Technology

Verizon FiOS TV Launches Interactive TV Widget for Baseball Fans

--Widget Offers Extra Features for MLB Extra Innings Subscribers

In a posting on a corporate blog, Wednesday, Verizon FiOS TV announced the launch of a free interactive TV widget for baseball fans. The widget, which became available this week, provides viewers with access to headline news, scores, league standings and player updates.

Four More Cable Operators Select CMC/ARRIS Managed VOD Solution

--Canada's CRTC Allows Advertising on VOD Platforms

HITS (stands for "Headend in the Sky"), a business unit of Comcast Media Center that provides content management and distribution solutions for MSO's, and communications technology company, ARRIS, said Wednesday that four smaller cable operators--Cass Cable TV, Mediastream (formerly Waycross Cable Company), MTC and Plantation Cable--are using the companies' VOD In a Box service to deliver VOD to their subscribers.

Diesel Uses Clickable Interactive Video to Promote its New Spring/Summer Clothing Collection

Italian clothing company, Diesel, is promoting its new Spring/Summer collection via a vcommerce-enabled interactive video that is the result of a collaboration between advertising agency, Anomaly, and production company, Stink Digital.

Rogers Taps Brightcove, Endeca to Power Redesigned Version of its "Citytv Video Theatre" Web Site

--Brightcove: Rival Ooyala "Crossed an Ethical Line that Could Have Harmed Customers and the Industry"
--More Broadband Video Platform Providers Announce iPad/HTML5 Support
--Hulu May Test Subscription-Based Service with New iPad App

Broadband video platform provider, Brightcove, said Wednesday that it has been tapped by Rogers Digital Media to power a redesigned version of the latter's "Citytv Video Theatre" Web site (http://video.citytv.com).

News Round-Up

--BBC Future Media & Technology Undergoes Reorg
--BBC Develops "Mythology Engine" to Represent Dramas on the Web
--Dailymotion Launches New Video Player
--Panasonic Decides against Using Google Android in Connected TV's
--YouTube Launches Video Page Redesign

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

SeaChange Launches Streaming, Storage Solutions to Enable New CDN and Multiscreen Strategies

VOD and advanced advertising technology provider, SeaChange International, on Wednesday launched new streaming and storage solutions: 1) the Universal Media Streamer (UMS), a flash memory-based server which it says supports multiple video formats and delivers 5,000 video streams in a single 1RU chassis, and which it bills as "designed to reduce operating costs and increase performance in a smaller footprint as operators deploy more flexible content delivery network (CDN) architectures and multiscreen video"; and 2) the Universal Media Library (UML), which it says provides up to 144TB of raw storage in a compact 5RU Matrix Storage Array.

IMPALA Hails Success of UK's MHEG-Based Free-to-Air Satellite TV Platform, Freesat

--Platform Provides Access to BBC iPlayer via MHEG Interaction Channel
--Sagemcom Says its Freesat STB's Now Support iPlayer Access

The International MHEG Promotion Alliance (IMPALA), an organization that was set up in 2006 by Strategy & Technology, Cabot Communications and EchoStar Europe to promote use of the MHEG middleware standard beyond the UK, has issued a public statement hailing the success of the UK's free-to-air satellite TV platform, Freesat, which has just announced that it has passed the one million customer mark.

Electra in Deal with Tesco to Deploy its Trove Interactive TV Technology on Freeview Devices

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 secured a deal with the UK's largest retailer, Tesco, that will see it distributing its Trove hybrid interactive TV technology on standard- and high-definition Freeview-ready (note: Freeview is the UK's free-to-air digital terrestrial platform) TV sets, set-top boxes and DVR's which will be available in Tesco stores starting this June.

Boxee, Twilio Partner on Developer Contest to "Unite the Telephone and the Television"

In a posting on its corporate blog, Tuesday, over-the-top-TV specialist, Boxee, announced that it is partnering with Twilio, a company that offers a service which allows developers to add SMS and calling functionality to Web applications, to launch a developer contest dubbed the "TV Meets Telephony Hack Challenge."

ADB Launches Hybrid DTT/IP Set-Top Box for Freeview HD

--3View to Begin Taking Orders for New Hybrid Freeview HD DVR
--TiVo Premiere DVR's Now Available in Retail
--Pirelli Launches Intel Atom CE4100-Powered Hybrid Set-Top

Geneva-based set-top box/digital TV technology provider, Advanced Digital Broadcast (ADB), said Tuesday that it will soon introduce its i-CAN Easy HD hybrid set-top box in the UK. According to the company, the device--which represents its first UK consumer product and which is designed for use with Freeview HD, the newly launched HDTV service of the UK's free-to-air digital terrestrial platform, Freeview--will be available in stores in time for the soccer World Cup (begins June 11th), and will provide access to over 50 standard- and high-definition channels, together with access to programming catch-up services.

Rovi Launches Software Application for Managing Home Video, Photos and Music

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), on Monday announced the availability of its Personal Media Manager solution, a software application that it bills as enabling consumers to "clean" or update the entertainment data residing in their media libraries, as well as to stream and share music, videos and photos stored on devices on a home network.

Softel Launches ScheduleSmart Workflow Technology for Captions, Subtitles and Other Ancillary Data

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 was powering Showtime Networks' new HD EBIF application--see the article published on itvt.com, March 24th), on Tuesday launched a workflow technology, dubbed ScheduleSmart, that it says uses proprietary heuristics and algorithms to determine the optimum point in the workflow at which to bind captions, subtitles and other ancillar

Duncan Cable TV Selects GoBackTV's Cable IPTV Platform to Power Interactive Services

--Services Include Video Mosaic, VOD, Startover TV

GoBackTV, a company which has developed a platform--dubbed RetroVue and targeted at smaller cable operators--that delivers switched multicast and unicast IPTV content to IP set top boxes across a traditional hybrid fiber/coax (HFC) cable plant via standard DOCSIS 1.1/2.0 and 3.0 cable modems, using CMTS-Bypass technology, contacted [itvt] Tuesday to let us know that Wilmington, Vermont-based Duncan Cable TV has selected the RetroVue platform to power new, interactive services. "We want the same new services as the large operators, but we have fewer customers over which we can spread the cost," Duncan Cable TV owner, Cliff Duncan, said in a prepared statement.

Netflix Launches Streaming Service for Nintendo Wii

In a posting on its corporate blog last Thursday, Netflix's VP of marketing, Jessie Becker, announced that the company is "in the final phase of getting ready for the launch of streaming" to the Nintendo Wii games console (note: the Wii is currently the most popular games console in the US).

In Time for Apple iPad Launch, Brightcove and Ooyala Launch HTML5 Video Solutions

--CBS Reported to Be Working to Ensure its Online Video Offerings Support HTML5/iPad

In time for the April 3rd launch of the Apple iPad, broadband video platform providers, Brightcove and Ooyala, have both announced HTML5-based solutions that support delivery of online video to the new tablet device.

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