Norwegian Interactive TV Company, never.no, Upgrades its Dynamic Content Scheduler

--Enhances its ADS and Community TV Products, Powers Interactivity at Us Weekly Event

Norwegian interactive TV software company, never.no (note: for an example of an application powered by the company's technology, see the article published on itvt.com, July 1st), announced Tuesday that it has added new functionality to its Dynamic Content Scheduler (DCS), a Microsoft Windows-based GUI for configuring, deploying and scheduling interactive automated TV graphics. According to the company, DCS 2.0, as the new version of the technology is called, is available for Vizrt, Harris RTX, Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight.

Positioned between the interactive TV editorial components and the character generator, never.no says, DCS 2.0 synchronizes and coordinates the dynamic content generated by the various supported input mediums, thus ensuring "seamless" insertion of on-screen elements to air. New functions, according to the company, include video server emulation so that the never.no jukebox module can be run without the need for connection to an actual video server; MMS image directories with auto-deletion of images and files over a certain age; and new data workflow procedures and protocols.

In addition, never.no says, the Harris RTS plug-in for DCS 2.0 is rewritten in C++ and incorporates improved chat scroller support and expanded animation support for both pre-rendered via animations and for animated layouts. For Adobe Flash, meanwhile, DCS 2.0 adds a Flash Video Carousel component; layout manager functionality for handling screen re-sizes; integration with Interactivity Desk buttons to turn components and other content on or off; and built-in flexible design and skinning functions, the company says. "At never.no, we recognize the imperative of constantly improving our products not only in response to the demands of our customers but ahead of their demands," never.no CEO, Lars Lauritzsen, said in a prepared statement. "DCS 2.0 goes beyond what standard automation systems can do to provide the micromanagement necessary for participation TV and real-time publishing of viewer-generated content. The new functions we have incorporated will make the application even more useful and reliable for our existing customers and for our customers in the future."

In other never.no news: 1) The company announced last week that it has enhanced its Auto Dialog System (ADS) suite so that it can be used with Twitter and YouTube and so that it is more functional and faster both for businesses and end-users. The company bills the ADS platform as a frontend for mobile, email and IM gateways that enables creation, deployment and maintenance of dialog-based, one-to-one communication for interactive services such as registration, quizzes, chats and merchandise ordering.

The company also said that it has released an upgrade that adds Web-linking to its Community TV system. It bills the latter as a turnkey solution that relies on its interactive video technology to provide ingest, automation and playout of user-provided content. "At never.no, we harness innovative technology to help people connect with businesses and with one another," CEO Lauritzsen said in a prepared statement. "The latest versions of the ADS suite and Community TV platform are perfect examples of how we do this. While responding to the tremendous popularity of social networking, we have taken the opportunity to make the products more useful to our clients and, in turn, more engaging and helpful to their clients--the end-users and viewers."

Working with Twitter, never.no says, the ADS system now adds one-click functions so that an end-user can retrieve recent messages and replies, send messages, update status or upload an image. For YouTube, the company claims, the enhanced ADS suite now allows end-users to retrieve comments or metadata on a given video, or to upload a video. The system also now allows end-users to download files from the Web, the company says, and--in some countries--to look up addresses.

For business owners, never.no says, the ADS platform now makes it easier to generate automated dialogs, messages and callbacks that are more precisely targeted either to a group or to an individual. For example, the company explains, a message can be published to a group, a single customer, or a cell phone number directly from the system's dynamic Web interface. Likewise, it says, it can be specified to the minute at what time subscription content should be sent to different email addresses or groups of email addresses. never.no also bills the ADS platform upgrade as making it easier to search the ADS system for clients/customers or their date of joining, while macro functionality has been improved, the company says, for adding attachments and using keywords. In addition, the company says it has enhanced several ADS features related to the Community TV platform.

2) The company provided interactive entertainment at Us Weekly's Hot Hollywood Summer Event in Chicago last week. The company's Interactivity Desk technology was used to enable guests at the event to share their opinions via text message and see the results on a digital-out-of-home display in real time. According to the company, the mobile-to-video platform enables audience participation either by integrating the live video stream with user-submitted opinions and content, or by turning the phone keypad into an active interface for playing games and other interactions. The company claims that the system is sufficiently flexible to integrate with standard TV, Web, IPTV, DOOH and mobile content. The US Weekly event saw the magazine creating 10 questions for guests to answer via SMS: guests who participated received a sponsored return message and the never.no ADS tabulated their responses and broadcast the results on-screen at the event. "When it comes to enabling mobile phone and video to 'talk' to one another, never.no is the expert," CEO Lauritzsen said in a prepared statement. "Us Weekly saw an innovative opportunity to use our DOOH technology to enliven its summer party by sparking conversation and fun--not to mention brand awareness. Almost everyone has a mobile phone. Our technology transforms that phone into a universal interface to interactive content--including TV, Web content, and Flash games--allowing everyone to participate, anywhere. We anticipate that many businesses and organizations will follow Us Weekly's lead and find innovative and exciting ways to take advantage of the technology."

Region: 
Europe