Multiplatform/Interactive TV News Round-Up (VI)

--RCDb, Red Bee Media, Five, Revision3, Roku, Roundbox, Jacked, Rovi, FourthWall Media, Scripps Networks, SeaChange International, SeeSaw, Sezmi, Sonic Solutions, Strategy & Technology, Synacor, SysMedia

Since February 3rd, [itvt] Daily News has been on hiatus, while the [itvt] editorial team produced the TV of Tomorrow Show 2010--and then took a few days off to recover. This is the sixth of eight round-up articles, in which we are covering some of the more significant developments in the multiplatform/interactive TV space that took place during our hiatus:

  • At last month's CableLabs Winter Conference, RCDb demo'd the integration of its Web services and metadata software platform with a tru2way-enabled cable set-top-box. According to the company, the integration "means that service providers can now leverage the same software platform, content and vendor ecosystem that Hollywood studios use for Blu-ray disc and BD Live feature development" and that "Hollywood studios and other content providers can now quickly and easily bring their content and network services to both Blu-ray and cable simultaneously with the same technical solution."
  • Red Bee Media has secured a contract with UK broadcaster, Five, to manage all the latter's VOD services, including, the company says, "content distribution to Five's VOD service, Demand Five, and the syndication, live streaming, content management and delivery of the broadcaster's original full-length programs to YouTube in the UK."
  • Revision3, a company which bills itself as "an actual TV network for the Web," and which produces its own original, broadcast-quality programming, has launched a new personal RSS feature.
  • OTT specialist, Roku, has announced that it has partnered with Mediafly and RE/Max to create a private channel for the Roku player that allows RE/Max employees to watch training and educational videos from RE/Max University on their TV, as well as on their computers and smartphones, both live and on-demand. NewTeeVee's Ryan Lawler has a round-up of some other recent announcements from Roku.
  • Mobile broadcast software company, Roundbox, has acquired the technology and intellectual property of two-screen interactive TV specialist, Jacked. "The acquisition of the Jacked product portfolio is key to Roundbox's strategy to expand our momentum in mobile broadcast," Roundbox CEO, Dennis Specht, said in a prepared statement. "By complementing broadcast video with information-rich, tightly synchronized interactive media, information, and applications, Jacked has revolutionized the way people will experience TV. This acquisition will take Roundbox to the next level as the company develops new mobile broadcast offerings and drives the next generation of mobile entertainment and communication experiences."
  • Rovi (formerly Macrovision) and FourthWall Media (formerly BIAP) have announced a deal to offer an ETV solution to Rovi's EPG customers in North and South America. Starting this year, the companies say, Rovi will begin offering "an integrated ETV Platform, including FourthWall Media's EBIF User Agent, ETV Server, and TV Widgets as part of Rovi’s guide solutions"; Rovi will also "make available seamlessly through its guides an initial set of pre-integrated TV Widgets from FourthWall," according to the companies, including "eBay on TV, Yellow Pages on TV, News, Weather, and numerous Sports widgets for nearly every major league, team and college." Rovi has also just acquired recommendations company, MediaUnbound, and announced an EPG patent license agreement with set-top box company, Strong, and an expanded data and patent license agreement with Comcast (note: its new agreement with Comcast also sees it exiting GuideWorks, its EPG joint venture with Comcast, and Comcast becoming the sole owner of the venture). The company's fourth-quarter results are available here.
  • Scripps Networks has renewed its interactive reality series, "Blog Cabin" for a fourth season. The company has also named Lisa Choi Owens SVP of digital media.
  • VOD, IPTV and advanced advertising technology provider, SeaChange International, has released its fourth quarter results (break-even on a per-share basis, compared to 15 cents per share for the year-ago quarter), and announced that Ed Dunbar has stepped down as president and COO. Yvette Kanouff has been named president of the company, and Erwin van Dommelen has been named president of software. The company is reducing its headcount and says it expects severance expenses for the current quarter to range between $1.5 and $1.8 million.
  • SeeSaw, the broadband VOD service developed by broadcast transmission company, Arqiva, following its acquisition of the platform assets of Project Kangaroo, the defunct VOD platform that was a joint venture between the BBC, ITV and Channel 4, has now launched commercially. And Microsoft's broadband VOD offering for the UK market, MSN Video Player, has also now launched commercially.
  • Sezmi, a company which has developed a set-top box-based offering that it bills as combining "live television, on-demand movies and television shows, and Web videos in an easily self-installed system that automatically records, recommends and organizes the favorite shows of each individual member of the family," and which last fall announced that it had secured $25 million in new funding, has announced the availability of its service in the Greater Los Angeles area, exclusively through Best Buy.
  • Sonic Solutions has announced that its Roxio CinemaNow platform now supports digital movie delivery to the Windows Mobile operating system; and has also announced an expanded partnership with DivX to "enable the digital distribution of an extensive catalogue of premium titles on DivX Certified mobile devices."
  • Strategy & Technology has announced that its RedKey 2 MHEG engine is powering text and interactive services in the new Humax Freeview HD set-top box, which according to the company is the first DVB-T2-capable Freeview HD receiver to go on sale in the UK. S&T has also announced the successful completion of a CI+ proof-of-concept (POC) project for Belgian cable operator, Telenet; and has announced the line-up of products it will demo at next month's NAB show in Las Vegas.
  • Synacor has announced that its entitlement platform enabled over 9 million pay-TV subscribers (from Charter, WOW, Armstrong, Blue Ridge, HickoryTech, Bend Broadband, Midcontinent, Suddenlink, Atlantic Broadband, Mediacom, GVTC, Knology, Grande and NewWave) to log into the Olympics Online Connect portal on and access exclusive broadband video coverage of the Winter Olympics.
  • SysMedia has launched a hosted version of its Plasma Gold interactive content production and management system.


North America