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Interactive TV and conditional access technology provider, NDS, on Tuesday announced the launch of its Recommendations Engine Partner Program, and said that Jinni, an Israeli company that has developed a semantic search-and-recommendation engine which it bills as being based on "content genetics and user psychographics," is the first company to join the program (note: Jinni, which in September announced the appointment of cable-industry veteran, Mike Pohl, as CEO--see the article published on itvt.com, September 30th--recently announced partnerships with
--Kudelski Extends Expiration Date of its Tender Offer for OpenTV Class A Shares
--Earnings Round-Up: Amino, Blinkx, Cablevision
Interactive TV and advanced advertising technology provider, OpenTV, has released its third-quarter financial results:
Children's entertainment company, Cookie Jar Entertainment, has launched a free, advertising-supported broadband video service, called Jaroo.com, which it claims offers one of the largest selections of full-length episodes of current and classic children's programs and movies.
Video monitoring technology provider, Volicon, has launched an Interactive Services Module (ISM) for the Observer RPM (Remote Program Manager), its post set-top box video service assurance solution for cable, IPTV, mobile and satellite service providers. According to the company, the new ISM extends the Observer RPM with capabilities that allow operators to test the quality of their on-demand and interactive TV content and advertising alongside their linear TV offerings.
180Squared--a company which is best known for providing software and integration services for Microsoft's Mediaroom IPTV platform, but which is now seeking to expand its scope--and carrier Ethernet network provider, MBO Video, on Tuesday unveiled what they are claiming is the first IPTV managed cloud service. Dubbed the Cirrus Managed Cloud Solution, the new service is built with 180Squared's v.Unison solution set, which the company says enables a shared installation of an IPTV middleware platform among multiple entities, while maintaining a secure, autonomous environment for each individual entity's backend systems and customized offering.
--Says Move Is In Response to Imminent Publishing of GEM 1.2 Hybrid Broadcast Broadband Middleware
Korean MHP, tru2way and Blu-ray specialist, Alticast, will later this week announce that it has opened an engineering center in Wroclaw, Poland. The company says that the expansion is in response to "the steady growth of the European MHP/GEM interactive middleware and the imminent publishing of GEM 1.2 Hybrid Broadcast Broadband interactive middleware."
In order to mark the 20th anniversary of its satirical cartoon series, "The Simpsons," the Fox broadcast network plans to hold its first ever "on-air scavenger hunt." From November 9th through 13th, viewers will be encouraged to watch the network each night to find "Simpsons" references, shout-outs, tributes and clues (e.g., "House" star, Hugh Laurie, holding a can of Duff beer) incorporated into its primetime programming and on-air promos.
Rallypoint, a San Francisco-based company that specializes in developing widgets for Internet-connected HDTV's, announced a promotion Monday that will see a $59.99 annual subscription to its Rallycast Fantasy Sports widget included free with the purchase of any new Samsung 7100 model or higher LCD or LED HDTV at consumer electronics retailer, Best Buy. In order to obtain their free subscription, Samsung HDTV customers must ask a Best Buy sales assistant for a Rallycast activation card (SKU #9437068) and take it with them to the register when they check out.
--Service Covers UK and European Parliaments, Scottish Parliament, Welsh and Northern Irish Assemblies
The BBC has launched an iPlayer-like broadband video service that provides live and on-demand coverage of Parliament and other British national political institutions, as well as of the European Parliament (note: the BBC says the service "will cover all proceedings in the main chambers of the House of Commons, House of Lords, Scottish Parliament, Northern Ireland Assembly, Welsh Assembly and full sittings of the European Parliament" as well as "Westminster Hall and Select Committees at Westminster").
--Apple Said to Be Pitching Subscription-Based OTT Service to Programmers
--Cisco Acquires Set-Top Box Business of China's DVN
--DISH Asks Appeals Court to Let It Offer DVR Service
--iN Demand: November to Be a Record Month for Day-&-Date VOD Movies
--Interactive "World of Warcraft" Machinima Uses YouTube Annotations
Here is a round-up of some other interactive TV-related stories we didn't have room for in this issue:
Ericsson-subsidiary, Tandberg Television, said Monday that Hybrid Television Services, the exclusive licensee of TiVo products in Australia and New Zealand, is deploying a complete suite of its software solutions to power a broadband VOD service/portal for TiVo customers in Australia and in New Zealand (note: Hybrid TV last week launched the DVR platform in the latter country). Dubbed CASPA On-Demand, the portal will provide Australian and New Zealand TiVo users with over-the-top access to a range of new-release movies, popular TV shows, free music videos, artist interviews and music concerts, Hybrid TV says. "People want to watch television on the television," Hybrid TV CEO, Robbee Minicola, said in a prepared statement.
In a posting on its corporate blog, Monday, Livestream (formerly Mogulus), a New York-based company which offers a platform that enables amateurs and professionals to produce and distribute live TV on the Internet, announced the release of a beta Mac version of its Procaster product.
--Submissions to Be Showcased on YouTube, Comcast On Demand
The San Francisco Ballet--which claims, in addition to being the oldest professional ballet company in the US, to have been the first to perform "The Nutcracker"--on Monday launched a "Magical Memories Nutcracker Video Contest." The contest invites ballet enthusiasts to create a video that reenacts or reimagines a magical scene from "The Nutcracker" or that depicts a favorite memory of the ballet, and then post it on YouTube. Because the San Francisco Ballet is this year celebrating the 65th anniversary of its first performance of "The Nutcracker," it is stipulating that video submissions must be 65 seconds in length.
On-Air Finale of MTV's Multiplatform Interactive Series, "Valemont," to Feature Live Twitter Component
MTV Networks contacted [itvt] Monday to let us know that today's (Tuesday's) on-air finale of its multiplatform (linear TV, Web and mobile), interactive, supernatural mystery series, "Valemont," will feature a live Twitter component (note: for a detailed overview of the show and its various interactive elements, see the article published on itvt.com, September 27th).
--Company Offers Interactive TV Walled Gardens and Games
CloverLeaf Digital, a Brooklyn-based interactive TV applications developer that specializes in building and managing localized "walled-garden" services, said Monday that it has appointed Carolyn Hillman Baird to the newly created position of VP of sales. Her resume includes stints in senior sales and business development positions at Localtoolbox and MetaTV. "We are extremely pleased to be able to leverage our increasing success with independent service providers to bring on a professional of the caliber of Carolyn Hillman Baird," CloverLeaf managing partner, Lawrence Brickman, said in a prepared statement.