BBC Unveils its Red-Button Interactive TV Schedule for Christmas and New Year

--Highlights Include "Doctor Who" Commentary, Bon Jovi Performance, Elton John Interview

The BBC has announced the line-up of content that will be available through its red-button interactive TV service over Christmas and into the new year:

IP Vision Teams with ANT to Make FetchTV OTT Platform Available on Third-Party Devices

--BBC Trust Expected to Approve BBC's Participation in Project Canvas this Week--But With Conditions

IP Vision--a company, backed by French set-top box vendor, Netgem, which currently offers a hybrid set-top box, called the FetchTV SmartBox, 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 (note: the company says that the box--which can be connected to any broadband access service--will support BSkyB's Sky Player service early next year)--last week announced plans to offer its FetchTV platform on third-party set-tops

Channel 4 and Talk Talk Join Project Canvas

--All UK Public Service Broadcasters Are Now Partners in the Project

UK commercial terrestrial broadcaster, Channel 4, and ISP, Talk Talk (which, among other things, operates the UK's Tiscali TV IPTV service), have become members of Project Canvas, joining the BBC, UK commercial terrestrial broadcasters ITV and Five, and UK incumbent telco BT, in the project, which is seeking to develop a common standard and interface for the delivery of online catch-up services such as the BBC iPlayer and the ITV player, as well as other Internet-based VOD services, to broadband-connected Freeview and Freesat set-top boxes (note: Freeview and Freesat are the UK's free-to-air digital ter

BBC Says 2009 Has Been Most Successful Year to Date for its BBC Red Button Interactive TV Service

--Claims Over 11 Million Viewers Press Red Each Week
--UK Round-Up: SeeSaw, Simon Cowell, Clearcast

The BBC said Tuesday that 2009 has been the most successful year to date for its BBC Red Button interactive TV service, with an average of over 11 million viewers pressing the red button each week, and with more content launched through the service than ever before.

BBC Unveils its Red-Button Interactive TV Schedule for This Week

--Viewers Invited to Create Trailers for "Digital Revolution"
--BBC in Archive MOU with British Library
--November Record for iPlayer

The BBC has announced the line-up of content that will be available through its red-button interactive TV service this week:

Cello's New iViewer HDTV Sets Allow Direct Streaming of BBC iPlayer, Other OTT Video Services

--BBC Produces Video Explaining How to Access iPlayer on Freesat

UK-based consumer electronics company, Cello Electronics, on Wednesday announced the launch of a line of LCD HDTV sets, called iViewer, that allow users to stream the BBC iPlayer--as well as a range of other broadband video services (note: in its promotional materials for the new devices, the company mentions YouTube--which recently signed deals to offer full-length programming from UK terrestrial broadcasters, Channel 4 and Five--Disney Movies Preview, Movie Rush, Autocar, Sky Sports "Boots n' All," the CNN daily video podcast, Jamie's Ministry of Food, Delicious TV Veg, Revision3, Diggnation and the Larry King video podcast)--directly, without the need for a set-top box or games console.

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:

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