Interactive TV News Round-Up

--Al Jazeera Launches "Lean-Back" Version of its Web Site for Google TV
--Brightcove Launches "YouTube Sync" Capability
--Cisco's Set-Top Sales Decline 29%
--GetGlue Brings "Check-In"-Based Social TV to the Grammy Awards
--Howard Stern Live-Tweets "Private Parts"
--S&T to Showcase MHEG-IC and HbbTV Solutions at IP&TV World Forum
Here are some other interactive TV-related stories we didn't have room for in this issue: Al Jazeera , the Qatar-based news network whose coverage of the ongoing Egyptian revolution has been widely viewed and praised, but which has previously faced difficulties getting its Al Jazeera English channel carried by US pay-TV platforms, has launched a "lean-back" version of its Web site for Google TV . Google trumpeted the news, Friday, on its dedicated Google TV...

News Round-Up (VI): Sony, Google TV, Strategy & Technology, Widevine

--Sony Demo's Google TV Device at IFA
--S&T to Launch HbbTV Version of TSBroadcaster, Player App for MHEG IC and CI+ Markets
--Widevine Allowed Patent on Transcoding Broadcast Content for Internet Delivery
Due to the large volume of interactive TV-related news generated over the past few days by the IFA and the run-up to the IBC, we are covering stories in this issue in round-up format. We anticipate that it will take a couple of days for us to catch up with all the recent news: so if your company has sent us a press release or briefed us on an announcement, and you don't yet see...

BBC Red Button Team Announces Open Source Release of its MHEG+ Interactive TV Toolkit

--MHEG+ Programming Language Powers BBC's ITV Services on Freeview and Freesat
In a posting on its Internet blog, Monday, by Mark Hatton, a senior software engineer from the BBC's TV Platforms Group , the BBC Red Button team announced the open source release of its MHEG+ toolkit under the Apache 2.0 license.

According to the BBC, MHEG+ is both a programming language and a suite of tools that was developed in-house by the corporation itself for building interactive TV services on the UK's...

News Round-Up (V): RTE (MHEG), Music Choice, NDS

--MHEG Selected as Interactive Middleware for Ireland's National DTT Service
--Music Choice Launches "Back 2 School" Programming Promotion for its Interactive Channel, SWRV
--NDS Says New Hire Heralds Increased Focus on Advanced Advertising Solutions for Asia Pacific
Because the [itvt] editorial team has been on the road the past few weeks, we are covering recent news stories in summary/round-up form. We anticipate that it will take a few days for us to catch up with all the recent news: so if your company has sent us a press release or briefed us on an announcement, and you don't yet see your news covered in this issue, please bear with us. We apologize...

Ocean Blue Releases Triton MHEG-5 and CI+ Authoring Tool as Open Source and Royalty-Free Product

Bristol, UK-based digital TV software provider, Ocean Blue Software , said Wednesday that it has released its Triton MHEG-5 and CI+ authoring tool as an open source and royalty-free product for application authors and developers. According to the company, the tool contains many of the features commonly found in professional integrated development environments (IDE), and allows developers to create dynamic and visually impressive GUI applications for digital TV platforms. In a prepared statement, Ocean Blue...

Ocean Blue's Voyager MHEG-5 Engine Supports Interactive TV on Freeview HD

Bristol, UK-based digital TV software provider, Ocean Blue , said Tuesday that its Voyager MHEG-5 engine is now compliant with the UK's specification for DVB-T2 Freeview HD receivers. The announcement comes in time for an anticipated surge in demand for HD services on Freeview, the UK's free-to-air digital terrestrial television platform, in the run-up to the World Cup, the company points out. It says that the development utilizes the enhanced graphics capabilities of HD-ready televisions...

News Round-Up (IV)

--Disney/ABC Releases New Version of the ABC Player App for iPad
--Edgeware, Teleste Partner on VOD Solution
--Ensequence Tapped by Showtime to Bring EBIF-Based Interactive TV to its Sports Programming
--Ensequence-Commissioned Survey Shows Consumer Interest in Interactive TV
--ETSI Publishes New Version of MHEG ITV Middleware Standard Incorporating Interaction Channel
The [itvt] editorial team is on the road this week, so we are covering most stories in round-up/summary form, and we anticipate that there will be some additional interruptions of our regular news publishing schedule beyond that. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience to our readers. Disney/ABC Television Group has announced the release of a new version of its ABC Player app for the Apple iPad , following the release of the 3G version...

Strategy & Technology Launches MHEG-Based Solution for VOD and Catch-Up TV

Strategy & Technology , a UK-based company that specializes in solutions for standards-based interactive TV, announced Sunday that it will launch the S&T Player and Mediator, an MHEG-based solution for VOD and catch-up TV services, at the NAB show in Las Vegas this week (note: digital TV platforms based on the MHEG ITV middleware standard include the UK's Freeview and Freesat services, Freeview New Zealand and Freeview Australia).

The company bills the...

IMPALA Hails Success of UK's MHEG-Based Free-to-Air Satellite TV Platform, Freesat

--Platform Provides Access to BBC iPlayer via MHEG Interaction Channel
--Sagemcom Says its Freesat STB's Now Support iPlayer Access
The International MHEG Promotion Alliance (IMPALA) , an organization that was set up in 2006 by Strategy & Technology, Cabot Communications and EchoStar Europe to promote use of the MHEG middleware standard beyond the UK, has issued a public statement hailing the success of the UK's free-to-air satellite TV platform, Freesat , which has just announced that it has passed the one million customer mark.

Freesat, a joint venture between the BBC...

New Version of MHEG Interactive TV Middleware Submitted to ETSI

--Includes Support for IP-Based Interaction Channel, HD Graphics, and More
The International MHEG Promotion Alliance (IMPALA) , an organization that was set up in 2006 by Strategy & Technology, Cabot Communications and EchoStar Europe to promote use of the MHEG-5 standard outside the UK (note: MHEG-5 is the middleware standard upon which the UK's free-to-air digital terrestrial service, Freeview, is based; it was developed and standardized in the mid-90's as part of the DAVIC standardization effort to support interactivity and navigation for VOD services), announced...