Technology

News Round-Up

--Brightcove Names David Mendels President and COO
--Clip in Touch Tapped by BMW for Personalized Mobile Video Ad Campaign
--Consumer Advocacy Groups Call for Probe of "TV Everywhere," NCTA's McSlarrow Responds
--DECE Announces "Key Milestones," Adds 21 Members
--ProVision Launches Multi-Room Wireless HDTV System
--Skype to Be Integrated into HDTV's from LG Electronics, Panasonic
--Tivit Device to Bring Mobile DTV to WiFi-Enabled Devices

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

Opera Software, GooMe Interactive in OTT Partnership

Oslo-based browser specialist, Opera Software, and Raanana, Israel-based OTT media solutions provider, GooMe Interactive, on Monday announced a strategic technology partnership that they say will see them delivering "modular, Web-based solutions for experiencing TV, Web and home media for the set-top box and DTV industry via IPTV and/or hybrid IP/broadcast delivery."

Electra Entertainment in Deal with Spain's InOutTV to Launch Broadcast and OTT Interactive TV Services

Electra Entertainment--a company that was founded in early 2003 by Static 2358 founder, Jasper Smith, and former Gemstar-TV Guide CTO, Jonathan Drazin (note: Smith serves as its CEO and Drazin as its CTO; its chairman is former BT and BSkyB director, John Swingewood)--said Monday that it has entered into a long-term partnership with Spanish EPG service provider, InOutTV, to offer interactive TV services to consumers in Spain over digital terrestrial television (DVB-T) and OTT. According to the company, the services will launch across the country, during the current quarter, over InOutTV's digital terrestrial network: the launch will commence on "zapper" (i.e.

Google Patent Application Appears to Describe Method for Creating Interactive Games on YouTube

--New York Times Article Provides Some Insight into YouTube's Product Plans

Google has filed a patent application that appears to describe a method for collaboratively creating interactive games on top of videos on YouTube.

TiVo Slams Cable Industry in Response to FCC RFI

DVR vendor/service provider, TiVo, has strongly criticized the US cable industry in a response to a recently issued RFI from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that seeks "comment on how the Commission can encourage innovation in the market for video devices that will assist the Commission’s development of a National Broadband Plan" (note: for more on the RFI, see the article published on itvt.com, December 7th).

Canoe Begins Trial of RFI Interactive TV Advertising, Pushes Back Commercial Launch until Spring

--Cablevision Lets Viewers Bookmark Movie Trailer via Optimum Select

Canoe Ventures, the company tasked with implementing the US cable industry's plans for interactive and addressable advertising (note: its backers are Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox, Charter, Cablevision and Bright House), plans to commercially launch an EBIF-based Request for Information (RFI) interactive TV advertising product in the spring, and began a trial of RFI interactive TV advertising with a network partner in the fourth quarter of 2009, the company's senior director of marketing communications, Dana Runnells, told Multichannel News's Todd Spangler last week.

BBC Trust Provisionally Approves BBC's Further Participation in Project Canvas

--BBC to Revert to Earlier iPlayer Syndication Policy, Releases Figures on iPlayer Viewing on Mobiles

As expected, the BBC governing body, the BBC Trust, has provisionally approved the BBC's further participation in Project Canvas, an initiative on which the corporation is partnering with UK public service broadcasters, ITV, Channel 4 and Five, and UK ISP's, BT and Talk Talk, in order to attempt to develop a common standard and interface for the delivery of online catch-up services such as the BBC iPlayer, the ITV player and 4oD, as well as other Internet-based services (including VOD and interactive TV widgets), to broadband-connected Freeview and Freesat set-top boxes (note: the partn

Augmented Reality Round-Up

--Brightkite Launches AR Local Advertising Solution
--Layar AR Browser for iPhone Pulled from Apple App Store Due to Crashes
--Version 1.5 of metaio's junaio AR Platform Now Available in Apple App Store
--Japan's Tonchidot Launches "Sekai Camera" AR App Internationally
--Total Immersion Teams with McDonald's on AR Promotion for "Avatar"

A number of items of augmented reality news have come across [itvt]'s desk over the past few days. Here is a brief round-up:

MobileTribe Launches YouTube Support on Roku's OTT Platform

MobileTribe--a company which describes itself as an enabler of cloud-based converged services across multiple screens and which recently announced the launch of a service that it bills as bringing online social networking to the Roku over-the-top-TV platform (see the article published on itvt.com, December 7th)--on Tuesday announced that the service now supports YouTube. The company previously announced support for Facebook, MySpace, Orkut, Google, Flickr, Picasa and Yahoo.

Buckeye CableSystem Selects Spirent Solution for Testing In-Home MoCA Networks, Multiroom DVR

Spirent, a provider of integrated performance analysis and service assurance systems, contacted [itvt] Monday to let us know that regional cable operator, Buckeye CableSystem, has selected its Tech-X Flex solution for testing its Multimedia over Coax (MoCA) in-home networks and DVR sharing/multiroom DVR application. "We realized quickly that to successfully deliver DVR sharing over a MoCA network, we needed to equip the technicians with new tools to ensure the service is turned up and managed to meet customer expectations, yet still keep operational costs of troubleshooting in check," Jim Wolsiffer, Buckeye's director of technical operations, said in a prepared statement.

Cable Europe Labs Launches Initiative to Develop Next-Gen Middleware Spec for European Market

--Initiative Billed as Enabling Pan-European Footprint for Interactive TV Services

Cable Europe Labs on Monday announced the launch of a European Middleware Initiative, which aims to develop a next-generation middleware specification for the European market. The organization says that the initiative will accelerate the development of an open middleware platform for evolving applications and services, and will grow the footprint for and increase the speed of new interactive services. "Our members deliver the latest and greatest services to more than 73 million homes," Cable Europe Labs managing director, Malcolm Taylor, said in a prepared statement.

Humax Launches New Set-Top Based on ANT Galio HbbTV Platform

--Box Began Shipping to German Retail Outlets Earlier this Month

Digital TV client software provider, ANT, said Monday that it has partnered with set-top box manufacturer, Humax, to bring what it claims is the first Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV (HbbTV) set-top box to market. According to the company, Humax has chosen the ANT Galio HbbTV platform for its new iCord HD+ satellite set-top, which began shipping to German retail outlets earlier this month. The box is billed as allowing viewers to access a range of hybrid services including ARD Mediathek, Tagesschau, ARTE, Internet radio, Maxdome and Wikipedia.

Hulu Beta-Launches "Captions Search" Functionality, "Heat Map" Feature

Hulu, the free, ad-supported broadband video venture co-owned by The Walt Disney Company (ABC), NBC Universal and News Corp. (Fox), contacted [itvt] Monday to let us know that it has beta-launched a Captions Search service that it says allows users to search the captioning of "thousands of videos from hundreds of shows" (including, for example, "Glee," "Modern Family," "30 Rock" and "The Colbert Report") on its platform.

Report: CBS, Disney Show Interest in Apple's Plans for Subscription-Based OTT Service

A report by Sam Schechner and Yukari Iwatani Kane in Tuesday's Wall Street Journal claims that Apple is planning to launch a subscription-based over-the-top-TV service, and that CBS and Disney are considering participating. The report, which cites unnamed sources "familiar with the matter" (note: Apple, CBS and Disney all apparently refused to comment), also claims that Apple is hoping to launch the service next year.

Video-Sharing Site, Dailymotion, Launches iPhone/iPod touch App

--New "Navigate YouTube" iPhone/iPod touch App Launched

Paris-based video-sharing site operator, Dailymotion, on Monday announced the launch in the Apple App Store of an iPhone/iPod touch app that incorporates both content channels and capabilities for creating and uploading videos. According to the company, the app allows users to search a library of over 12 million videos and to surf 14 themed channels, including Music, Film & TV, Funny, and Sports & Extreme, as well as lists of viral videos. It also lets users share videos with their friends, Dailymotion says, and access and manage their Dailymotion accounts. In addition, it allows iPhone 3GS users to record and upload videos straight from their handset to their accounts.

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