Ligos Says "One of the Nation's Largest Cable Operators" Will Deploy its EBIF-Based ETV Mosaic Tech

Savannah, Georgia-based Ligos said Wednesday that it has closed a deal with "one of the nation's largest cable operators"--which it did not identify--for a set of its EBIF-based ETV Mosaic systems, and that the operator will deploy the technology later this year (note: for more on Ligos's EBIF version of its flagship Mosaic EPG technology, see the article published on, July 7th). According to the company, ETV Mosaic enables the creation and delivery of interactive presentations "for program guides and much more" on EBIF-enabled systems.

Comcast Launches Informational Web Site, User Guide for its New A28 i-Guide EPG

--MSO Is In Process of Rolling Out the Guideworks-Developed EPG on its Motorola Systems

Comcast has produced a demo video (embedded above), launched an informational Web site, and published a user guide for the A28 i-Guide, an EPG which was developed by GuideWorks, its joint venture with Rovi (formerly Macrovision), and which it has reportedly been in the process of rolling out on Motorola set-top boxes since September (

Verizon FiOS TV Exec Casts Light on Service's 2010 Interactive TV Widget Plans

In an interview posted on a Verizon blog, Wednesday, Verizon FiOS TV executive, Maitreyi Krishnaswamy, provided some insight into the service's interactive TV widget plans for 2010.

According to Krishnaswamy, the service will roll out more widgets for multicultural audiences, more sports widgets, a wider choice of widgetized games titles, and various program-specific widgets, including widgets for reality TV shows and other series.

CBS Invites Viewers to Decide Which Song Bon Jovi Will Perform During Grammys Telecast

--Also Holds UGC Contest for Chance to Appear During Black Eyed Peas' Grammys Performance

CBS is inviting viewers to decide which song the band, Bon Jovi, will perform during the broadcast network's January 31st telecast of the 52nd Annual Grammy awards (note: according to CBS, this will be the first time ever that the band has performed at the Grammys).

CBS Television Stations, Fuel TV Launch Video-Enabled iPhone/iPod Touch Applications

Broadcast network, CBS, and action sports programmer, Fuel TV, both announced the availability of free, video-enabled iPhone/iPod touch applications in the Apple App Store Wednesday.

Medialets Launches iPhone-Based Interactive Video Ad for Rock Band, Vampire Weekend

--Ad's Interactive Features Triggered by Tilting and Shaking the iPhone, as well as by Clicking

In a posting on its corporate blog, Wednesday, mobile advertising and analytics specialist, Medialets, announced that it has developed and launched an interactive video ad for "Contra," the latest album from the indie rock band, Vampire Weekend. The ad--which is designed both to raise awareness of the new album and to drive direct downloads from the iTunes Music Store--is currently running within the NPR News iPhone app.

News Round-Up

--Ceton Launches Digital Cable Quad-Tuner PC Card
--Hallmark Launches Augmented Reality-Enabled Greetings Cards
--HDNet Chairman, Mark Cuban, Attempts to Pour Cold Water on Enthusiasm for OTT
--Kaltura in Integration Partnership with Mzinga
--Ooyala in Broadband Video Deal with New York Daily News
--Vimeo Launches Mobile Version of its Video-Sharing Service
--Xerox Seeks Patent for Tech that Alters TV Shows' Video/Audio to Embed Targeted Advertising
--YouTube Invites Users to Suggest UI Improvements

Because the [itvt] editorial team is busy working on The TV of Tomorrow Show (March 3rd-4th in San Francisco), we are covering a number of stories in this issue in summary form:

OOH Social Music TV Network Operator, Akoo, Awarded Patent for Mobile Interaction Technology

Akoo, a Chicago-based company that operates a social music television network for out-of-home environments, announced Wednesday that the US Patent and Trademark Office has awarded it a patent (#7,647,613) covering "an apparatus and method of using mobile devices to select on-demand content and socially interact with programming across networked digital video and Internet protocol (IP) television services through SMS text messaging or mobile applications."

According to Akoo, the patented technology currently powers its out-of-home social music TV network. However, the company says, its "patent portfolio strategy includes additional applications in the home, as well as across multiple platforms, including social media, mobile, and gaming consoles."

Cablevision Trumpets Success of First Batch of Optimum Select Interactive TV Advertising Campaigns

--Claims 70% Lead Conversion Rate for Most Recent Colgate-Palmolive Campaign

New York-area MSO, Cablevision, is trumpeting the results of the first set of campaigns powered by its new proprietary (i.e. not EBIF-based) interactive TV advertising service, Optimum Select. The service presents viewers with a "select button overlay" which appears at the bottom of the TV screen during a commercial and which invites them to press the "SEL" button on the remote control for more information on an advertised product. Once the viewer presses "SEL," the current program is shifted to the top-right corner of the screen to allow continued viewing, and the viewer is then presented with several possible options, including receiving a free sample of, a coupon for, or additional information on the advertised product.

Netflix to Offer Streaming Video on the Nintendo Wii

Netflix is set to announce today that its streaming video service will launch on the Nintendo Wii games console this spring, providing it with distribution in a potential 26 million additional US homes (note: the Wii is currently the most popular games console in the US). The company has previously secured distribution deals for the service through the Sony PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360 games consoles, as well as through Roku OTT set-tops, TiVo DVR's and a number of other devices and platforms. "The launch of the Wii is a huge step forward for Netflix," Netflix founder and CEO, Reed Hastings, said in a prepared statement. "With the installed base of over 26 million, all WiFi equipped, that's almost one in four American homes.

NDS-Subsidiary, CastUP, Launches End-to-End Video Delivery Solution for Apple iPhone

CastUP, a subsidiary of interactive TV and conditional access technology provider, NDS, that specializes in IP streaming media products and CDN systems, on Tuesday announced the launch of an end-to-end video delivery solution for the Apple iPhone.

Report: Wal-Mart in Discussions to Acquire OTT Specialist, Vudu

According to a report Tuesday by All Things Digital's Peter Kafka, over-the-top-TV specialist, Vudu, is in "meaningful" acquisition discussions with a potential buyer, believed to be Wal-Mart. Kafka's report cited unnamed sources, and added that Vudu executives had "declined to comment" and that Wal-Mart's press center had not answered his inquiries as his report went to press.

SetJam Says It Is Working with "Major Media Companies" on "TV Everywhere" Widgets

Online TV search engine developer, SetJam, announced Tuesday that it is working with major media companies (which it did not identify) to build a suite of specialized "TV Everywhere" widgets that it says will transform static entertainment sites into "on-demand interactive TV watching destinations." "TV and movie content owners are bringing their vast libraries online," SetJam CEO, Ryan Janssen (who was formerly COO of online financial tool builder,, said in a prepared statement. "Our 'TV Everywhere' widgets provide the glue between their offerings and the entertainment sites that people already use to help create the most powerful TV broadcaster in the world--the Internet."

Zodiac PowerUp 2.5 Enables Interaction between Cable Set-Tops and Mobile and Internet Devices

Interactive TV software developer, Zodiac Interactive (note: the company's EBIF user agent is being deployed by MSO Cablevision--see the article published on, November 5th), on Monday unveiled the latest version (2.5) of its PowerUp ITV framework, a cross-platform software that the company bills as unifying and enabling advanced interactive TV applications across multiple set-tops, including legacy boxes.

Ooyala, NTT Smartconnect Partner to Sell Co-Branded Broadband Video Platform in Japan

Broadband video platform provider, Ooyala, will today announce that it has entered into a partnership with NTT Smartconnect--a subsidiary of Asia's largest telco, NTT Holdings--to sell a localized, co-branded version of its flagship Backlot video platform in Japan.

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