Broadband video platform provider, Ooyala, said Monday that it has deployed Cassandra as its new database system. Cassandra is a distributed database system that Facebook developed and open-sourced in 2008, and that is billed as "bring[ing] together the scalability and reliability of both Amazon's Dynamo and Google's Bigtable storage systems in a single data model." According to Ooyala, it is used by Cisco, Facebook, Digg and IBM to manage large data sets for various applications.
--Two New Subscription-Based Channels--Kung Fu Theater and Cowboy Classics--also Launch on Roku
--Sony Teams with FIFA to Stream World Cup Programming on Bravia Connected TV Devices in Europe
--Playcast's Games-On-Demand System Now Supports HD
--Netflix Now Supporting Instant Streaming of HD Titles to PC's and Macs
OTT specialist, Roku, and pay-per-view event provider, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), announced a multi-year deal, late Sunday, that will see all major UFC events featured on Roku, starting with the May 29th UFC 114: Rampage vs. Evans PPV event from the MGM Grand Garden Arena. "We are always looking at the latest technology and the newest ways to bring the UFC experience to our fans," UFC president, Dana White, said in a prepared statement.
enableTV, the interactive TV software and services company that in 2008 was spun out of Vidiom Systems by Vidiom founder, Tim Wahlers (see the article published on itvt.com, September 29th, 2008), last week announced the release of version 2.1 of its DV-TIDE PC-based headend solution for ETV/EBIF and OCAP/tru2way application delivery. According to the company, DV-TIDE 2.1 supports host control over multiple DV-TIDE systems with a combined channel map, and delivery of bound and unbound ETV/EBIF and OCAP/tru2way applications. It provides testing in an environment similar to a cable plant without a headend at a fraction of the cost, the company claims.
--NBC in Multiscreen Marketing Partnership with Microsoft Advertising
--NABET-CWA Launches Satirical Broadband Video Site to Publicize its Contract Dispute with NBC
NBC last week unveiled a network-wide social media-based affinity program, dubbed "Fan It," which it says will provide incentives and rewards to its viewers, in return for promoting, interacting with and discussing its new and returning 2010-11 programs. The program, which launches today (Monday, May 17th) and has a dedicated Web site at http://www.nbc.com/fanit, utilizes a number of social media platforms, including NBC's own myNBC, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and FourSquare. It was built in-house by NBC, and uses social media tracking from ThingFo.
--Gotuit Powers NBA Playoffs Highlights Site
--BitTorrent Develops P2P Protocol for Live Video Streaming
In a posting on its corporate blog last week by its VP of product, Eugene Wei, network-backed broadband video service, Hulu, announced a number of updates to its player and to its service in general, and also explained why it is not yet ready to jump on the HTML5 bandwagon.
According to the company, the updates include:
--Billed as Providing Common Set of 800+ Terms for Use in Analyzing and Processing STB Measurement
The Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM)--a group that is backed by a number of TV programmers, media agencies and advertisers (its members are AT&T, Belo, CBS, Carat USA, Comcast, ConAgra, Discovery Communications, Gannett, GroupM, Hearst, Interpublic Group's Mediabrands, Microsoft, NBC Universal, News Corp., Omnicom Media Group, P&G, PepsiCo, Starcom MediaVest Group Worldwide, Time Warner, Unilever, Viacom and The Walt Disney Company) and that bills itself as promoting innovation in audience measurement for TV and cross-platform video--last week published the "CIMM Set-Top Box Lexicon," a set of around 800 terms for use in analyzing and processing
--ADB's Prototype 3D EPG's Generate Buzz at NCTA Cable Show
--Diva Launches Mobile VOD Platform
--Espial Reports Record Revenues, Swings to an EBITDA Profit
--Zelfy Demo's Remote Control/Two-Screen Interactive TV Application
Here is a round-up of some other interactive TV-related stories we didn't have room for in this issue:
--Fitzsimmons Discusses his Company's Acquisition of The Band, and the Tcommerce Space in General
--The iTV Doctor Discusses Program Guides and Telescopic Interactive TV Advertising
[itvt] has just published an interview with Mike Fitzsimmons, founder and CEO of Delivery Agent, a company which specializes in developing digital commerce solutions for entertainment/media companies (its clients include ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox, Discovery, HBO, Showtime, A&E, MTV, among around 200 others), and which earlier this week announced that it had acquired The Band, an interactive media agency that develops and deploys advanced media campaigns across the full spectrum of TV platforms, including cable, satellite and telco.
Comcast Labs has developed a prototype of a Web-based remote control application that it says will extend its interactive programming guide to many IP-enabled devices. Dubbed the Xfinity Remote and designed to work with EBIF-enabled set-top boxes, the prototype was demo'd on an Apple iPad, Wednesday, by Comcast CEO, Brian Roberts, at the NCTA Cable Show.
--Solution Enables Dynamic Mid-Roll Ad Replacements, Including Ad Content from the Web
--ActiveVideo also Unveils Social TV and iPad Apps
Cloud-based interactive TV specialist, ActiveVideo Networks, and advanced advertising technology provider, This Technology, on Wednesday announced a joint initiative that they say will enable cable operators and programmers to improve monetization of and control over advanced VOD advertising. According to ActiveVideo, the initiative will "help grow the iVOD category" (note: for more on ActiveVideo's "iVOD" concept, see the article published on itvt.com, May 12th).
--Allows Operators to Use Existing VOD Infrastructure to Sell-Through DVD's and Other Merchandise
VOD and advanced advertising technology provider, SeaChange International, on Wednesday launched "Watch & Buy," a new tcommerce service that it says will allow operators to leverage their existing VOD infrastructure to sell-through DVD's and related merchandise to their subscribers. According to the company, the service--which it is demo'ing in its booth (1601) at the NCTA Cable Show in Los Angeles--can be deployed today by operators using the SeaChange VODlink applications platform.
Broadband video platform provider, Brightcove, on Wednesday announced plans to go live by early June with an HTML5 video advertising solution for media companies. According to the company, the solution will build on Brightcove's native support for HTML5 video and will provide turnkey integration with the Monetization Rights Management (MRM) product of its partner, video monetization technology provider, FreeWheel. The solution is designed to enable Brightcove's customers to deliver ad-supported video to such HTML5-compatible devices as the Apple iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.
--Univision to Offer Free, Live Online Streaming Coverage of All 64 FIFA World Cup Matches
Time Warner and Verizon announced Wednesday that they are partnering on a TV Everywhere initiative that will make a range of Time Warner's cable programming available online to Verizon FiOS TV subscribers. (Note: the TV Everywhere distribution model--which was originally championed by Time Warner's chairman and CEO, Jeff Bewkes--seeks, via authentication technology, to make programming that pay-TV customers have already paid for through their cable, satellite or IPTV subscriptions available to those customers on multiple Web sites and platforms, and thus aims to head off the threat posed to pay-TV services by the increasing availability of over-the-top programming).
--Open Interface Works with Third-Party Recommendation Engines
Ericsson on Wednesday launched its OpenStream Catalog Gateway, a content discovery solution that the company claims will help operators better promote the content in their VOD libraries and differentiate their TV offerings.
Epix, a subscription-based multiplatform (linear, VOD, online) premium programming service which is a joint venture between Viacom, its Paramount Pictures arm, MGM and Lionsgate, on Wednesday announced plans to hold an online social TV event around a film of the Black Eyed Peas' sold-out concert tour, "The END World Tour 2010," on its EpixHD.com Web site.