BBC Using Interactive Videos to Teach Developmentally Disabled People How to Make Good Choices

In a posting on the BBC Internet blog, Monday, BBC Future Media & Technology's head of user experience and accessibility, Jonathan Hassell, announced the launch of Us5, a series of interactive online videos that have been created "by, for and with" people with learning difficulties/developmental disabilities, in order to "help them think through one of the biggest issues affecting them at the moment--the opening up of more choices to them resulting from the government's move to direct payments, individual budgets and self-directed support. People with learning difficulties have never before been so able to choose for themselves how they live their lives and what they want to do," Hassell's blog posting continued.

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:

BT Vision in VOD Deal with NBC Universal International Television

--Arqiva's SeeSaw Service in VOD Deal with BBC Worldwide

UK incumbent telco, BT, said Tuesday that it has signed a VOD deal with NBC Universal International Television that will make a number of the latter's shows available on BT Vision, the telco's 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).

BBC Launches @North Initiative to Boost Interactive/Multiplatform TV Industry in North of England

--Initiative Has £500,000 Budget to Support Development of Interactive Content for Children

The BBC on Wednesday unveiled a new digital initiative, called @North, that is designed to boost the interactive/multiplatform TV industry in the north of England, the region in which Salford--the city to which a number of BBC departments, including Future Media & Technology and Children's, are scheduled to move in 2011--is located.

DTV Media Planning Company, Leap Media, Names Tim Hanlon, Barry S. Fischer to Advisory Board

--New Hires Round-Up: Move Networks, Sinclair Broadcast Group, BBC

Digital TV media planning and implementation services company, Leap Media Group, has named Tim Hanlon and Barry S. Fischer as the first members of its Board of Advisors. According to the company, the board will be comprised of "leaders from the sales and agency sides of television and interactive media," and will provide strategic advice and guidance on market opportunities.

BBC Trust Rejects BBC's Proposal for Opening Up iPlayer to Other Public Service Broadcasters

--Reiterates Its "Support for the Principle of Sharing the iPlayer More Widely"

The BBC's governing body, the BBC Trust, has rejected a proposal from the BBC Executive which envisioned the formation of an online federation between the corporation and the UK's other public service broadcasters (i.e. ITV, Channel 4 and Five) that would make content from those broadcasters available on the BBC iPlayer catch-up service through a combination of commercial and public service elements.

News Round-Up:

--Arqiva to Name its Kangaroo-Derived VOD Service "SeeSaw"
--BBC Officially Launches Revamped CBeebies Red-Button Interactive TV Service
--BBC Trust Launches Review of Red Button Services, and BBC One, Two and Four
--Brightline Interactive TV Advertising Campaigns Win Two Awards
--Cox Rolls out ShowRunner VOD Software in Orange County
--Dailymotion in Broadband Video Distribution Partnership with Conduit
--Deutsche Telekom Interactive TV Award Deadline Extended to October 18th
--Espial Trumpets MediaBase VOD Performance with Intel Solid State Drivers, Xeon 5500 Processors
--Will Flannery, VP of Advanced Services at Fox Cable, Dead at 38
--Hand Eye Technologies Showcases its Interactive TV Platform at DEMOfall
--Livestream Launches "Satellite Television Truck in a Backpack"
--MySpace Said to Be Teaming with Hulu on New Broadband Video Service
--Philips in OTT Partnership with Global Digital Broadcast
--Project Canvas Set-Tops to Be in Stores by 2010, BBC Exec Claims
--Sonic Solutions in Multi-Year Over-the-Top Deal with Blockbuster
--TiVo: Data Show Most Popular Programs Often Suffer Most Ad Skipping
--Videon Central-RCDb Partnership Targets Internet-Connected Blu-Ray Disc Players

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

BBC Unveils its Red-Button Interactive TV Schedule for Next Two Weeks

The BBC announced last week the line-up of content that will be available through its red-button interactive TV service for the next two weeks and beyond:

News Round-Up:

--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:

BBC Unveils its Red-Button Interactive TV Schedule for the Coming Weeks

The BBC announced last week the line-up of content that will be available through its red-button interactive TV service for the next three weeks. Here are the highlights:

Broadband VOD Content Aggregator, blinkbox, in Digital Distribution Deal with BBC Worldwide

UK broadband video content aggregator, blinkbox, announced Thursday that it has signed a digital distribution deal with the BBC's commercial arm, BBC Worldwide (note: the latter recently signed a similar deal with Microsoft UK that will make its content available on the new MSN Video Player service--see article published on, July 30th).

BBC Children's Planning More Red-Button "Children's Commentaries" for Major Sporting Events

--CBeebies to Launch Red-Button Quiz for "Numberjacks"

BBC Children's interactive division is planning to work with BBC Sport to produce "children's commentaries" for major sports events and make them available through the red button, according to a report in the UK broadcast-industry trade publication, Broadcast.

New Interviews with Irdeto's Jan Steenkamp and the BBC's Russell Barnes

--Topics Discussed Include RSS-TV and "Open Source" TV Production
--Plus Verizon FiOS TV's Rachelle Zoffer Explains Interactive TV Widgets

[itvt] has just published in-depth audio interviews with Jan Steenkamp, VP America at Irdeto, and Russell Barnes, senior producer at the BBC.

BBC Unveils its Red-Button Interactive TV Schedule for the Coming Weeks

--Taps TV Chef for Primetime BBC iPlayer Marketing Campaign

The BBC announced Friday the line-up of content that will be available through its red-button interactive TV service for the next two weeks (and beyond). Here are the highlights:

BBC Sharing its Broadband Video News Content with UK Newspaper Web Sites Free-of-Charge

--BBC Red Button Updates: Maestro Cam, Football League

The BBC announced Tuesday that it has launched a program under which it is sharing its broadband video news content with UK newspaper Web sites free-of-charge. The corporation says that The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Independent, and The Daily Mail will be the first newspapers to embed the content in their sites. It is making the content available under an initiative called Project Marquee, which calls for it--as a publicly funded public-service entity--to share its content, technology and knowledge with other UK entities.

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