--Joint Solution to Be Demo'd at This Week's Intel Developer Forum
ActiveVideo Networks announced Monday that it has embarked on a joint initiative with Videon Central, a company that specializes in digital video solutions and Blu-ray Disc middleware. According to ActiveVideo, it will work with Videon to combine its cloud-based processing capabilities with the latter's core middleware technologies, in order to expand the availability of the rich, Web-based interactive TV experiences that its platform enables. It says it anticipates that the joint solution will be available on Web-connected TV sets, Blu-ray Disc and DVD players, and other CE devices in "millions" of homes by the end of next year.
UK incumbent telco, BT, has launched an on-demand shopping channel, called Vision Shopping and fronted by celebrity presenter, Gaby Roslin, on BT Vision, its Microsoft Mediaroom-powered, interactive TV-enabled hybrid IPTV service (note: the service is enabled via a hybrid set-top box that allows viewers to access linear channels from the UK's free-to-air digital terrestrial platform, Freeview, alongside IP-delivered on-demand and interactive content).
--Alcatel-Lucent Trumpets Work on Vodafone Portugal's Mediaroom-Powered IPTV Service
--Amino IPTV Set-Top Boxes Selected by Tele2 Netherlands
--BBC Switch Revamps its Web Portal
--beActive Launches Multiplatform Thriller, Featuring Social and AR Elements
--Blockbuster in VOD Alliance with Suddenlink and Mediacom
--Epix Launches Initiative to Create Largest Online Movie Catalog
--Five, UEFA, Livestation Launch Europa League iPhone/iPod touch App
--HBO Launches "HBO Imagine" Interactive Video Experience
--Hillcrest Labs Launches New Products for OEM's
--Hulu Launches Social TV Apps for Facebook Users, "Continuous Play" Feature
--Inverto Supporting HbbTV
--IP Vision in Over-the-Top Deal with Disney for FetchTV
--MTV Releases Usage Stats for VMA Interactive Enhancements
--SBS Launches Avatar-Driven Interactive TV Show
--Ex-Bebo Chief, Joanna Shields, Tapped for New Social TV Venture
--Telecom New Zealand to Offer Customers TiVo DVR's
--Time Warner's Bewkes Dismisses Content Providers' TV Everywhere Complaints
--UFC Teams with MobiTV on iPhone/iPod touch App
--Ustream Launches Mobile Streaming App for Android
--ZillionTV to Target Consumers Directly, Pushes Back Launch to 2H 2010
The [itvt] editorial team is currently traveling in the UK, and, because of time constraints, we are covering a number of this issue's news stories in round-up/summary form. We anticipate some additional interruption of our regular news publishing schedule in the coming days, so we apologize in advance for any inconvenience to our readers. Here is the round-up:
--Includes Support for IP-Based Interaction Channel, HD Graphics, and More
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-5 standard outside the UK (note: MHEG-5 is the middleware standard upon which the UK's free-to-air digital terrestrial service, Freeview, is based; it was developed and standardized in the mid-90's as part of the DAVIC standardization effort to support interactivity and navigation for VOD services), announced Monday that the latest version of its open standard interactive TV middleware has now been submitted to ETSI for approval.
--SeaChange Renews VOD Bulk Purchase Agreement with CCSA
Red Bee Media, a provider of playout and creative services that was founded by the BBC in 2002 as BBC Broadcast, and sold off in 2005 to Australia's Macquarie Capital Alliance Group and Macquarie Bank, contacted [itvt] last week to let us know that it has won a contract from UK cable operator, Virgin Media (note: the latter company announced last week that it has signed a three-screen--i.e. TV, online and mobile--deal with Disney covering new children's content), to deliver video and metadata for PictureBox, a VOD service that launched on Virgin Media's platform in July. The service provides subscribers with a selection of 28 recent and library films at any one time, with seven titles being added to its line-up each Friday.
Broadband video publishing solutions provider, Brightcove, announced Monday that it has rolled out broad support for Adobe Flash Media Server 3.5 through content delivery services provided by Limelight Networks. It says that Media Server 3.5 support will enable it to provide its 700 or so customers in 28 countries with turn-key access to enhanced dynamic delivery capabilities for HD-quality broadband video. The company says it has also introduced on-demand access to advanced security options for video stream encryption and SWF verification. "Organizations of all kinds today are faced with increasingly complex requirements around quality and security for online video publishing and distribution," Brightcove CTO, Bob Mason, said in a prepared statement.
New York-area MSO, Cablevision, on Wednesday announced the launch of a new interactive TV advertising service called Optimum Select.
--Google Reported to Be in Discussions to Acquire Brightcove
--ITV.com Switches from Silverlight to Flash to Power Online Video
UPDATE: After we went to press, Ooyala contacted [itvt] to let us know that
the launch of "POV Reviews," which was expected to take place today, has
been temporarily delayed.
Kudelski-owned content protection specialist, Nagravision, has teamed with 3D technology specialist, 3ality Digital, to develop a new set-top box system, called the Nagra Media Guide for 3D, that will provide viewers with a 3D graphical user interface (GUI) through which to browse and watch 3D programming from their cable or satellite TV provider, according to a report in Wednesday's Wall Street Journal. A prototype of the system will be demo'd at the 3D Entertainment Summit in Los Angeles this week. According to the Journal, Nagravision and 3ality Digital are hoping that products like the new 3D media guide will encourage producers to create more 3D programming.
--Solution to Be Deployed in Operator's Los Angeles, New York City, Dallas Systems
Digital video networking specialist, BigBand Networks, said Wednesday that Time Warner Cable plans to deploy its switched digital video (SDV) solution to free up bandwidth for HD VOD, DOCSIS 3.0 and other new service and programming options in its Los Angeles, New York City and Dallas systems. "We have launched SDV in over 20 markets to date and know firsthand that, if we want to deploy new programming options for our customers, SDV is the fastest, most cost-effective method for our existing network," Kevin Leddy, Time Warner Cable's EVP of technology policy and product management, said in a prepared statement.
Motorola's Home and Networks Mobility unit said Monday that a major Chinese MSO, Jiangsu Broadcasting Television Network (JBTN), is using its end-to-end VOD solution to expand its VOD offering to more subscribers in Jiangsu (note: Motorola claims that the deal makes JBTN's Jiangsu VOD deployment one of the largest in China). The deal between the companies sees Motorola--which has been working with JBTN on its Jiangsu VOD roll-out for around two years now--providing JBTN with its B-1 Video server, which Motorola bills as the world's most widely deployed solid state video server (and which it acquired via its purchase of Broadbus, back in 2006), and its new B-3 Video Server.
--In Year Since Launch, Service Has Been Used to Create Interactive Narratives, Games, Menus and More
In a posting on its corporate blog, Monday, YouTube noted that its Interactive Video Annotations service--a set of tools that allow users to add text and hyperlinks directly onto their videos--is now one year old. According to the company, the service has since its summer, 2008 launch been "put to use with increasing sophistication" in order to, among other things:
Broadband and mobile video platform provider, Kyte, contacted [itvt] Tuesday to let us know that it has launched a new solution, called Kyte LivePro, which it says brings high-definition (1080p), professional-grade live streaming functionality to its platform. According to the company, Kyte LivePro, which is designed to be used in conjunction with Adobe Flash Media Live Encoder, is an add-on component for the Kyte platform that enables publishers to deliver HD live streaming video from multiple sources, including digital video cameras and professional mixing consoles.
--Secures Customer Win with Cyprus's PrimeTel
SeaChange International's VOD content subsidiary, On Demand Group, announced Monday the launch of a new London HQ and three-screen video processing and production facility, as well as a win with Cyprus-based telco, PrimeTel.
Total Immersion, an augmented reality company that has apparently been around since 1999, contacted [itvt] Tuesday to let us know that it has signed an exclusive distribution partnership agreement with int13, a French software firm that specializes in smartphone applications. The deal calls for the companies to integrate their respective technologies to market embedded AR applications through a new, mobile version of Total Immersion's D'Fusion platform.