Orca's Compass IPTV Content Discovery Solution Integrated with Trusted Opinion

--Orca Tapped by Vestitel to Power "Partnership IPTV" Service

At the IPTV World Forum last month, IPTV middleware and applications provider, Orca Interactive (note: the company was acquired last year by Viaccess--see [itvt] Issue 7.77 Part 1), announced the integration of its Compass personalized programming recommendation platform with social networking portal, Trusted Opinion. The company says that the resulting joint social TV solution will allow viewers to share personalized content recommendations with friends and family over the Web and to the TV.

Orca bills the Compass recommendation platform as blending user profiles, popular choices and personal usage history to build a personalized set of viewing recommendations for linear and on-demand TV content, thus allowing viewers to avoid "having to navigate their way through the confusing array of channels and programs via their EPG." The solution's integration with the Trusted Opinion portal "provides the added value of leveraging recommendations from the most trusted of sources--our friends," the company says. By incorporating this new source of recommendations, Orca claims, Compass will increase the buy-rate and ARPU of an IPTV service, and expand the overall range of content accessed by viewers because viewers now have the ability to recommend and rate content to one another in a "fun and enjoyable manner." "The interactive TV world is missing the level of interaction, sharing and recommendation of content available today on the Web," Trusted Opinion's founder and CEO, Shahar Smirin, said in a prepared statement. "The phenomenal viral growth and addictiveness of social networking has not yet deployed on TV, mostly because of the limitations of the TV set and its remote control. Trusted Opinion allows users to bring their social network of friends together to share great recommendations about the movies they like the most. Members find it so fun and addictive that every second user invites an average of 90 of their friends, consequently providing viral growth that is sorely missed in 'young' platforms such as IPTV. Trusted Opinion is proud to partner with Orca to deploy the fully integrated solution with Orca's Compass platform, enabling TV users with instant and transparent access to recommendations from their social network right on their TV set." Added Orca's VP of sales and marketing, Sefy Ariely: "Compass introduced to the market a revolutionary platform to provide viewers with the ultimate personalized TV experience. Based on the success and market demand for this unique technology, we are now taking things a step further by allowing people to easily receive content recommendations from those whose opinion they value most--their friends, family and social groups. We expect that innovations like these will give our customers the tools to create growth, customer loyalty and increase customer satisfaction, thereby creating new revenue opportunities."

In other Orca Interactive news: The company also announced last month that its RiGHTv IPTV middleware platform has been selected by Bulgarian triple-play operator, Vestitel BG, to power the latter's own IPTV service, as well as a managed IPTV service ("partnership IPTV service") that Vestitel is offering to other Bulgarian service providers and that is scheduled to go live at the end of this month. Orca's middleware will replace Vestitel's existing middleware solution.

Vestitel, a subsidiary of the Bulgarian natural gas company, launched its own IPTV service two years ago, and says it decided to leverage its investment in IPTV infrastructure by launching its new managed IPTV service. It claims that multiple operators have already signed up for the new service. According to Orca, Vestitel chose the RiGHTv middleware platform because it offered the best price/performance value, together with the ability to be customized to fit the needs of third-party operators. Vestitel was also interested in the "innovative nature" of its solution, Orca says, including the Compass recommendation technology. "We chose the RiGHTv solution because we needed a very reliable solution that is mature, adaptable and open enough to fit into our unique requirements for our service concept," Vestitel CEO, Alexander Vaglarov, said in a prepared statement. "Since we will be selling the managed service to competitive operators, the need for each operator to be self-sufficient and able to reflect their brand and tailor the solution to fit different market segments was also of paramount importance." Added Orca CEO, Haggai Barel: "We are convinced that the partnership IPTV model will be a very successful new development in the IPTV market place. We strongly applaud and support Vestitel's initiative and look forward to a successful partnership in the years to come."

 

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