S4C Taps Ensequence to Create and Deploy Interactive TV Services on Freeview and Sky

--Ensequence Using S&T's MHEG Presenter to Deliver ITV Services to Freeview

Portland, Oregon-based interactive TV authoring solutions provider, Ensequence, announced Monday that it has been chosen by Welsh-language broadcaster, S4C, to create and deploy interactive TV services for the UK's Freeview free-to-air digital terrestrial and Sky pay-TV digital satellite platforms. The new deal represents Ensequence's first multiplatform deployment in the UK.

Ensequence says that it has selected MHEG Presenter technology from Strategy & Technology to deliver the interactive TV services it is providing on Freeview under the new deal (note: interactivity is enabled on the Freeview platform--as well as on the UK's free-to-air satellite-TV platform, Freesat--by the MHEG-5 standard). S4C's Ensequence-created interactive TV offering went live March 4th: accessed via the red button, it offers a range of information, including national and regional news, weather reports, TV listings and sports scores in both English and Welsh. "By working with Ensequence and S&T, we are able to quickly and affordably update and manage our interactive TV content," Arshad Rasul, S4C's director of broadcast and distribution, said in a prepared statement. "The combination of Ensequence and S&T improves our editorial efficiency and supplements S4C's editorial content while streamlining the content management process."

According to Ensequence, S4C's informational interactive TV service was developed using its Ensequence Create authoring software. The company says that this was its first UK deployment of a custom version of its interactive TV content management and reversioning software, which is billed as being designed to implement large volumes of ITV services. "We are happy to work with S4C to provide them with an interactive TV solution that enables scale in terms of the creation of a large volume of ITV experiences and deployment across multiple distributor platforms," Roger Demuth, Ensequence's SVP of services and support, said in a prepared statement. "S&T is the premier MHEG specialist in the UK market, and we chose MHEG Presenter because it provides a cost-effective mechanism for the presentation of large amounts of information on the Freeview platform." Added Colin Prior, S&T's director of international sales: "MHEG Presenter allows broadcasters to create complex MHEG applications using graphical layout tools and structured content data without writing any MHEG code. Content to be displayed on receivers using a 'push' model can be produced on S&T or third-party design tools in XML format, with no need to write or test MHEG code--so reducing risk and time to market." Back in the summer of 2005, S4C announced a three-year deal with another interactive TV authoring solutions provider, Dublin, Ireland-based emuse.