Companies Announce Plans for IBC

--Accedo Broadband, Softel, Strategy & Technology, SysMedia

A number of interactive TV companies contacted [itvt] last week to let us know about their exhibition plans for the upcoming IBC show in Amsterdam (note: if your company is looking to publicize its IBC plans, let us know, and we may include a brief round-up in a semi-regular IBC preview feature):

  • Accedo Broadband--a Stockholm-based aggregator and distributor of interactive TV applications and content for IPTV and broadband-connected consumer electronics devices (note: the company, which was founded by telecom and media entrepreneurs, Michael Lantz and Fredrik Andersson, offers a range of applications, but is best known for its games)--plans to use the IBC to launch a social TV service called ZapClub; a range of social media applications that are integrated with such services as Facebook, Twitter, Picasa and Wikipedia; various applications that it has developed for the cable channel, History; various new games (it says that the new games will expand its portfolio to over 130 titles); "full HD" gaming functionality; and new 3D functionality based on SVG technology.
  • Softel--a UK-based company which, among other things, offers solutions for interactive TV application testing and delivery, subtitling and teletext creation, encoding, repurposing and transmission--plans to use the IBC to demo its MediaSphere interactive TV playout platform, which it bills as offering highly scalable application playout with support for multiple platforms (e.g. DTT, digital satellite and cable) and middleware types (e.g. MHEG, MHP, tru2way and OpenTV). According to the company, the platform offers a unique parallel multiformat playout capability from a single unit, and can be used with the company's MediaSphere Lab to enable cost-effective and rapid application test and deployment. Softel also plans to demo: 1) vFlex HD, its multipurpose ancillary data processing system for HD, which it claims offers the same feature set as the original SD version of vFlex and provides a powerful platform for VBI and VANC data processing for SD and HD SDI, as well as graphics insertion; Softel bills vFlex as a "new generation" SDI inserter, that supports insertion of subtitle, teletext, wide-screen signalling and other ancillary data into the transport stream, and also supports opt cue encode and decode and bridging; it combines data processing with CG and graphic keying, the company says, allowing insertion of clocks, bugs and other graphics into the transmitted video. 2) Its various subtitling solutions, including Swift vTX, Swift TX and Swift Create. 3) Its Microsoft Windows-based Cyclone teletext system, which it bills as taking advantage of the latest networking and Internet technologies to offer high availability, remote editing and automated updates from external data sources, and as cost-effectively supporting highly dynamic teletext services. The company also claims that the solution enables easy repurposing of content to the Internet and to mobile devices, with data export in common formats, and that it interfaces with the Swift family of products to enable teletext subtitling.
  • Strategy & Technology--a UK-based company that specializes in solutions for standards-based interactive TV--plans to use IBC to launch a new version of its MHEG Presenter system, which it says builds on the system's existing support for digital teletext and other interactive information services with new modules for VOD. According to the company, MHEG Presenter 2 also supports IP-connected CI+ modules, as well as hybrid IP/broadcast receivers with content being delivered via IP and/or broadcast. The company says it will demo a CI+ VOD solution with Tandberg Television and Neotion that enables operators to deliver bandwidth-based on-demand video services, including catch-up TV, without requiring a set-top box and thus reducing per-subscriber costs for operators. It also plans to show catch-up TV applications implemented with MHEG Presenter 2 and including "flexible integration" with backoffice systems (note: this demo is designed to show S&T's support for Freesat's IP-based "Interaction Channel"). In addition, the company plans to showcase TSMonitor, its new monitoring tool for interactive TV and subtitling which it unveiled at the NAB show earlier this year (note: for more on TSMonitor, see the article published on, April 16th). It also plans to showcase its Redkey 2, TSBroadcaster 2, MHEG EPG and MHEG Controller products.
  • SysMedia--a UK-based company that specializes in content- management and production systems for teletext, subtitling and interactive TV--plans to demo 1) its Plasma Gold software, which it bills as cost-effectively extending broadcast, pay-TV and Internet TV services to "virtually any set-top box, PC or Web-enabled mobile handset" via an "integrated broadcast and Web-based rich media gateway." 2) A new version of its WinCAPS subtitle preparation software that it says combines advanced speech and language processing tools with "optimum workflow." According to the company, the new version of WinCAPS includes automatic text-to-speech alignment, re-speaking for live and offline subtitling, automated script imports, speaker change identification, file version comparison, multiple import and export formats, and a new, improved InFILE subtitle insertion software for file-based workflows. 3) Plasma Teletext, a new Web-based editor that features DVB-ASI teletext, Web and mobile output options.