September 2010

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New Interview on Alticast's New Interactive TV Social Media Platform, AltiConnect

--Platform Lets Viewers Interact with Sponsored Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare Campaigns

[itvt] has just published an INTERVIEW with Chris Ulmer, director of application solutions at interactive TV software specialist, Alticast (note: the company's areas of expertise include DVB-MHP, OCAP/tru2way, EBIF, IPTV and mobile TV), and Anne Dirkse, Alticast's director of technical services, application solutions.

Apple Launches New Version of Apple TV

As expected, Apple on Wednesday unveiled a new version of its Apple TV platform (which, perhaps not surprisingly, in light of the trademark problems such a brand would have entailed, will not--as had been widely reported--be branded as the "iTV") at an event in San Francisco. According to the company, the new Apple TV (which, like the rival Roku platform and soon-to-be-launched Boxee Box, and unlike the old version of the Apple TV, does not offer local storage, other than flash memory for buffering):

CableLabs Publishes 3D Content Encoding Specification

--3D Round-Up: DirecTV, Panasonic, Softel, Verizon

US cable-industry research, development and standardization body, CableLabs, said Wednesday that it has published a new specification as a guide for producers, programmers and aggregators of stereoscopic 3D programming. The new spec--entitled Content Encoding Profiles (CEP) 3.0 Specification (OC-SP-CEP3.0-I01-100827), and representing CableLabs' first 3D content encoding spec--can be viewed here in the OpenCable Specifications area of the CableLabs Web site.

Napster Taps Accedo Broadband to Help it Launch Connected-TV App for the Samsung Apps Platform

--LG Electronics to Unveil "Smart TV" at IFA

Online music pioneer, Napster, on Wednesday unveiled an interactive TV application for Samsung's Samsung Apps platform (note: for more on the latter, which is available on a number of Samsung's connected TV's, Blu-ray players and Blu-ray home theater systems, see the article published on itvt.com, September 1st). Napster tapped Accedo Broadband, a Stockholm-based provider of interactive TV applications and content for IPTV and broadband-connected consumer electronics devices, to help it develop, test and launch the new app.

Icareus Develops OTT Interactive TV Service Platform for Senior Citizens

--Company Delivers Interactive TV Lab Environment to Indonesian Government Agency

Helsinki-based interactive TV company, Icareus, said Wednesday that it has developed a "new kind" of interactive, over-the-top (OTT) TV offering that will be targeted at senior citizens in Finland. The company says that the first customer of the "SeniorTV" OTT Platform and service is a Finnish company called EcoTec that is launching it under its own brand, SmartCare TV.

Tvinci Tapped to Power New Novebox Broadband VOD Service for Spanish-Language MSN Portals

Tvinci, a Tel Aviv-based company which earlier this year announced that it had developed a "complete, end-to-end 'pay-OTT' video platform" (see the article published on itvt.com, May 24th), said Wednesday that Dori Media Group-subsidiary, Novebox, has selected the Tvinci video platform to power a subscription/transactional broadband VOD service for Spanish-language MSN portals (note: back in May, Dori Media announced that Novebox had "signed an agreement with MSN for the creation of a sub

Justin.tv Launches Live Broadcasting App for Android Smartphones

In a posting on its corporate blog Wednesday, Justin.tv, a San Francisco-based company that bills itself as "the largest online community for people to broadcast, watch and interact around live video," announced that it has launched a live broadcasting app for the Android platform (note: the company previously launched an iPhone app that allows users to receive broadcasts from its service; it plans to roll out a live broadcasting app for the iPhone in the near future). According to the company's blog post, it believes that "the mobile space is the biggest opportunity in live video, and that being tethered to a computer has held a lot of people back."

Key features of the new Android app, according to Justin.tv, include:

Social TV Company, Philo, Teams with IGN to Host "Interactive Virtual Viewing Parties"

--Online Participants to be Rewarded with Offline Prizes

Social TV start-up, Philo (note: for more on the company, see the articles published on itvt.com, June 2nd and August 2nd), said Wednesday that it has formed a partnership with IGN Entertainment to host a series of interactive virtual viewing parties. According to the company, the partnership will "go beyond...digital award offerings" (i.e. the Foursquare-style badges typically offered by check-in-based social TV services), giving fans the chance to win "physical prizes."

Online Video Platform Provider, Ooyala, Announces Expansion into Australia

--Brightcove Tapped to Power Online Video Initiatives for Telefonica O2 Ireland

Online video platform provider, Ooyala--which has just announced a set of enhancements to its platform--on Wednesday announced its intention to expand its operations into Australia, and said that it has appointed former Adobe executive, John Treloar, as managing director for Australia and New Zealand. He will be based in Sydney. "Video is exploding on the Australian corner of the Internet and customers are demanding a reliable platform for hosting and analyzing their online video," Treloar said in a prepared statement.

News Round-Up

--ANT Reports Higher H1 Revenues, Lower Losses
--BBC Outlines iPlayer Design Strategy
--Evolution Digital to Incorporate EBIF into its DTA's
--Harmonic Reveals Exhibit Plans for IBC
--IMPALA Welcomes BBC's Decision to Open Source its MHEG+ Toolkit
--Netgem Posts Strong H1 Financial Results
--Sony Launches Qriocity OTT VOD Service in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK
--Interactive TV Company, Two Way Media, Launches Web Game on Virginmedia.com

Here is a round-up of some other recent interactive TV-related stories that we didn't have room for in this issue:

Samsung Holds "Free the TV Developer Day" to Promote Development for its Connected-TV Platform

Samsung Electronics held its first "Free the TV Developer Day" at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose, Tuesday. According to the company, the event was designed to bring together "notable leaders across the connected-TV ecosystem"; help developers better understand its Samsung Apps connected-TV platform (and its SDK), which it says is now available in around 120 countries; and support its "Free the TV Challenge" (see the article published on itvt.com, August 12th), a contest which it says will award $500,000 in prizes and is designed to encourage development of innovative interactive TV applications for the Samsung Apps platform.

Canwest Broadcasting's Showcase Launches "Interactive Motion Comic" for New Series, "Lost Girl"

--Animated Comic Lets Users Choose their Own Adventure

Showcase, a channel operated by Canwest Broadcasting, contacted [itvt] Tuesday to let us know that it has teamed with Bedlam Games and Prodigy Pictures to develop an "interactive motion comic" to anchor a fan site that the companies have launched for the upcoming supernatural series, "Lost Girl" (note: in addition to the animated interactive comic, the site--located at http://showcase.ca/lostgirl, and billed as providing users with "an all-access pass to additional narrative and behind-the-scenes content"--features exclusive video content, downloads, an episode guide, cast biographies, character back-s

Comcast Works with Clicker Media to Provide Listings of its Online TV Episode and Movie Offerings

In a posting on its corporate blog, Monday, online video content discovery specialist, Clicker Media, a company often associated with the emerging Internet TV/cord-cutting phenomenon (note: the company recently also launched a social TV service, called Clicker Social, which it bills as "allow[ing] people to discover, share, rate, discuss, and check-in to shows on Clicker and third-party partner sites"), announced a collaboration with Comcast that sees the cable MSO making listings for its Xfinity online TV episode and movie offerings av

Overlay.TV Integrates with MarketLive to Power Interactive Video Commerce for Armani/Exchange

--Overlay.TV Is Also Powering Interactive Video Commerce for JCPenney

Interactive video commerce specialist, Overlay.TV, said Tuesday that fashion company, Armani/Exchange, has implemented its clickable video technology on its ecommerce Web site (note: Armani/Exchange also recently launched an interactive video project with Clikthrough--see the article published on itvt.com, June 25th). The site, which was built on MarketLive's Intelligent Commerce Platform, uses Overlay.TV's video commerce solution in its "How to Wear It" section, which provides video style advice and trend tips.

justAd.TV to Unveil Technology that Lets Operators Run Internet-Style Ads on Non-Linear TV

--Technology Is Targeted at Cable, Satellite and IPTV Operators and HbbTV Broadcasters

Israeli interactive TV advertising company, justAd.TV, contacted [itvt] Tuesday to let us know about its exhibit plans (Booth 5.B09s) for the IBC. The company, which is appearing at the show for the first time, says that it will launch a complete TV advertising system that is designed to enable cable, satellite and IPTV operators and HbbTV broadcasters to apply "Internet-style" advertising to non-linear entertainment services, such as VOD and DVR-recorded content. The system has already been deployed by Italian IPTV operator, Fastweb (see the article published on itvt.com, June 25th).