Comcast Announces Nationwide Roll-Out of HSN's "Shop by Remote" Interactive TV Application

--MSO Says It Has Deployed ETV/EBIF-Based Interactive TV to 8 Million Homes

The US's largest cable MSO, Comcast, and home shopping network, HSN, on Wednesday announced that they have begun the nationwide roll-out of an ETV/EBIF version of HSN's flagship interactive TV application, Shop by Remote, which allows viewers to use their remote controls to shop and make purchases (note: the roll-out has actually been underway for some time now--see the article published on, June 3rd).

Comcast also announced Wednesday that it has deployed several other EBIF-based applications, including Remind-Record, which is billed as allowing customers to easily set a reminder or schedule a recording directly from an ad for an upcoming TV show or series, and Request for Information, which is billed as allowing customers to request from local advertisers more information about a product or opt in to receive free samples, coupons or services. All told, Comcast says, it has to date "successfully deployed ITV applications, including Shop by Remote, in more than eight million homes across the country" (note: the MSO's digital cable service reaches around 18 million homes; all the set-tops that have been upgraded with EBIF support so far are Motorola boxes). The apps are based on the ETV/EBIF implementation of Comcast's wholly owned subsidiary, TVWorks (note: ETV/EBIF, which was developed by US cable-industry research, development and standardization body, CableLabs, is designed to enable interactive TV applications to run on low-resource, legacy set-top boxes). "Comcast is committed to bringing convenient, easy-to-use interactive TV applications on a national basis that will transform the way consumers interact with their televisions," Comcast's SVP of video product development, Todd Walker, said in a prepared statement. "We are excited to have HSN join our growing line-up of content partners, and other ITV applications that are live in Comcast homes today."

According to HSN, Shop by Remote, which lets viewers use their remote controls to specify, among other things, the quantity, colors, features and sizes of the products they purchase, enables an average purchase time of less than 60 seconds. "As a pioneer of electronic retail, HSN has been a driving force in transactional innovation for decades," Peter Ruben, HSN's EVP of affiliate marketing and sales, said in a prepared statement. "As we enter the height of the holiday shopping season, HSN is thrilled to be working with an industry leader such as Comcast to provide millions more viewers a faster and easier way to shop from home."

In May, 2007, [itvt] reported that TVWorks had teamed with Tandberg Television to develop an ETV/EBIF version of Shop by Remote that was demo'd at that year's NCTA Cable Show (note: Tandberg worked with HSN to develop the original version of the app, which was first launched on Oceanic Time Warner Cable's system in early 2006, and subsequently on Cablevision's and DISH Networks' systems). [itvt] understands that the Shop by Remote application deployed by Comcast is based on that work (note: Portland, Oregon-based Ensequence was also tapped by HSN to develop an ETV/EBIF version of the application for a separate deployment). TVWorks' Remind-Record application, meanwhile, was showcased in the CableNET pavilion at the NCTA Cable Show earlier this year.

North America