to NBC, the new advertising-supported desktop app (note: it can be downloaded free of charge at...

Cablevision Launches "iO Search" Interactive TV Application

New York-area MSO, Cablevision , said Monday that it has successfully launched a new interactive TV application, called iO Search , across its entire service area (note: Cablevision's iO digital cable service enjoys a 94% penetration rate among the MSO's subscriber base). As its name implies, the new app is designed to make it easy for customers to search for programming, both on linear TV channels and VOD.

iO Search, which is...

Foxtel Using OpenTV Interactive TV Middleware and Apps for its Next-Generation Platform

--Telstra to Begin Trial of "T-box" This Week
Interactive TV and advanced advertising technology provider, OpenTV (note: Kudelski is currently finalizing the process of acquiring full control of the company-- see the article published on itvt.com, November 16th ), said Monday that Australian pay-TV operator, Foxtel , which is a longtime OpenTV customer, has launched its next-generation platform in collaboration with the company. According to the company, the new platform--which is powered by OpenTV middleware and which OpenTV says uses its latest interactive...

South Africa Selects MHEG-5 as the Interactive TV Middleware for its Digital Switchover

The International MHEG Promotion Alliance (IMPALA) , an organization that was set up in 2006 by Strategy & Technology, Cabot Communications and EchoStar Europe to promote use of the MHEG-5 standard outside the UK (note: MHEG-5 is the middleware standard upon which the UK's free-to-air digital terrestrial service, Freeview, is based; it was developed and standardized in the mid-90's as part of the DAVIC standardization effort to support interactivity and navigation for VOD services), announced...

DTV Media Planning Company, Leap Media, Names Tim Hanlon, Barry S. Fischer to Advisory Board

--New Hires Round-Up: Move Networks, Sinclair Broadcast Group, BBC
Digital TV media planning and implementation services company, Leap Media Group , has named Tim Hanlon and Barry S. Fischer as the first members of its Board of Advisors. According to the company, the board will be comprised of "leaders from the sales and agency sides of television and interactive media," and will provide strategic advice and guidance on market opportunities.

Hanlon, a well-known figure in US interactive TV circles, who is...

MaxPreps.com in High-School Sports VOD Deal with Comcast

--Cox, NBCU Team on Trial of Dynamic VOD Advertising
MaxPreps.com , a CBS Interactive-owned Web site that offers coverage of high-school sports, said Monday that it has signed a deal with Comcast to deliver an extensive line-up of high-school sports VOD programming on Comcast's Houston system. According to the company, the deal will see it producing "hundreds" of short-form features on high-school sports teams and athletes from the Houston area throughout the 2009-10 school year. The content will be available for free in the...

Kaltura in Open Source Broadband Video Partnership with LongTail Video

--LongTail's JW Player and AdSolution Integrated with Kaltura's Broadband Video Platform
Kaltura , a company that offers what it bills as the first open source broadband video platform, and LongTail Video , a company that offers an open source video player, will today announce that they have formed a strategic partnership which they claim will boost open standards, flexibility and innovation in the broadband video space.

The partnership sees Kaltura integrating LongTail's JW Player into its open source broadband video platform: the companies...

Univision to Offer Long- and Short-Form Programming on YouTube

--YouTube Teams with Target on "Holiday Solutions" Channel, Launches Citizen Journalism Tool
Univision Interactive Media , the digital arm of US Spanish-language broadcaster, Univision Communications, said Monday that it has signed a deal with YouTube to offer short- and long-form video on the latter's site. "This is a very exciting milestone, as it represents the first time that any Univision programming is available on the Web outside our own properties in both a short- and long-form format," Kevin Conroy, president of Univision Interactive Media, said in a...

Brightcove 4 Features Support for Native iPhone App Development, Expanded Live Streaming and More

--Brightcove Targets SMB's with Entry-Level Brightcove Express Offering, Priced from $99 per Month
Broadband video publishing solutions provider, Brightcove , on Monday announced the general availability of Brightcove 4 , which it describes as a "major new release" of its flagship online video platform that incorporates a range of new features, including support for native iPhone video application development, expanded live streaming capabilities, advanced analytics, and new resources for video distribution, monetization and custom online video applications. The company also launched Brightcove Express, an entry-level version of Brightcove...

Sezmi Secures $25 Million in New Funding, Launches Public Pilot in Los Angeles

--Company's Flagship Offering Combines Traditional TV, Movies and Internet Video
Sezmi , a company that has developed a set-top box-based offering which it bills as "combining traditional TV content, movies and Internet video in a single, easy-to-use product and service," said Monday that it has secured $25 million in new funding from new and existing investors. The company--which last year announced that it had raised $33 million in an earlier funding round--also announced Monday that it has made its "all-in-one personalized television service" available via...

BBC Unveils its Red-Button Interactive TV Schedule for Next Two Weeks

--New Version of BBC iPlayer Launched on Nintendo Wii
The BBC announced last week the line-up of content that will be available through its red-button interactive TV service for the next two weeks and beyond: At 8:00PM on November 18th, during BBC Three's re-run of " Doctor Who: The Waters of Mars ," digital viewers will be able to press red to access episode commentary from the long-running scifi show's producers, Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner, as well as from the actor who...

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