enableTV Launches Modular "cablewidgets" Platform for Interactive TV App Deployment

--Also Releases DV-TIDE 2.0, a PC-Based Headend Solution for VOD, EPG, and Application Testing

enableTV, the interactive TV software and services company that was spun out of Vidiom Systems last year by Vidiom founder, Tim Wahlers (see article published on itvt.com, September 29th), announced Monday that it has developed a modular platform for interactive TV application deployment that uses proprietary software components called "cablewidgets." According to the company, each cablewidget is an individual interactive software application that can be combined with others to offer a multi-functional app: for example, the company says, a real-time "Polling Widget" can be offered together with a "News Headlines" ticker and a two-way "Online Purchasing Widget," all at the click of a remote control. The company says that the widgets will allow cable viewers to click on their remotes to instantly access such information as local weather forecasts, market status or daily horoscopes.

According to enableTV, some cablewidgets will be available only with certain TV programs or on certain channels, while others are more general in scope and will be accessible by viewers regardless of which channel or program they are viewing. The company says that viewers will always have the opportunity to dismiss a cablewidget if they are not in the mood to interact. Enable TV--which says that the cablewidget platform is available now for both tru2way and ETV/EBIF environments--is providing a Web-based portal which it says will enable simple and comprehensive management of cablewidgets (including the ability to set them up and measure their delivery, viewing and real-time interaction) for clients and programmers. "We are excited that our development of this platform is now complete and ready to deploy," enableTV co-founder and VP, Walden Miller, said in a prepared statement. "The cablewidgets platform has been tested and is ready for deployment. We are grateful to the many clients and organizations that have helped our platform evolve into a stable, deployable, and scalable solution."

enableTV also announced Monday the release of DV-TIDE 2.0, a PC-based headend solution for VOD, EPG and application testing. According to the company, DV-TIDE 2.0 supports host control over multiple DV-TIDE systems with a combined channel map, and delivery of bound and unbound applications, enabling testing in an environment similar to a cable plant but at a fraction of the cost. It says that the system is expandable up to 16 QAM channels and is available now in two server configurations. It is designed for use in facilities with no headends, facilities with headends that require local configuration capabilities, and for demos without access to headends. The company says that it supports delivery of bound and unbound apps, SI data including channel maps, XAIT, and VOD requests and control including RTSP and ISA support. "enableTV is demonstrating DV-TIDE delivery of bound ETV applications with in-stream triggers and unbound OCAP applications within the same DV-TIDE system at the CableLabs Summer Conference," enableTV's Miller said in a prepared statement. "This is a significant first step to providing full application testing without headends."

In addition to its test products, enableTV says it offers a full ETV and OCAP test facility with Motorola and Cisco headends, over 10,000 fully automated OCAP-specific and platform performance tests, remote testing and tru2way pre-certification services.

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