Multiplatform/Interactive TV News Round-Up (V)

--Nagravision, Samsung, NBC Universal, NDS, ODG, OEDN, Ofcom, Ooyala, OpenTV, Oxygen, PBS, Playcast Media, Press Association, Vizimo

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 fifth 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:

  • Kudelski-owned Nagravision has announced that it is partnering with Samsung Electronics America to provide TV applications that bring interactive Web services and video content to consumers. According to the companies, the partnership means that "consumers will have access to more interactive and compelling applications on Samsung Apps, the world's first HDTV-based application store where users can download and purchase applications from select 2010 Samsung HDTV's, Blu-ray players and home theater systems via the upgraded Internet@TV content service." Samsung also recently announced plans to integrate Skype functionality into its new LED 7000 and 8000 series HDTV sets, allowing consumers to make voice and video calls through the sets.
  • Last month, NBC Universal offered interactive TV coverage of the Winter Olympics on a range of pay-TV platforms. The company's VP of digital distribution, Michael Aaronson, provides an extensive overview of its Winter Olympics ITV offerings in an edition of Rick Howe's regular column, The iTV Doctor Is In!, that was published on last week.
  • Interactive TV and conditional access technology provider, NDS, has announced that TV Genius has joined its Recommendations Engine Partner Program. The company has also announced wins with Telekom Austria and with South Africa's On Digital Media.
  • ODG (On Demand Group), the London-based VOD content-aggregation-and-management subsidiary of SeaChange International, has announced deals with Disney and Warner Bros. for 3 UK's mobile SVOD service. The company has also just announced the creation of a transactional VOD service designed for pay-TV operators in French-speaking markets, and says that it has secured a multi-year contract to provide end-to-end VOD content management for a major French telco.
  • OEDN (OCAP/EBIF Developer Network) has announced the completion of the first end-to-end test of a university-developed EBIF application. The test was conducted in partnership with New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program lab. "Using the free TVWorks XDK, a university-developed interactive television (ITV) application was created at ITP--and then uploaded to OEDN partner enableTV in Boulder, CO," OEDN explains in its press materials. "enableTV then took that application and loaded it onto their DV-TIDE server (desktop headend) for streaming to a cable set-top box. The signal from the STB was then sent over the public Internet back to the same workstation the application was developed on at NYU."
  • UK communications regulator, Ofcom, has now officially designated industry body, the Association for Television on Demand (ATVOD) as co-regulator of UK VOD services.
  • Broadband video platform provider, Ooyala, has announced a new TV Everywhere platform with integrated paywall authentication. The company says that it has "partnered with PayPal, Amazon Payments and Google Checkout in order to create a seamless micro-transaction model for paywall authentication." Broadcasters testing the new platform include Mexico's TV Azteca. Ooyala, which says that on one weekend last month it reached over a million unique viewers with live streaming video, has also announced a new video sharing platform which it says allows "publishers and consumers to create and share their own dynamic clips from within the Ooyala video player." In addition, the company has announced deals with H2O New Media and the Chicago Board Options Exchange, and a captioning partnership with Automatic Sync Technologies.
  • Interactive TV and advanced advertising technology provider, OpenTV, has announced that it recently powered multiplatform interactive TV coverage of the Winter Olympics for its Australian customers, Austar and Foxtel. It also recently released its last set of financial results as an independent company.
  • Cable channel, Oxygen, has partnered with live Internet broadcasting specialist, Ustream, to launch a live, social TV after-show for its reality series, "Bad Girls Club."
  • PBS's American Experience will premiere its documentary, "Earth Days," on Facebook. According to an article in the New York Times, "users will be able to watch communally and interact with the filmmaker and the 'American Experience' executive producer Mark Samels in real time."
  • Playcast Media, a company that enables on-demand video gaming through existing cable and IPTV set-top boxes, has announced partnerships with games publishers/developers Atari, Capcom, Codemasters, THQ, DDI, Strategy First and Zushi. The company also says that it is currently conducting "active technical trials with some of Europe's leading IPTV and cable networks" and that its service will launch on Israel's Hot Cable this spring.
  • The Press Association and Vizimo have beta-launched a programming discovery service called FindMeTV ( "TV fans can mark shows to build their own schedule, set calendar reminders and rate or share favorites using social tools," the companies explain in their press materials. Dynamic, data-driven lists highlight the most popular, marked and saved shows, while advanced search and recommendations technology provide further related viewing choices. An iPhone application will complement the site and a co-branded service will be rolled out to a network of nearly 400 regional and local newspaper Web sites...Delivery of the service on other mobile platforms, set top boxes and internet-connected TVs is planned."


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