News Round-Up

--BBC Future Media & Technology Undergoes Reorg
--BBC Develops "Mythology Engine" to Represent Dramas on the Web
--Dailymotion Launches New Video Player
--Panasonic Decides against Using Google Android in Connected TV's
--YouTube Launches Video Page Redesign

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

  • The BBC's Future Media & Technology division is being reorganized by its director, Erik Huggers. Paid Content UK has obtained an email from Huggers to the division's staff, that describes the various organizational changes that are being made to the division, including the creation of a new "director of digital media" role, and the appointment of Rahul Chakkara to a new role whose long-term goal will be to "create a single center of excellence that develops all BBC apps across PC, TV, Mobile and Games Devices."
  • The BBC's R&D Prototyping team has created an internal prototype, dubbed the "Mythology Engine," for the corporation's BBC Vision arm. According to a posting on the BBC Research & Development blog, the BBC's objectives for the project were "to build something that would demonstrate how you could express stories in a form tailored for the Web, to show how this would allow people to explore BBC dramas and unlock the archive, and to create a reusable framework that could apply to all dramas and stories." The prototype--which while video-enabled is not meant as a replacement for the iPlayer--will, the blog posting states, allow viewers to "catch up on stories you've missed; explore stories and characters and help you understand plots and relationships; [and] find the stories you are looking for and share your favorite moments or characters."
  • Earlier this week, video sharing site, Dailymotion, launched a new video player, which it says offers a cleaner interface that "includes improved headers, larger buttons and more streamlined controls for easy Web video sharing," as well as "enhanced search pages and related-video recommendations," and a new "hotspot" feature that lets users "specify an exact point within the video for play to commence when sending the link to friends through email or using social networks such as Facebook or Twitter." Dailymotion also recently launched a new "Slideshow" feature that it says enables easy creation of original, high-quality videos.
  • Panasonic has decided against using the Google Android OS in its connected TV sets to bring Web applications to the living room because, while the technology is free, it would have required Panasonic to use expensive computer chips from Google partner, Intel, Bob Perry, the SVP of Panasonic's US unit, has told the Bloomberg news service. NewTeeVee's Janko Roettgers argues that Perry's statement to Bloomberg that Android would "require processing power that adds too much to the cost of the set" could be a good indicator of the approach Google is going to take with its Google TV platform, which it is reported to be developing in partnership with Sony and Intel (note: Roettgers' article also includes an interview he conducted with Perry at the TV of Tomorrow Show in San Francisco last month, where Perry was a keynote speaker).
  • YouTube has now rolled out its redesigned video page to all its users, following a beta launch in late January. CNET's Josh Lowensohn has more.