Time Warner Cable Deploys OpenTV EclipsePlus in All its Continental US Regional Operating Centers

--Solution Has also Been Selected by Suddenlink Communications
--Round-Up of Recent Technology and Industry News from OpenTV

Interactive TV and advanced advertising technology provider, OpenTV, announced Thursday that its EclipsePlus advertising campaign management solution has been selected by Time Warner Cable to manage its advertising sales operations across all its regional operating centers (ROC's) in the continental US, which represent around 12.3 million subscribers, or approximately 97% of the cable MSO's total subscriber base. OpenTV says that EclipsePlus--which it bills as enabling large cable advertising operations to manage multichannel ad campaigns more efficiently and with minimal resource requirements--has already been deployed in all four of Time Warner Cable's ROC's, where it will serve over 50 markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and Cleveland. "Our initial deployments of EclipsePlus have been very successful," Joan Gillman, president of Time Warner Cable Media Sales, said in a prepared statement. "The product's scalability and adaptability to large advertising operations is a key advantage for us and we look forward to continued success through our partnership with OpenTV." Added OpenTV CEO, Ben Bennett: "Time Warner Cable runs some of the largest regional operating centers in the country and has shown great leadership and innovation in that domain. We are honored to serve their campaign management needs through a deal that demonstrates the value that EclipsePlus brings to cable operators nationwide. It is another major milestone of which we are very proud and we look forward to a strong and longstanding relationship with Time Warner Cable and in helping them achieve and surpass their campaign management goals."

OpenTV bills EclipsePlus--which it launched in May, 2008, and which has also been deployed by Comcast in a number of markets, including Baltimore, Philadelphia and Seattle (note: Suddenlink is also deploying the solution--see below)--as being able to handle thousands of local and interconnect networks, schedule complicated channel environments, and run multiple DMA's within a single database, thereby reducing manual workload and time spent running verification and billing reports on spot buys. According to the company, the platform allows electronic, real-time data exchange between sales and inventory management systems, thus eliminating paper-based change orders, and features a dynamic scheduler that continuously analyzes current and upcoming schedules in order to optimize yields.

In other technology and industry news from OpenTV:
--During OpenTV's earnings conference call, Thursday, CEO Ben Bennett stated that cable operator, Suddenlink, will be using EclipsePlus to support advertising operations in seven states, reaching 1.2 million subscribers (note: according to Bennett, the platform is now in 15 of the top-25 US cable DMA's, and is delivering spot advertising to a total of 29.5 million cable subscribers, representing a 52% share of the combined subscribers of the top-10 MSO's). He also revealed that the company plans to launch an international version of EclipsePlus in the third quarter. In addition, Bennett stated that OpenTV has made "significant progress with Foxtel regarding our next-generation [middleware] platform," OpenTV Core3, and that the Australian pay-TV operator has "committed to some sizeable projects with OpenTV in support of major programs scheduled for launch in Q3, 2009." Bennett also said that OpenTV is close to launching its Core2 middleware platform with a Chinese cable operator that is transitioning from analog to digital, and that the company expects to be making an announcement about this launch in the next few weeks. (Note: for more on OpenTV's earnings, see separate article published on itvt.com today.)
--The company also announced Thursday that its PVR/DVR Streaming File System (SFS) was rated one of the best PVR file systems available today by hard disk company, Seagate Technology. According to OpenTV, the SFS, which was built specifically for PVR use and which is part of a complete PVR solution offered by the company, dictates how video, metadata and other information are written to the hard disk, in order to optimize performance and maximize the life of the drive in the PVR-enabled set-top box, thus reducing the likelihood of end-user issues and product returns. Testing was conducted in Seagate's lab using a PVR/DVR featuring a Seagate Pipeline HD hard disk, which captured the behavior of the file system during a 120-minute simultaneous dual-record and playback session of HDTV content. The test was designed to replicate the high-end workload that a home-theater environment can experience. According to OpenTV and Seagate, the test showed that OpenTV's SFS delivered "excellent" performance at the set-top box level and could also prolong the life of a hard drive in the field. "The combination of Seagate Pipeline HD hard disk drives along with OpenTV's SFS system provides an optimized PVR/DVR environment where system performance and reliability are greatly enhanced," Bryan Yunker, Seagate's PVR software tools manager, said in a prepared statement. "For stability and to maximize drive life, OpenTV's SFS is one of the most stable we’ve tested so far."
--At the NCTA Cable Show last month, the company teamed with This Technology, a provider of dynamic metadata and advanced advertising supply management software for digital TV, to demo the integration of EclipsePlus with MetaMore and SpotBuilder, This Technology's content and advertising supply management solution, across various delivery methods, including on-demand, timeshifted and linear. The companies billed the demo as highlighting their ability to deliver a "unique" offering that enables cable operators and their broadcaster partners to easily manage the dynamic advertising space they have available for sale. They claim their joint solution integrates order processing, inventory management, ad insertion and delivery systems, using both standard and extended interfaces built on the SCTE-130 standard. "The continued roll-out of advanced advertising has emerged as a top priority for cable operators, and their success will be directly tied to their ability to provide all stakeholders with complete control over both advertising inventory supply, contract demand and campaign fulfillment," This Technology founder, Jeffrey Sherwin, said in a prepared statement. "This Technology and OpenTV are committed to delivering solutions that enable cable operators to easily maximize revenue for available ad spots, operationalize new forms of advanced advertising and reduce costs associated with metadata management, to continue moving the industry's advanced advertising play forward."
--The NCTA Cable Show also saw OpenTV teaming with Arris to demo a new solution for localized, linear-TV advertising that represents the integration of EclipsePlus and OpenTV's new real-time Ad Decision Service (ADS) with Arris's linear ad-management system, the ConvergeMedia SkyVision ADM 1.0. The companies bill the integration as making TV advertising more relevant, accountable and dynamic, and claim that the Cable Show demo was the first time that the SCTE-130 standard, which provides a common framework for the development of advanced advertising services, had been applied to linear advertising. The demo was designed to showcase the integrated solution's ability to identify national ad breaks, conduct real-time, localized ad substitutions based on geographic market data, and accommodate last-minute schedule shifts, such as might be required during live events. The companies claim that the solution will allow MSO's to deliver enhancements, copy variations, and ultimately interactivity on behalf of the networks, making more efficient use of ad dollars and air time. "Advanced digital ad insertion systems like Arris replaced 3/4-inch tape machines and analog switching more than a decade ago, but the techniques for conveying schedules from traffic systems to those advertising video servers have not changed in more than 20 years," Paul Woidke, OpenTV's SVP and general manager of advanced advertising, said in a prepared statement. "Current systems do not allow for live program shifts and identify only the local breaks made available to cable operators in their markets. Through this next-generation platform, and by applying the SCTE-130 standard, Arris and OpenTV have established a highly dynamic, real-time interface that will bring greater flexibility to the ad decision process and increase the geographic relevance of national ads."
--In March, the company announced that it had opened an office in Mumbai, India, and that it had hired Kishore Shirekar as country manager for India and regional sales director for South Asia and the Middle East. "We are very excited about strengthening our presence in the Indian market at a time when the market is growing and expanding at a fast pace," OpenTV's Ben Bennett said in a prepared statement. "The growth of digital television in India is expected to be strong in the years ahead and we are dedicated to ensuring that our customers are well equipped to embrace this growth and provide their subscribers with advanced services that bring the excitement of the digital television experience to many homes in this dynamic country." OpenTV's interactive TV middleware customers in India include the Essel Group's DishTV, Reliance Communications' BigTV, and Sun Direct.

North America