Technology

Miso Social TV Platform Gets Seed Funding, New Web Version

Bazaar Labs, the company behind the Miso social TV iPhone/iPod touch app (note: Internet programming service, Revision3, recently announced that it would use the app to drive awareness of and tune-ins to its programs--see the article published on itvt.com, May 10th), says that it has secured seed financing from a group of investors that includes Keith Rabois and Jawed Karim, and ex-Googlers, Georges Harik, Richard Chen, Thomas Korte, Kurt Abrahamson and others (note: Rabois will also join the company's advisory team, drawing on what Bazaar Labs says is his "extensive social and consumer Internet

Nokia Siemens Networks' IPTV Platform Enables Daktel to Offer Interactive TV Widgets, OTT Video

Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) said Monday that Daktel Communications, a subsidiary of Dakota Central Telecommunications Cooperative, a telco that serves central North Dakota, has deployed its IPTV platform, enabling it to offer a range of advanced services, including DVR, VOD and interactive TV. According to the company, Daktel is one of the first operators in the US to deploy the platform. "Today's subscribers require higher-quality television experiences and content that is for their individual interests," Daktel CEO, Keith Larson, said in a prepared statement.

Softel Deploys Automated Subtitling and Teletext Solution for Hungarian Broadcaster, Origo TV

Softel, a UK-based company that claims to have over 25 years of experience in providing ancillary data solutions--including solutions for interactive TV, opt cuing/ad insertion, subtitling and captioning--to leading broadcasters and service providers across the world (note: the company recently revealed that it is powering Showtime Networks' new HD EBIF application--see the article published on itvt.com, March 24th), said Tuesday that Hungarian broadcaster, Origo TV, has installed an automated subtitling and Teletext solution, based on Softel's Swift and Cyclone technologies, at its headquarters in Budapest.

China's Shenzhen Topway Taps Harmonic to Power New HD Channels and HD VOD Services

Harmonic said Tuesday that Chinese cable operator, Shenzhen Topway Video Communication, has expanded its HDTV and VOD services using Harmonic headend and edgeQAM solutions. According to the company, the deployment of its technologies has allowed Shenzhen Topway to offer new HD VOD services; expanded on-demand capabilities, including time-shifted TV; and 13 new HDTV linear channels.

News Round-Up

--Canoe Ventures Testing Dynamic VOD Advertising
--Envivio Tapped to Support Meo's New Internet TV Service
--MGM Mirage Launches "Vegas Reality" Augmented Reality App for iPhone
--Netflix to Use Microsoft PlayReady in "Netflix-Ready" OTT Devices
--Saffron Digital Powering NBC Universal International's New Online Video Platform
--Sezmi Updates its Service
--Stoneroos Launches TV Guide App for iPhone/iPod Touch, Yahoo! Widget Platform

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

Comcast Leverages Plaxo Team's Expertise to Develop Social TV/Social Discovery Service, "Tunerfish"

At the TechCrunch Disrupt event in New York City, Monday, Comcast unveiled a social TV service called Tunerfish that was developed by employees of Plaxo, the address book/social networking service that Comcast acquired back in 2008.

YDreams, Canesta to Combine Augmented Reality with "Electronic Perception" Technology

--Helios Interactive Develops Augmented Reality Game for Best Buy

Portugal-based augmented reality company, YDreams, and Canesta, a Silicon Valley-based provider of "electronic perception" technology (note: the company offers single-chip CMOS 3D sensors, which it says enable "fine-grained, 3-dimensional depth perception in a wide range of applications," thus allowing devices to "react on sight to the actions or motions of individuals and objects in their field of view, gaining levels of functionality and ease-of-use that were simply not possible in an era when such devices were blind"), said Monday that they are partnering to "redefine augmented reality and bring it to the broad market."

SKY Perfect JSAT Becomes First Japanese Pay-TV Operator to Join Rovi's EPG Patent License Program

Rovi (formerly Macrovision--for more on the company's name change and the repositioning it heralds, see the interview with Rovi chief evangelist, Richard Bullwinkle, that was published on itvt.com, July 16th), said Monday that SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation (operates the SKY PerfecTV! satellite service) has become the first Japanese pay-TV operator to join its patent license program.

Yoostar Appoints Acclaim Veteran, Gregory Fischbach, as President and CEO

--Appointment Comes as Company Prepares to Launch "Social Video Game" at E3
--Current Media Names John Arianas VP of East Coast Sales

Yoostar--a New York City-based start-up that offers a product (consisting of a Web cam with built-in dual microphones and remote control, a portable green screen, a professional stand, and what the company calls "Active Immersion" software for PC's and Macs) that digitally removes the original actors from scenes, so that users can insert themselves in their place and then record their performances to their PC or Mac or upload them to the company's Web site (note: a video of TV personality, Jimmy Kimmel, using Yoostar's system is embedded above; for more on the company, see the articles published on itvt.com, May 19th and August 11th, 2009)--said Monday that it has appointed Gregory Fischbach as president and CEO.

Tvinci Launches "Pay-OTT" Platform, Secures Deployment with UK's Projector

--Platform Designed to Monetize OTT Video through Direct Payments

Tel Aviv-based Tvinci said Monday that it has launched a complete, end-to-end "pay-OTT" video platform. The company says that its MediaHub and MediaStore solutions have been developed to meet the industry need for a new monetization layer to OTT video content through direct payments (including pay-per-view, subscriptions, coupons and other methods). It claims that its platform enables content owners and network operators to offer a consistent content consumption experience across any Internet-enabled device, including PC's and Macs, connected TV sets, set-top boxes, games consoles, smartphones, and the Apple iPad.

Elgato Launches EyeTV HD DVR for Apple Macs

--System Can Be Used to Stream Live and Recorded TV to Apple iPad

Elgato, the San Francisco- and Munich-based company behind EyeTV, a TV solution for Mac computers (note: last fall, the company launched a TV placeshifting application for the iPhone/iPod touch--see the article published on itvt.com, September 30th), on Monday announced EyeTV HD, which it bills as "the world's only DVR solution which provides full access to premium cable or satellite TV content on a Mac." According to the company, the solution allows customers to watch, record and edit cable and satellite programming on their Mac in HD, including all their premium channels; and includes a "unique" dual-format capture mode that records in iPad and iPhon

Pace Named World's #1 Supplier of Set-Tops to Pay-TV Industry, Beating Out Motorola and Technicolor

--Company Releases Freeview+ HD DVR

UK-based set-top box company, Pace, contacted [itvt] Monday to let us know that IMS Research has named it the world's largest supplier of set-top boxes to the pay-TV industry, beating out Motorola and Technicolor (formerly Thomson), which in 2008 had been numbers one and two respectively. According to the company, IMS Research's figures show that a major increase in its set-top sales propelled Pace from third place in 2008 to first place in 2009. The figures show Pace with a 7% share (i.e. the same as in 2008) of the market in 2009; Motorola with a 6.1% share (down from 8.8% the prior year); Technicolor with a 5.4% share (down from 7.5% the prior year) and Cisco with a 3.9% share (up from 3.8% the prior year).

News Round-Up

--CBS Interactive Embraces VAST 2.0
--Ceton Once Again Delays Launch of its InfiniTV 4 CableCARD Tuner
--DISH Network, Weather Channel Resolve Carriage Dispute
--FCC Requests Info from Comcast on TV Everywhere, FanCast Xfinity, iN Demand, thePlatform
--Report: TWC, Hollywood Studios Discussing Making Movies Available on TV 30 Days After Release
--Univision Interactive Media to Offer Extensive Array of Online Programming
--Ustream Launches Production Services Department

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

Google Launches Google TV

--Partners Include Sony, Logitech, DISH, Intel, Adobe, Best Buy, Jinni, Rovi

As expected (see the article published on itvt.com, May 5th), Google unveiled a connected TV platform at its I/O developer conference in San Francisco last week.

Transpond Launches TAP TV for Creating and Publishing Apps to Google TV

Transpond (formerly iWidgets), a San Francisco-based company that offers a widget creation platform called the Transpond Apps Platform (TAP), last week announced TAP TV, which, as its name suggests, is a version of its platform that enables the creation of apps for connected TV. The company bills TAP TV as a "software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform for media companies, advertisers, marketers, brand managers and publishers looking to build fully branded, fully native engagement apps" for Google's new Android-based TV platform.

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