Technology

Sungale to Launch Portable, WiFi-Enabled OTT TV Device that Provides Access to up to 500 Channels

Sungale, a Chino, Calif.-based consumer electronics company that claims to have had many years of experience as an OEM supplier before taking a more public profile, announced Wednesday that it will launch a new over-the-top-TV device, dubbed the Kula IPTV, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next month (note: the company's booth will be located at South Hall 1 #20953). According to the company, the Kula is an ultra-portable, WiFi-enabled device that incorporates a 4.3-inch full-color LCD screen and that will allow users to access a large number of live streaming TV programs from all over the world, selectable by country, language and topic (e.g. News, Sports, Finance, etc.), "all without the high rates."

ADB Trumpets tru2way Demo at Recent CableLabs Interop Event

Geneva-based set-top box company, Advanced Digital Broadcast (ADB), announced today that it has demonstrated live that it can "deliver the promise of tru2way for cable system operators and consumers." According to the company, at a recent CableLabs Interop event it showed how its ADB-4820C HD set-top box can seamlessly support the full functionality of both Cisco and Motorola tru2way headends and CableCARDs: the box was first connected to a Cisco headend using a Cisco CableCARD, and displayed Time Warner Cable's TV channels and tru2way interactive guide.

Knology Becomes First Cable Op to Deploy Backchannelmedia's Interactive TV Advertising Technology

--"Clickable TV" Lets Viewers Bookmark Content to Personal Web Portal or Email

Boston-based interactive TV advertising specialist, Backchannelmedia, announced Tuesday that it has signed a deal with regional cable operator, Knology, that will see the latter testing Backchannelmedia's flagship Clickable TV technology on its digital cable network.

UK-Based 3View Unveils HD Set-Top that Combines Internet Connectivity with Freeview Reception

A UK company called 3View unveiled a hard drive-equipped, broadband-connected HD set-top box, Tuesday, that combines the ability to receive standard- and high-definition linear-TV programming from the UK's free-to-air digital terrestrial platform, Freeview, with various Internet/OTT capabilities. The company says that the box--which is slated to be available in retail in March--will allow users to receive a range of over-the-top video services, as well as browse the Web and use Facebook and Twitter. It bills it as "the world's first Internet-connected HD free-to-air set-top box."

Immersive Media Powers 360-Degree Interactive Video for CBC/Radio Canada and MTV Networks

Immersive Media--a company which has developed a patented technology, dubbed IM LIVE, that enables viewer-controlled, 360-degree, live, full-motion, interactive video experiences (note: the experience of watching video powered by the technology is akin to watching a video version of Google Street View), and which recently announced a deployment of the technology with Canada's MuchMusic (see the article published on itvt.com, November 9th)--last week announced deployments with CBC/Radio-Canada and with MTV Networks.

SeaChange's AdPulse VOD Ad Insertion Solution in Field Tests with Comcast Media Center

--Sunflower Broadband, HealthiNation Participating in First Set of Field Tests

VOD and advanced advertising technology provider, SeaChange International, will today announce that its AdPulse On Demand solution for on-demand ad insertion is being tested using Comcast Media Center's (CMC) VOD content distribution platform, which reaches around 35 million US households.

Ustream Launches Live, Interactive Celebrity-Driven Reality Series, "Ustream All Access"

--Featured Celebs Include Will.i.am, Snoop Dogg

Live Internet broadcast service provider, Ustream, contacted [itvt] Monday to let us know that rapper Snoop Dogg will be featured today (Tuesday afternoon, Pacific Time) in the second episode of a new, live, interactive reality series, entitled "Ustream All Access." The series, which is billed as giving online viewers a "live peek into the daily lives of celebrities," premiered December 1st with a live stream featuring Black Eyed Peas frontman, Will.i.am, backstage at the Grammy Awards nominations in Los Angeles. According to Ustream, it garnered over 250,000 viewers.

Vizimo, Press Association Partner to Develop New Range of VOD Content Discovery Services

--BitBand Powers Catch-Up Service for Latin American IPTV Provider

Vizimo, a UK company which recently launched a service that it bills as enabling consumers to discover broadcast and on-demand programming that is relevant to their individual tastes, manage their programming choices, and discuss programming with other users (note: for more on the company and its service, see the article published on itvt.com, September 29th), and the UK's Press Association, which--in addition to its journalistic activities--claims to "maintain the most comprehensive database of TV and radio listings available in the UK," announced Monday that they have signed a technology partnership to create a new range of VOD discovery serv

Brightcove in Broadband Video Analytics Alliance with TubeMogul

Broadband video publishing solutions provider, Brightcove, announced late Monday that it has formed a strategic alliance with TubeMogul, a company which provides a distribution and analytics service for broadband video. According to the companies, their partnership will see them collaborating on technology that will "increase the overall value of online video content by providing in-depth insight into viewer engagement and behavior." As part of the partnership, Brightcove has licensed TubeMogul's InPlay technology to power the analytics in its recently launched Brightcove 4 platform.

EBU General Assembly Endorses Hybrid Broadcast Broadband, Calls for Common Approach

--IMPALA Hails Freesat's Beta-Launch of MHEG Interaction Channel

The General Assembly of the European Broadcasting Union (note: the latter, generally referred to as the EBU, is a confederation of 75 mostly public service broadcasters from 56 countries) has issued a public statement of support for "hybrid broadcast broadband" (i.e. for technologies that make "both broadcast and broadband available on the same television display"), describing the emerging phenomenon as "one of the most exciting developments in the media today."

Boxee Beta, New Astro-Designed, D-Link-Manufactured Boxee Box Unveiled (Screenshots and Photos)

--ClipSync's Social TV Technology Integrated with Boxee Platform

Over-the-top-TV specialist, Boxee, unveiled the beta version of its platform at an event in Brooklyn last night, and also revealed that the new Boxee set-top box that it promised a few weeks back (see the article published on itvt.com, November 16th) has been designed by Astro (which also designed the Xbox) and will be built by D-Link.

New and/or revamped features offered by Boxee Beta include:

VideoClix to Power Clickable Interactive Video for Dailymotion

--Partnership Billed as "Bringing Clickable Video to the Masses"
--IC Places in Interactive Video Advertising Deals with Tremor Media, ScanScout

VideoClix, a Vancouver-based provider of technologies for clickable interactive video (which it calls "hypervideo"), said last week that it has signed a deal with Dailymotion, a Paris-based company which claims that its flagship broadband video portal is the world's second-largest. According to VideoClix, its technology will provide Dailymotion users with an "active and engaging" experience while providing advertisers with a non-intrusive way to reach their target audience. "This partnership brings clickable video to the masses on a global scale," VideoClix CEO, Babak Maghfourian, said in a prepared statement. "It's a win, win, win for audiences, publishers and advertisers alike."

Panasonic to Begin Selling tru2way HDTV's in Boston, Seeks FCC Waiver for tru2way Set-Back Box

In an ex parte letter, filed with the FCC December 2nd, Panasonic Corporation of North America revealed that it will shortly be offering integrated tru2way HDTV sets in Boston (note: it already offers them in Chicago, Denver and Atlanta), and outlined its plans to launch a retail tru2way "set-back box" (SBB) that would "take advantage of the continuing nationwide roll-out by major cable operators of tru2way capability in their systems" and would "convert Panasonic HDTV's into fully bi-directional 'digital cable ready' tru2way TV's." The box was demo'd by the company at last month's SCTE Cable-Tec Expo.

Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV (HbbTV) Specification Submitted to ETSI

--Recent HbbTV Interop Event Saw Participation by over 20 Companies

Germany's Institut fuer Rundfunktechnik (IRT), a founding member of the industry consortium behind "Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV" (HbbTV), a pan-European initiative 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" (note: other consortium members include Canal+, France Televisions and TF1; satellite operator SES Astra; and software providers OpenTV, ANT and Opera Software), last week announced the completion of the first HbbTV interoperability workshop, and also revealed that the consortium has submitted the HbbTV 1.1.1 specification draft (a copy of which can be downloaded from the HbbTV Web site) to int

News Round-Up

--BBC Develops MOLE for Live Red-Button Events
--Informational Web Site Launched for Project Canvas
--FCC Seeks Info on How STB's Might Encourage Viewing of Broadband Video
--UK Broadcaster Five in Deal to Offer Full-Length Programs on YouTube
--SAMBA Project Uses Interactive TV to Deliver Interactive Communications to Remote Communities

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

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