"Touching Stories" App Offers Four Interactive Short Films, Designed Specifically for the iPad

Interactive production company, Tool of North America (note: for more on Tool, see the interview with its digital executive producer, Dustin Callif, that was published on, June 9th, 2009), has teamed with "technology-infused" creative agency, Domani Studios , to develop an application, dubbed "Touching Stories," that contains four interactive live-action short films shot by five Tool of North America directors and designed specifically for the Apple iPad. According to the companies, the app allows...

XStreamHD in Deal with EchoStar to Power its Satellite-Delivered HD Movies-on-Demand Service

XStreamHD , a company that is developing a satellite-delivered 1080p HD movies-on-demand service, said Tuesday that it has signed a long-term satellite service agreement with EchoStar's EchoStar Satellite Services subsidiary. XStreamHD says that it has been working with EchoStar for the past two years in order to complete operational testing of the transport technology that underlies its service: it is using capacity from the EchoStar-leased AMC-16 satellite, which is located at 85 degrees west longitude...

News Round-Up (VII): Total Immersion, TVLinks, Univision

--Total Immersion-Powered Augmented Reality Promotion Invites Consumers to "Iron Man Yourself"
--TVLinks Launches Service that Integrates Web TV Guide with Video Search Engine
--Univision Releases Stats for its Online and Mobile World Cup Coverage
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 apologize for any inconvenience to our readers. We will resume our regular format and publishing schedule tomorrow (Tuesday). Augmented reality specialist, Total Immersion , was recently tapped by LG Mobile Phones to create an integrated digital promotion, entitled "Iron Man Yourself," around the movie " Iron Man 2 ." The project--which...

News Round-Up (I): Avail-TVN, Betfair-Samsung, Boxee

--Recent Releases Dominate Avail-TVN's List of Top-20 Most-Watched VOD Movies
--Betfair to Offer Interactive TV Sports Wagering Apps on Samsung's Connected TV Platform
--Launch of Boxee Box Delayed until November, My Damn Channel Launches on Boxee
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. VOD distribution services provider, Avail-TVN , has released a list of the top-20 most-watched VOD movies, based on a national sample of around 14 million homes. "With increased...

News Round-Up (IX): Verizon FiOS TV, Western Digital

--Verizon FiOS TV Rolls Out Visual 411 Interactive TV Widget in Multiple Markets
--Western Digital Launches Netflix-Enabled OTT Set-Top Box
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. Verizon FiOS TV has announced the roll-out of its Visual 411 directory assistance interactive TV widget--which allows viewers to search for local businesses by name, type of business...

Rogers Officially Launches its "TV Everywhere" Service, Rogers On Demand Online

Canadian cable MSO, Rogers Communications , has now officially launched Rogers On Demand Online, its initial implementation of the "TV Everywhere" distribution model, following a beta period that began last November (note: the "TV Everywhere" distribution model--which was originally championed by Time Warner chairman and CEO, Jeff Bewkes--seeks, via authentication technology, to make programming that pay-TV customers have already paid for through their cable, satellite or IPTV subscriptions available to those customers on multiple Web...

Games-on-Demand Company, Playcast, Signs MOU with Portuguese Pay-TV Operator

Playcast Media , a start-up with offices in Israel and London that was founded by two Harmonic veterans--Guy De Beer, who previously managed that company's VOD product lines, and Natan Peterfreund, who was previously its principal scientist and who is one of the originators of the H.264 compression standard--has signed an MOU with a large Portuguese pay-TV operator whose identity the company has not disclosed, the Israeli business news service, Globes, reported late Wednesday.

News Round-Up

--CBS Interactive Embraces VAST 2.0
--Ceton Once Again Delays Launch of its InfiniTV 4 CableCARD Tuner
--DISH Network, Weather Channel Resolve Carriage Dispute
--FCC Requests Info from Comcast on TV Everywhere, FanCast Xfinity, iN Demand, thePlatform
--Report: TWC, Hollywood Studios Discussing Making Movies Available on TV 30 Days After Release
--Univision Interactive Media to Offer Extensive Array of Online Programming
--Ustream Launches Production Services Department
Here is a round-up of some other interactive TV-related stories we didn't have room for in this issue: CBS Interactive has announced that a number of its news, sports and entertainment properties have been certified as fully compliant with the Interactive Advertising Bureau 's (IAB) new Video Ad Serving Template (VAST) 2.0 standard. "Digital video has transformed the online experience and VAST allows for a standardized communication between ad servers and players, which is critical...

Best Buy Launches "CinemaNow" Download Service, Powered by Sonic Solutions

Electronics retailer, Best Buy , on Tuesday announced the availability of its new download service, branded as CinemaNow , which it says will provide consumers with free, same-day instant access to new-release movies and TV shows: titles will be available for rent at around $4 each, and for purchase at around $15. The CinemaNow brand was formerly owned by Sonic Solutions (note: Sonic acquired the pioneering OTT service of the same name back in 2008),...

LOVEFiLM Launches OTT Service on Internet@TV-Enabled Samsung TV's in the UK

UK-based video rental subscription service, LOVEFiLM , has announced the availability of its OTT service on new Samsung TV's in the UK. The service is currently available to LOVEFiLM customers with unlimited subscription packages on all Samsung TV models equipped with the consumer electronics manufacturer's Internet@TV platform, and is slated to launch on its Blu-ray players and home theater systems at a later date. LOVEFiLM has previously launched its service HDTV's, Blu-ray players and home...