News Round-Up II: Miscellaneous

--Concurrent Forms Advisory Board to Provide Counsel on Cross-Platform Strategy
--DirecTV to Launch Three 3D TV Channels
--DISH Network, EchoStar Announce "TV Everywhere" Products
--Hillcrest Labs Integrates Freespace with Broadcom's Bluetooth Chipsets
--iN Demand Names Bob Benya President and CEO
--ThinkAnalytics Joins NDS's Recommendations Engine Partner Program
--NDS to Offer End-to-End e-Publishing Solution
--Sky Says its 3D TV Service Will Be Compatible with Sets from LG, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony

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

  • VOD and advanced advertising technology provider, Concurrent, has announced the establishment of an advisory board. According to the company, "media industry leaders Chris Bowick, William Markey and Vin Bisceglia will serve on the board to provide third-party counsel on Concurrent’s cross-platform strategy and execution."
  • DirecTV has announced plans to launch three 3D TV channels in June: "a 24/7 3D pay-per-view channel focused on movies, documentaries and other programming, a 24/7 3D DirecTV on Demand channel, and a free 3D sampler demo channel featuring event programming such as sports, music and other content." Panasonic will be the "exclusive presenting sponsor" of the new channels, which will be powered by technology from RealD. DirecTV and Panasonic say that they will "leverage current relationships with programming partners and movie studios to obtain new and existing 3D content," and that DirecTV is "currently working with AEG/AEG Digital Media, CBS, Fox Sports/FSN, Golden Boy Promotions, HDNet, MTV, NBC Universal and Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., to develop additional 3D programming that will debut in 2010-2011."
  • DISH Network has announced a suite of products--dubbed "TV Everywhere" and based on its sister company EchoStar's Sling technology--that will allow its subscribers to access live TV and DVR recordings over the Internet and their home wireless networks. Meanwhile, EchoStar has launched four new Sling products designed to offer similar capabilities to other pay-TV operators. Multichannel News's Todd Spangler has more.
  • Hillcrest Labs has announced that it has "developed a design that integrates Hillcrest's Freespace in-air pointing and motion control technology with Broadcom's Bluetooth chipsets. A turnkey solution is now available to CE manufacturers that want to add Freespace technology and Bluetooth into a wide range of peripheral devices, including: remote controls, game controllers, mobile handsets, and PC peripherals," the company says.
  • Cable industry-owned VOD content aggregator, iN Demand, has named Bob Benya president and CEO. He has been serving as the company's interim CEO for the past five months and has served on its board of directors for five years. Benya was previously at Time Warner Cable where he helped oversee development of the MSO's interactive TV, VOD, Road Runner, Start Over/Look Back and cross-platform services.
  • NDS has announced that predictive analytics and content recommendations company, ThinkAnalytics, has joined its NDS Recommendations Engine Partner Program, and that it will offer the latter's Content Recommendations Engine to its customers. "The ThinkAnalytics Content Recommendations Engine provides comprehensive industry-leading recommendations using powerful real-time analytics, true personalization and behavioral modelling techniques, including intelligent search and full business rules capability," NDS says in its press materials. "Recommendations are based on the individual's own implicit and explicit preferences and apply equally well to linear TV, video-on-demand, games and music libraries. The solution is well-positioned to define the recommendations approach for TV Everywhere and cross-media initiatives. ThinkAnalytics Content Recommendations can be delivered to the customer through various touch points including on their set-top box, their mobile phone, on the Web, via email and in the customer call center. The automated analytical approach, with both business rules and advanced algorithmic techniques, provides true personalization to the viewer, uniquely offering the best recommendations for the individual and the context."
  • In other NDS news: The company is expanding its focus beyond the TV industry, announcing Wednesday the launch of an end-to-end solution for the e-publishing industry that will repurpose its MediaHighway interactive TV middleware and its VideoGuard conditional access technology. "With the introduction of advanced functionality, enabled by NDS middleware based on the leading NDS MediaHighway, deployed on over 128 million devices around the world, the NDS e-reader solution creates an innovative reading experience for books, newspapers and magazines," the company says in its press materials. "One of the many advanced capabilities of the NDS e-reader middleware is the ability for service providers to better understand their users' reading habits with the application of proven measurement and analytical technologies, enabling them to tailor their services to their customers. The NDS system allows publishers and service providers to monetize their service with advanced advertising and purchasing models including the ability to preview, purchase, subscribe, rent, gift and lend content."
  • UK satellite TV provider, BSkyB (Sky), has announced that its 3D TV service, which is slated to launch later this year, will be compatible with 3D-ready TV sets from LG Electronics, Panasonic, Samsung and Sony.


North America