Oslo, Norway-based browser specialist, Opera Software, last week announced a deal with Germany's max communication that will see the latter launching a new eviado-branded hybrid HD set-top box for the retail market, equipped with Web technology from the Opera Devices SDK.
In a posting on a corporate blog, Wednesday, Verizon announced the availability on its FiOS TV platform of a new interactive TV widget that provides access to the online social networking/local business search/reviews service, Yelp. In order to use the new widget, viewers first enter their ZIP code, to pull up a list of businesses in their local area. By clicking on a business's listing, they can access its address, phone number and the ratings it has received from Yelp users, as well as information on, among other things, price range, parking availability, and whether the business stipulates a dress code and is child-friendly (e.g.
--CBS Lets Viewers Decide Which Song Brooks & Dunn Will Perform at CMA's
--Fox Mobile Group Launches Mobile Subscription VOD Service, Bitbop
--Univision to Offer All World Cup Soccer Games on VOD and Live Online
--Showtime Teams with Comcast on Free VOD Promotion
Turner Broadcasting-owned cable channel, TNT, and NBA Digital, the new media arm of the National Basketball Association (NBA), will tonight (Thursday) present a special interactive edition of the show "TNT NBA Thursday," (airs at 8:00PM Eastern) that integrates TNT, NBA TV and NBA.com.
Miniweb, a London-based company that offers a platform designed to enable converged broadcast and broadband entertainment on the TV, said Wednesday that it has signed a deal with Eurosat, an EU-wide distributor of terrestrial and satellite TV products, to integrated its flagship Connected TV Services Platform and its broadband content guide with Eurosat's new Manhattan range of set-top boxes, which are designed for use with Freeview HD, the new HDTV service from the UK's free-to-air digital terrestrial platform. The Miniweb-equipped boxes are slated to be available in retail later this year.
In a posting on its corporate blog, Wednesday, over-the-top-TV specialist Boxee announced the availability of an app for its platform that provides access to KoldCast TV, an online video service that offers programming in 720p HDTV.
--Brightcove Powering Broadband Video for New Sports Social Media Site, Sportpost
--FTC Seeking Input on Whether COPPA Should Be Updated to Reflect Interactive TV, Other New Tech
--Harmonic Secures VOD and Web/Mobile TV Deals in China and Switzerland
--Hulu Sued by Hulavision
--LG Electronics Demo'ing Mobile Phones with Broadcast DTV Reception
--Twitter-Based Interactive TV Show Launched in Spain
--Widevine and Verimatrix Settle Patent Dispute
Here is a round-up of some other recent interactive TV-related stories that we didn't have room for in this issue:
--Orca, Viaccess Powering White-Label IPTV Platform
--ITU Announces First IPTV Interop Event
UK-based set-top box company, Pace, on Wednesday launched a new set-top platform that uses Microsoft's Mediaroom IPTV software. According to the company, its engineering team developed the customizable platform in order to enable operators to quickly and easily roll out IPTV, hybrid broadcast/broadband and OTT services.
--Platform Can Be Upgraded via Modules to Support Interactive TV Services
SysMedia, a UK-based company that specializes in content transmission and production systems for teletext, subtitling and interactive TV, contacted [itvt] Wednesday to let us know that it has launched a digital-ready teletext version of its Plasma Gold production system.
--Opera Software in OTT Deal with PeerTV
--IP Vision Demo's Sky Player on its FetchTV Hybrid Broadcast/OTT Platform
Intertrust-subsidiary, SyncTV, has launched an online video platform, called SyncTV Web Services (SWS), which it says is targeted at premium video service providers such as network operators and broadcasters that are seeking to expand their services to Internet-connected devices. According to the company, the new platform will allow those providers to easily deploy fully branded video services to a broad range of devices, including connected TV's, Blu-ray players, standalone set-tops, game systems and smartphones. It also supports a broad set of ecommerce business models, content ingestion and management, and turnkey app deployment to connected devices, the company says.
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).