interactive tv

Scaent Group Acquires 10% Stake in Ocean Blue

--Ocean Blue Develops Hot-Plug USB Extension for Inexpensive PVR

The Scaent Group, a company best known for its energy-related
business, has acquired a 10% stake in Bristol, UK-based digital TV
software provider, Ocean Blue.
"The Scaent Group can provide access
to capital and extensive resource to help build the business, and provide
access to additional markets, especially the FSU, Baltic and
Scandinavian region," Scaent Group EVP, Derek McLennan, said in a
prepared statement. "I'm confident, that our partnership will result in
Ocean Blue's products securing an even more significant market share
in this booming sector. "Added Scaent Group EVP, Jonas
Garbaravicius: "The Scaent Group's strategy during the last two years

Radio Interview: Patrick Koppula, Founder and CEO, ffwd

In this recorded episode of [itvt]'s talk radio show, "The TV of
Tomorrow Show with Tracy Swedlow," Patrick Koppula, founder and
CEO of ffwd--a company that has just beta-launched a service that uses
social networking to facilitate Internet programming discovery and to
enhance the online viewing experience--discusses the service (which is
scheduled to launch commercially in September), the thinking behind
it, and ffwd's plans for enhancing it in the future; recounts the events
that led to his founding ffwd (he previously founded and

Navic's HyperCast Network Now Supports ETV/EBIF

Interactive TV and addressable advertising technology provider, Navic
Networks, says that its HyperCast Network, a backoffice solution for
delivering and managing interactive TV advertising content across
platforms and operators, is now compatible with the US cable
industry's ETV/EBIF standard (which is designed to enable interactive
TV applications--primarily bound apps--run on low-resource legacy
set-top boxes, and thereby to have a national footprint).
According to
the company, in addition to now supporting EBIF user agents and
delivery systems, HyperCast is compatible with other backoffice
systems, using SCTE-130 standard interfaces. "HyperCast was

Miniweb Launches "TV Key" Service on Sky

Miniweb--a company which offers a service, dubbed "TV Key," that
enables broadcasters and advertisers to repurpose Internet content as
interactive enhancements to their shows or commercials on
broadband-connected set-top boxes, thus providing an inexpensive way
to launch interactive TV services (note: the company was founded by
former BSkyB ITV executive, Ian Valentine, who spun the company
off from the satellite provider and now serves as its CEO; its
technology is based on the BSkyB-developed WTVML standard and
was originally used to power the operator's Skynet service)--has
launched its service on the Sky platform.
"Today's launch on Sky

Project Canoe Officially Launched as Canoe Ventures

--David Verklin Appointed as New Venture's CEO

The contours of Project Canoe, the US cable industry's hitherto
secretive initiative to create a national unified platform for interactive
and addressable advertising, became a little clearer last week when the
MSO's behind the initiative announced the launch of a joint venture,
Canoe Ventures, and the appointment of advertising industry veteran,
David Verklin, as the new venture's CEO.
Verklin, who will join Canoe
Ventures on August 4th, will be tasked with leading its efforts to create
shared processes and standards for audience targeting, interactivity and
measurement in multiplatform advertising across cable systems

BBC Outlines its Interactive TV Plans for 2008/2009

--Round-Up of Recent BBC Interactive and Broadband TV News

In its latest "Statements of Programme Policy" document, the BBC has
outlined its plans for its BBCi interactive TV service in 2008 and 2009.
Perhaps most notably, those plans include exploring the use of IP to
enhance single-screen interactive TV content. The document lays out
the plans in five key areas:

Consortium Developing Standard for Radio Frequency-Based Remotes

Consumer electronics giants, Philips, Samsung, Sony and Panasonic,
announced last week that they are collaborating on the development of
a standardized specification for radio frequency-based remote controls
for audio-visual consumer electronics devices.
Together with Freescale
Semiconductors, OKI and Texas Instruments, the companies have
formed an RF4CE (stands for "Radio Frequency for Consumer
Electronics") Consortium that will attempt to create a new protocol to

enable the development of radio frequency remote controls that offer
richer communication, increased reliability and more flexible use.

DIVA Consortium Launches in China

--Group is Developing New Interface for Interactive TV and CE Networking

An industry group called the DIVA Consortium was officially launched
last month in Guangzhou at the 2008 China Digital Living Forum &
Showcase, an event targeted at the Chinese consumer electronics
The charter members of the new consortium include a number
of major Chinese consumer electronics and home appliance
manufacturers, such as TCL; Chang Hong Electric; Skyworth Group;
Hisense Electric; Konka Group; Haier; SVA Information Industry;
Panda Electronics; and Synerchip.

itaas's Rustagi and TVWorks' Thomson on the Companies' New ETV/tru2way Partnership

DISH Network Execs Discuss the Company's New ITV Advertising Deal with NBC Universal


In this recorded episode of [itvt]'s talk radio show, "The TV of
Tomorrow Show with Tracy Swedlow," Michael Finn, VP of
advertising sales at DISH Network, and Scott Higgins, the company's
director of interactive programming, discuss DISH's new interactive
TV advertising deal with NBC Universal, and the company's plans to
make increasing use of the DVR hard drive for its interactive TV

To listen to the show,
click here.

[itvt] Radio: Jim Louderback, CEO of Revision3

In this recorded episode of [itvt]'s talk radio show, "The TV of
Tomorrow Show with Tracy Swedlow," sponsored by TiVo, Jim
, CEO of Revision3, provides an overview of his
company--which bills itself as "an actual TV network for the Web,"
and which produces its own original, broadcast-quality programming.

Topics discussed include funding, download numbers, revenues,
demographics, distribution strategy, content strategy, advertising

[itvt] Interview: Tara Maitra, VP and General Manager of Content Services at TiVo

As VP and general manager of content services at TiVo, Tara Maitra is in charge of the company's broadband content strategy--which sees it aggregating a line-up of downloadable movies and programming through partnerships with Amazon and around 60 other content providers, and also enabling subscribers to its service to access video from the open Internet via a PC connected to their TiVo device. The company also recently announced a deal with YouTube that will enable its subscribers to access YouTube videos directly from their TV set via their DVR.

[itvt] Radio: Review of the 2008 NCTA Cable Show

In this recorded episode of [itvt]'s talk radio show, "The TV of
Tomorrow Show with Tracy Swedlow," a panel of interactive TV
experts--Steve Borelli, VP of marketing and business development at
Integra5; industry analyst, Leslie Ellis (author of the popular
Multichannel News column, "Translation Please"); Will Kreth, director

of product management for interactive TV at Time Warner Cable; Alex

DirecTV Rolls Out Multiple Interactive TV Services

--Forms Audience-Measurement Partnership with TNS

US satellite TV provider, DirecTV, continues to roll out interactive TV
services as an integral part of its sports coverage and of its service
offering in general (note: the company is also expected to launch a
VOD service this quarter; a report in the Wall Street Journal stated that
the service will employ a combination of push-VOD and broadband
technologies: a small selection of popular titles will be pushed to
subscribers' DVR's, while around 3,000 titles will be available via those
DVRs' broadband connections, the newspaper said). Among the

Shalom TV Launches National VOD Service on Comcast

Shalom TV, a TV channel devoted to Jewish culture, has launched a
line-up of free programming on Comcast On Demand--marking, the
channel says, the first time that a major US cable operator has offered a
Jewish-themed channel as part of its national VOD line-up--as well as
on Time Warner Cable of New York and New Jersey's VOD service.

The channel's programming includes Jewish-themed English-language
films, subtitled Israeli films, news and public affairs coverage, cultural
and celebrity shows, shows devoted to Torah study, and original
children's shows. "Comcast is committed to delivering programming
that reflects the diverse interests of our customers, and Shalom TV does

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