November 2009

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DirecTV in VOD Deal with HDNet

--Comcast On Demand to Offer 10 Major Movies Day-and-Date with DVD Release This Month
Satellite TV operator, DirecTV , on Tuesday announced a deal with Mark Cuban's HDNet that the companies say will result in over 20 hours of HDTV programming from HDNet, and over 25 movies from its sister channel, HDNet Movies, being made available on DirecTV's VOD platform every month. "HDNet has been a part of the DirecTV platform since its debut in 2001 and we are excited to continue to grow our relationship with the launch...

NDS Launches Recommendations Engine Partner Program, Signs Up Jinni as First Partner

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...

OpenTV Reports Higher Q3 Revenues and Income, Signs New Deals with Bresnan, LatAm Operator

--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: Revenues totaled $31.8 million, compared to $26.9 million for the year-ago quarter (representing an increase of 18%). Royalties and licenses revenues, at $20.7 million, were up 25.5% from the year-ago quarter; and services and other revenues, at $11.1 million, were up 7%. Revenues from the company's Middleware Solutions segment totaled $28.9 million, compared to $23.9 million for the year-ago quarter;...

Cookie Jar Entertainment Launches Broadband Video Service for Children, Jaroo.com

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. At launch, the service offers around 500 on-demand full episodes from over 50 TV series, including "Inspector Gadget," "The Adventures of Paddington Bear," "Johnny Test," "Super Mario Bros.," "Zelda," "Madeline," "Ripley's Believe It or Not!," "Horseland," "Liberty's...

New Module for Volicon's Observer RPM Enables Post-STB Quality-Testing of Interactive TV Services

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. "As interactive television offerings become...

180Squared and MBO Video Launch IPTV Managed Cloud Service

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...

Scoop: Interactive TV Software Company, Alticast, to Open Engineering Center in Wroclaw, Poland

--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."

According to Alticast, Wroclaw--a city with a population of 635,280, which until the end of World War II...

Fox to Hold On-Air Scavenger Hunt for "The Simpsons"

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. Viewers who...

Rallypoint Teams with Samsung, Best Buy on Interactive TV Widget Promotion

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...

BBC Launches iPlayer-Like Broadband Video Service Providing Coverage of Political Institutions

--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...

News Round-Up

--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: According to a report by All Things Digital's Peter Kafka, "multiple sources" are telling him that Apple is "trying to round up support for a monthly subscription service that would deliver TV programs via its multimedia software." The service would be an extension of Apple's iTunes software and store, Kafka writes. However, while "Apple has told industry...

Tandberg Powering Over-the-Top VOD Service for TiVo Customers in Australia and New Zealand

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...

Livestream Launches Beta Version of Procaster for Mac

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. According to Livestream, while Procaster Mac offers similar functionality to Procaster PC, the company is "still working on some sought-after features like local recording, broadcasting speaker audio and better CPU/quality...

San Francisco Ballet Launches User-Generated Video Contest for "The Nutcracker"

--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...

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 ).

The on-air finale--the last of a series of two-minute episodes that have aired on MTV's...

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