Technology

Slovenian Interactive TV Technology Provider, BeeSmart, Releases Free IPTV Middleware Package

--Package Includes License for 500 End-Users, "Safe Migration Path" to Full IPTV Middleware Offering

Slovenian interactive TV technology provider, BeeSmart, has released a free, basic IPTV middleware solution, dubbed BeeSmart Lite. The middleware and its accompanying documentation can be downloaded here.

News Round-Up

--Brightcove Names Paul Goetz SVP of Sales for North America
--"Doctor Who" Breaks iPlayer Record
--Sigma Designs Announces Major Corporate Reorganization
--Starz Offering Sneak Previews of "Party Down" on Free VOD, Online
--USC Annenberg to Launch Social Online Video Editing Platform

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

NDS, BlackArrow Form Strategic Business and Technology Alliance for Advanced Advertising

--BlackArrow Raises $20 Million in NDS-Led Series C Funding Round

Advanced advertising technology provider, BlackArrow, announced Monday that it has closed a $20 million Series C financing round that was led by interactive TV and conditional access technology provider, NDS, and that also saw the participation of existing BlackArrow investors Cisco, Comcast Interactive Capital, Intel Capital, the Mayfield Fund and Polaris Venture Partners.

Syabas Launches SDK for its New popbox OTT Set-Top Box

--SDK Lets Developers Transform Existing Flash Apps into popbox "popapps"

Syabas, a Fremont, Calif.-based company that specializes in over-the-top set-top hardware and software, last week released an SDK for its recently launched OTT set-top box, the "popbox" (note: for more on the device, which features a user interface design from Moxi UI designer, Dewey Reid, see the article published on itvt.com, January 5th).

TubeMogul Launches Destinations, Enabling Free "From-Anywhere-to-Anywhere" Video Distribution

TubeMogul, an Emeryville, Calif.-based provider of distribution and analytics services for broadband video, last week announced the launch of its "Destinations" video publishing suite, which it says allows "from-anywhere-to-anywhere" video distribution--for free.

New Interview with CEO, David Del Beccaro, on Music Choice's New Interactive TV Network, SWRV

--Plus New iTV Doctor Column on ActiveVideo Networks and its Cloud-Based Approach to ITV

[itvt] has just published a radio interview with David Del Beccaro, founder, president and CEO of multiplatform music programmer, Music Choice.

Univision Launches Soccer App for Apple iPhone/iPod Touch

--iPad Version to Launch Before 2010 World Cup

Univision Interactive Media, the digital division of US Spanish-language broadcaster, Univision, announced Wednesday that it has launched a free, video-enabled soccer application, called Univision Futbol, in the Apple App Store. According to the company, the app, which was developed in partnership with July Systems, is currently available for the Apple iPhone and iPod touch, and a version that has been optimized for the new Apple iPad will be available in time for the upcoming soccer World Cup.

BSkyB's Sky Player Broadband TV Service to Launch on New Freeview HD Set-Tops from Humax

UK satellite-TV provider, BSkyB, said Wednesday that its Sky Player broadband video service will be available on Humax's new range of high-definition hybrid DTT/IP set-top boxes for the UK's free-to-air digital terrestrial platform, Freeview (note: Humax is the UK's largest provider of Freeview set-tops). Those boxes include the Humax HD-FOX T2, which launched in February and which Humax claims is the UK's first Freeview HD box (note: the box also allows users to access the BBC iPlayer broadband TV service), and an HD DVR that is slated to launch in the coming months.

ABC Player iPad App Downloaded over 212,000 Times Since iPad's April 3rd Launch

--Disney/ABC Says 680,000 Episode Views Have Translated into "Several Million" Ad Impressions

Disney/ABC Television Group on Wednesday released early usage statistics for its recently launched ABC Player app for the Apple iPad. The app, which is based on the ABC.com Full Episode Player and which Disney/ABC says was designed, developed and launched in less than five weeks, allows users to watch free, ad-supported episodes from around 20 ABC series through WiFi, and also to purchase downloads of episodes from the iTunes store. Disney/ABC is currently the only major broadcaster to offer such an app.

According to Disney/ABC:

Kaltura Launches "Virtual Marketplace" for Broadband Video Applications

At the NAB show in Las Vegas, Wednesday, Kaltura, a company that offers what it bills as the first open source broadband video platform, launched the "Kaltura Exchange" (http://exchange.kaltura.com), which it bills as a "virtual marketplace" where video publishers, developers, technology companies and service providers can share and trade in video applications and services connected to the Kaltura platform. According to the company, the Kaltura Exchange, which is currently in beta, is the first service of its kind in the video space, and will connect developers and service providers to publishers, value-added resellers and system integrators looking to expand upon the core Kaltura platform.

IneoQuest-Subsidiary, Vloop, Launches Social TV Platform

--Company Claims Platform Offers Tangible Benefits for Content Providers, Operators

Vloop, a start-up that is a subsidiary of IneoQuest, a provider of solutions for monitoring digital video delivery, officially launched its eponymous social TV service at the NAB show in Las Vegas Wednesday. According to the company, the free service, which is currently available in beta at http://www.vloop.com and for which it says patents are pending, lets users:

Discovery Taps Total Immersion to Develop Augmented Reality Game for "Deadliest Catch"

--MIT Media Lab's New "Surround Vision" Tech Uses AR to Extend Programming beyond the TV Screen

Augmented reality specialist, Total Immersion, contacted [itvt] Tuesday to let us know that it has been tapped by the Discovery Channel and the latter's media agency, PHD, to develop an interactive augmented reality game to promote the sixth season of the action-documentary series, "Deadliest Catch" (note: the series, whose season premiere aired on April 13th, follows the trials and tribulations of Alaskan crab fishermen in the Berings Sea). A demo video of the so-called "Deadliest Catch Big Catch 3D Game" is embedded above.

Netflix Licenses Irdeto's Cloakware Technology to Protect its Instant Streaming Content

--Says the Technology Will Enable It to Offer Instant Streaming Service on More CE Devices

Content protection specialist, Irdeto, said Tuesday that video rental company, Netflix, has licensed its Cloakware embedded security technology as part of its suite of content protection tools for its "Watch Instantly" instant streaming service. "We have always been committed to offering our members the greatest convenience, selection and value for instantly watching TV episodes and movies across a wide range of consumer electronics devices," Bill Holmes, Netflix's VP of business development, said in a prepared statement. "As we looked to proactively enhance our content offerings, Irdeto with its Cloakware security technology, was a natural choice to support our commitment to digital content protection."

Starling Unveils New Social TV Platform for Mobiles, Tablet Computers and the Web

At the MIPTV show in Cannes, Tuesday, a start-up called Starling unveiled a new, two-screen social TV platform.

mDialog Launches Interactive Video Overlay Ads for the Apple iPad

At the NAB show in Las Vegas, Tuesday, mobile video and in-stream ad management company, mDialog, launched in-stream interactive overlay ads for the new Apple iPad. According to the company, which says it delivers video across Akamai's HD Network, advertisers can now offer "perfectly targeted" interactive overlay advertising on live events and pre-recorded video streamed on the iPad. The overlays also allow viewers to choose on the fly which ad they would prefer to view, the company says.

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