Belgian interactive TV technology provider, Zappware, contacted [itvt] Wednesday to let us know that it has deployed its iView middleware platform with Slovenian telecom operator, Amis. The platform is powering a service, called AmisTV2.0, which launched commercially last September in Slovenia and Croatia and which offers such services as network PVR, pause-live-TV, restart TV, catch-up TV, and an EPG, as well as VOD services that feature reminders, favorites, user profiles, application skinning, search and parental ratings.
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, said Tuesday that Showtime Networks is using the Softel MediaSphere ITV playout platform to power its new HD EBIF application.
--Partners with China's Changhong on Interactive TV Apps that Support China's NGB Initiative
Interactive TV and conditional access technology provider, NDS, announced Tuesday that Israeli satellite TV operator, Yes, has launched an NDS-powered VOD service, based on progressive download (PDL) technology, for its hybrid satellite/IP DVR platform. According to NDS, the service, which allows users to download movies or series to their MaxTotal HD DVR over the open Internet to watch immediately or later, currently provides access to 5,000 free and paid titles, including HD content, and will add hundreds of new titles each month.
--Platform Allows Clickable Text and Graphics to Be Added to Broadcast Video
At the DEMO 2010 conference in Palm Desert, Calif. this week, a Los Gatos, Calif.-based company called ViaCLIX unveiled a patented platform for integrating broadcast TV with Internet content. According to the company, the platform, which consists of set-top box and a remote control, allows consumers to "simultaneously watch a favorite TV show (broadcast or Internet), videoconference with friends and family, and surf the Web" and "provides content providers and carriers with direct access to their customers enabling a new, sustainable and profitable business model for delivery of video and other Internet services."
Multiscreen video-management software solutions provider, ExtendMedia, on Tuesday announced that its flagship OpenCASE platform now supports multiple mobile, gaming and CE platforms. The company says that it is integrating the video delivery software platform with the five major operating systems for mobile devices--iPhone, Android, Windows Mobile, Symbian and BlackBerry--and that it has also integrated the platform with the Sony PS3, Oregan Onyx-based set-top boxes and connected TV's, and the Yahoo! TV Widgets framework. According to ExtendMedia, delivering content to Internet-connected devices creates considerable challenges that only a purpose-built, multiscreen video delivery platform like OpenCASE can address.
IP Vision--a company which is backed by French set-top box vendor, Netgem, and which offers a hybrid service that combines reception of linear channels from the UK's free-to-air digital terrestrial platform, Freeview, with OTT access to pay-per-view and subscription-based online VOD services, as well as to free, online programming catch-up services such as the BBC iPlayer--contacted [itvt] Tuesday to let us know that it is teaming with Netgem to showcase at the IPTV World Forum in London this week (Stand 911) what the companies claim is the UK's first high-definition hybrid Freeview+ set-top box (note: Freeview+ is the brand/certification program through which Freeview seeks to promote awareness and sales of DVR's designed for use with its service).
At the IPTV World Forum in London, Tuesday, Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) launched a new software platform that it bills as "allow[ing] people the freedom to watch TV on multiple devices" and as promising "TV on any screen, on-demand." According to the company, the new--as yet apparently unnamed--platform lets operators provide live or on-demand TV to mobiles, Internet-connected computers, and satellite or digital terrestrial platforms; offers an open platform for creating new applications; and provides remote PVR, catch-up TV, operator-to-subscriber messaging, faster channel-changes, and enhanced IPTV picture stability.
At the IPTV World Forum in London, Tuesday, Alcatel-Lucent launched a set of "Multimedia Solutions" that it says will enable service providers to launch an array of new service offerings and will enable consumers to access those services "wherever they are, on any screen." The company bills the solutions, which it says are commercially available today, as unifying the delivery of video, TV and multimedia content to any connected device, including TV's, PC's and mobile phones; and as supporting a comprehensive multimedia strategy focused on the delivery of a wide range of services, including live TV, VOD and network PVR, to subscribers in any location.
Oslo, Norway-based browser specialist, Opera Software, said Tuesday that its Opera Devices SDK 10.15 for Linux has been selected by German television manufacturer, Loewe (founded in 1923 and claims to have generated 325 million Euros in sales last year), to enable Web browsing, interactive TV widgets and HbbTV implementation (note: HbbTV--short for "Hybrid Broadcast Broadband Television"--is a pan-European initiative that was launched last August and that describes its goal as "harmonizing the broadcast and broadband delivery of news, information and entertainment to the end-consumer through TV's and set-top boxes with an optional Web connection") on its connected TV's.
--IPTV Set-Top Deals for ADB and Amino
--ANT Showcases Live HbbTV Implementation, Managed Service Portal
--China Deals for Concurrent and Harmonic
--Justin.tv Launches iPhone App
--NCTA Cable Show "My World" Exhibit to Feature Interactive TV Apps, Social TV, 3D TV and More
--Nielsen: Online Video Used as DVR, Not as Replacement for TV
--Ooyala to Power Broadband Video for Rowdy.com
Here is a round-up of some of other recent interactive TV-related stories that we didn't have room for in this issue:
--Miniweb Platform Enables Converged Broadcast/Broadband Viewing Experiences
Miniweb, a London-based company that offers a platform designed to enable converged broadcast and broadband entertainment on the TV, said Monday that it has formed a strategic partnership with Turkish "white label" consumer electronics manufacturer, Vestel Electronics, that will see it integrating its Connected TV Services Platform and broadband content guide across a range of the latter's connected TV devices. According to the company, the first Vestel devices to incorporate its technology will be set-top boxes that are built to the HbbTV standard and that are slated to launch in Germany later this year.
--Browser Immediately Blocked by Hulu
Hillcrest Labs, a company best known for its Freespace in-air pointing and motion control technology and its Loop pointer (see, for example, the article published on itvt.com, November 11th), on Monday launched a free Web browser targeted at consumers who connect their PC's or Macs to the TV. Dubbed Kylo and competing in the emerging OTT market against Boxee, among others, the browser is designed to provide a "10-foot"/"lean-back" surfing/viewing experience.
--Vudu Ships on TV's and Blu-ray Disc Players from Samsung, Toshiba, Vizio
--AETN International Launches "This Day in History" Widget for Samsung Widget Engine
GlideTV--a Pleasanton, Calif.-based start-up which last fall launched its first product, the GlideTV Navigator, a $149 palm-sized navigational device that is targeted at consumers who have connected their PC to their living-room TV and that is billed as combining the functionality of a keyboard, a mouse and an AV remote (see the article published on itvt.com, October 15th)--on Monday unveiled a new user interface application that is designed to work in OTT environments in conjunction with the Navigator product.
Oslo, Norway-based browser specialist, Opera Software, and Bristol, UK-based digital TV software provider, Ocean Blue Software, on Monday announced what they are billing as a modular, scalable and integrated HbbTV solution for connected TV's and set-top boxes. (Note: HbbTV--short for "Hybrid Broadcast Broadband Television"--is a pan-European initiative that was launched last August and that describes its goal as "harmonizing the broadcast and broadband delivery of news, information and entertainment to the end consumer through TV's and set-top boxes with an optional Web connection." It is designed to enable such hybrid interactive services as VOD, catch-up TV, interactive advertising, digital text, games and social networking.)
DRM and video optimization solutions provider, Widevine, said Monday that its adaptive streaming, virtual DVD/Blu-ray features and DRM technologies are being integrated with Metrological Media's Metroconnect operating system for use on Metrological's new hybrid/OTT device, Mediaconnect TV, in order to ensure that "subscribers enjoy highest-quality, over-the-top video content" on the device.