News Round-Up

--Miracle TV, ADB to Demo tru2way-Based Hospitality-Industry Solution for Cable Operators
--Israel's Reshet TV Launches iPhone/iPod touch Application
--RGB Networks Announces Cable-Tec Expo Exhibit Plans
--SeaChange to Launch New Products at Cable-Tec Expo
--TVGuide.com and YoungHollywood.com Expand their Relationship
--Mitch Berman Replaced as ZillionTV CEO

Here is a round-up of some other interactive TV-related stories we didn't have room for in this issue:

  • In a posting on LinkedIn's "OCAP, MHP and Java TV" group, Tuesday, Miguel Kramis, president and CEO of Miracle TV, stated that his company and Geneva-based set-top box company, ADB "will be demonstrating the first tru2way hospitality middleware for cable operators" in Booth #1089 at next week's SCTE Cable-Tec Expo. The demo will see Miracle TV's Hospitality Interactive TV (HiT) solution working in conjunction with the low-profile ADB-4820 set-top box. Miracle TV bills HiT as "the only centralized solution in the market that supports all industry standards such as tru2way, EBIF, IPTV and leverages an MSO's current infrastructure to provide unique customization and standardization of services to meet the requirements of high-end properties as well as other types of hotels."
  • Israeli television network, Reshet TV, has launched a live-TV application for the Apple iPhone/iPod touch. The app is based on The Imagine Network's Applicaster technology.
  • RGB Networks has announced its exhibit plans for next week's Cable-Tec Expo. Among other things, it says, it will be showcasing its new Video Multiprocessing Gateway (VMG), which is the basis of its content-repurposing solution and which it bills as "capable of simultaneously delivering any video program to multiple devices--from televisions, to PC's, to mobile devices--via any network and with pristine picture quality" and as "combining a number of key functions, including content repurposing, digital ad insertion, transrating, grooming ingest and aggregation, all in a single video processing platform."
  • SeaChange International has provided more information on its exhibit plans for the SCTE Cable-Tec Expo. It says it will unveil a range of products which will enable broadband operators to "time-shift and place-shift video to any screen" and which represent "the first wave of [its] Content Delivery Network (CDN) line-up." The new products, which are designed to work with the company's Axiom On Demand platform, include: 1) The SeaChange Universal Resource Manager, which is slated to be available early next year, and which the company says will provide "dynamic resource and admission control for broadband networks including IP and HFC devices such as QAM, CMTS and routers"; will ensure that "applications and resources are available to reliably deliver on service level agreements"; and "can set and ensure subscriber policies as well as application policies, provisioning services based on business rules." 2) AssetFlow, which it describes as "a video content and metadata manager that automatically manages the lifecycle of a single source file to reach any consumer device whether wired or wireless. By providing "workflow templates," SeaChange's promotional materials for the product continue, "operators can easily and graphically choose only the services required, which helps manage a three-screen video deployment." The product, which is slated for availability later this year, "can produce regionalized video versions in any format and support business rules about pricing or presentation on TV's, PC's and mobile phones," the company claims. 3) SeaChange RS-DVR, which it says "provides operators with the ability to deliver DVR functionality without deploying expensive DVR set-top boxes incorporating hard drives"; and "provides the subscriber with multi-room DVR capabilities without the need for in-home wiring and truck rolls--at a fraction of the cost of set-top DVR roll-outs." According to the company, the solution's "underpinnings include the new SeaChange RS-DVR server, which supports 108 terabytes shared among 500 subscribers; 100 SD and 25 HD hours per subscriber; and 4,000 SDE streams simultaneous ingest." 4) The SeaChange Flash Memory Streamer (FMS) 2500, which it says "expands on the performance of the industry's first family of compact, reliable solid-state flash streamers to meet the demands of the ever-increasing uptake in VOD streams and CDN applications" and has "no spinning disks and 99.999% availability, and a lifespan that's 10 times longer than Multi-Level Cell Flash solutions, while running on one-tenth of the required power." 5) The SeaChange Residential-Based Hospitality TV System (RBHS), which it says allows operators to leverage Axiom On Demand and current residential broadcast feeds to "extend core residential services to hotels of any size," resulting in a "cost-efficient, locally serviced cable proposition that eliminates the need for hotel premises equipment, is free of the constraints of Pro:Idiom conversion, and works with commodity Motorola and Cisco/S-A set-top boxes and their native electronic program guides." Operators can employ the solution to "offer hotels an individually customized bouquet of on-demand, broadcast and interactive television services, while helping hotels to reduce costs and surpass the typical guest experience," the company says.
  • TVGuide.com and YoungHollywood.com have announced that they are expanding their relationship to include collaborative productions. "Young Hollywood will create unique and innovative weekly video segments that will air on TVGuide.com, providing an inside look at the lives of the stars fans love," the companies state in a press release. "In addition, all celebrity profiles featured on YoungHollywood.com will now highlight program listings powered by TVGuide.com" and "TVGuide.com will syndicate its original editorial content to YoungHollywood.com."
  • Mitch Berman has stepped down as CEO of ZillionTV, a company that is attempting to launch a subscription-free over-the-top TV service. He has been replaced by Jack Lawrence, who was previously CFO and COO at toymaker, Corgi International. Berman will stay on at the company as executive chairman. The Los Angeles Times has more. ZillionTV recently announced that it was delaying its commercial launch until the second half of next year, and that it was pursuing a direct-to-consumer strategy to supplement its telco-targeted strategy; it was subsequently reported to have laid off nearly a third of its staff. In a posting on his blog, XYHD.tv, former ZillionTV employee, Brandon Wirtz, who broke the news of Berman's resignation and of ZillionTV's layoffs (and who appears to be none-too-enamored of the company's senior management), speculates that Lawrence has been appointed to liquidate the company: "Jack Lawrence whose background is as a CFO, and according to his LinkedIn profile is 'adept at merging and restructuring diverse organizations to gain efficiencies and drive profitability,' would seem a logical choice to liquidate the relatively small IP, and assets of the company," Wirtz writes, adding that "typically when a company hires a CFO to be their CEO, they are planning to reduce the company to a much smaller team, so that they can package it for sale to another company or to avoid a true fire sale."

 

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