News Round-Up

--Quincy Smith to Resign as CEO of CBS Interactive, Will Continue to Advise on Interactive Media
--Comcast Said to Be Working on "Underground IPTV and Video Convergence Project"
--December Issue of Esquire Magazine to Offer Extensive Augmented Reality Features
--Rogers Skeptical of tru2way, Considering Internet-Based Interactive TV Solutions
--SeaChange Showcases RS-DVR Solution at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo

Here is a round-up of some other interactive TV-related stories we didn't have room for in this issue (as well as some stories from the ongoing SCTE Cable-Tec Expo in Denver, which our editorial team was unable to attend):

  • CBS said Wednesday that Quincy Smith will step down as CEO of its CBS Interactive arm at the end of the year. However, Smith, who is starting his own advisory business, will continue to advise the broadcaster on "strategies and opportunities for growth" across its various interactive businesses. According to CBS, "Smith will continue to be closely involved in CBS’s initiatives related to next-generation monetization of video, including oversight of the company’s effort to explore authentication as a new, additive method of distribution," and "will also advise on partnering with technology companies to expand CBS’s interactive presence, as well as explore new growth opportunities related to content, services and applications." Smith's duties will be taken over by CBS Interactive president, Neil Ashe.
  • Comcast is working on "an underground IPTV and video convergence project...code-named 'Excalibur,'" Jeff Baumgartner reports in Cable Digital News. According to Baumgartner, "sources familiar with Excalibur say its aim is to develop a 'services overlay' that would put all IP services, including video, into a common provisioning and management system," and "sources also say Excalibur will use a form of digital rights management (DRM) for security." On a related note: Baumgartner also reports on an SCTE Cable-Tec Expo keynote in which John Schanz, Comcast's EVP of national engineering and technical operations, stated that the cable industry is working to further develop its IP core and to put all its services, including video, onto IP. "Imagine anyone building a consumer gadget without IP," Schanz stated. "It would be like building a home without plumbing. IP has made its way into every industry, and ours is no different."
  • The December issue of Esquire magazine will incorporate a series of triggers that will unlock interactive augmented reality video features when held up to a Web cam, according to an article in Wednesday's Wall Street Journal. "A fashion spread about dressing in layers, for example, shows actor Jeremy Renner shedding a coat and sweater as the weather turns from rainy to sunny," the Journal reports. "Turning the magazine triggers a snow flurry, and Mr. Renner puts on more clothes and throws snowballs."
  • Canadian cable MSO, Rogers Communications, has not committed to adopting tru2way and believes "there's probably a better answer out there," the company's SVP of engineering and network operations, Dermot O'Carroll, stated during a panel at the SCTE Cable-Tec Expo's opening general session, according to an article by Todd Spangler in Multichannel News. "We have the option of going with something more Web-based," he continued, adding that "the challenge is, there's nothing [for interactive TV] based on open standards...We're right in the middle of that debate right now." The panel, which was moderated by Translation Please's Leslie Ellis, also covered TV Everywhere, IPv6 and more.
  • As [itvt] reported last week (see the article published on, October 21st), SeaChange International recently announced that it would showcase an RS-DVR solution at the SCTE Cable-Tec Expo. The company's press release announcing the new product had few details; however, Multichannel News's Todd Spangler has more information on the product--which SeaChange says is ready for commercial deployment--in a report from the Cable-Tec Expo show floor. More information is also available on SeaChange's Web site.


North America