News Round-Up

Parisian Love

--AirTies, GooMe Interactive in OTT Partnership
--Brightcove Tapped to Power New Finnish Broadband TV Service
--Analyst: EchoStar May Buy TiVo
--Google Launches Search Stories Video Creator
--Juniper to Acquire Ankeena
--Telstra in OTT Deal with LG Electronics, ABC (Australia) in OTT Deal with Sony
--Netflix's New Deals with Fox, Universal Impose 28-Day Delay on Streaming New Releases
--ninemsn Launches Catch-Up TV Service
--Visible Measures to Support HTML5 Video Measurement
--Wowza, Digital Rapids in Three-Screen Video Partnership

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

  • AirTies and GooMe Interactive have announced a joint OTT solution, consisting of 1) an AirTies set-top box with advanced graphics capabilities, supporting pause-live-TV and progressive download via Flash memory (i.e. without the need for a hard drive), and 2) GooMe's M Cube platform, which the company bills as "a content management system that allows the user to seamlessly view any content including TV, online video, personal home media, music, Web sites, social networking, widgets, games and more on any screen--TV, PC or mobile handset. The collaboration between the two innovative OTT companies was born from a desire to offer the following turnkey solutions," the companies' press materials continue. "For ISP's, mobile operators and content providers looking to enhance their broadband offerings with additional entertainment services; for existing pay-TV companies wanting to enrich their content offering with Web and home media services or to expand to new platforms, like mobile. AirTies' wireless STB features advanced user interface with hardware graphic acceleration through a browser. It has the flexibility of a browser-based middleware, while providing transparent menus, smooth graphic effects and animations, enabling the user to intuitively manage and view personal content such as photos, home videos, and music on his TV and entertainment sets. In addition, it has full wireless connectivity, which is proven to offer excellent service quality, overcoming latency and jitter issues associated with alternative wireless solutions. By removing the need for cables between networked equipment such as STB's, PC's, printers, storage devices and IP Gateways, it delivers on the promise of a truly networked digital home and offers users the very latest in HD graphical images."
  • Brightcove has announced that it recently partnered with Finnish software company, Soprano Brain Alliance, to develop a broadband TV service for a new Finnish national TV channel, called SuomiTV. The service's concept and design were developed by Finnish interactive design consultancy, Nordkapp.
  • In a note published last week, Citigroup analyst, Jason Bazinet, suggested that EchoStar may buy TiVo, in order to mitigate the consequences of its and its sister company DISH Networks' apparent defeat in the long-running "Time Warp" patent-infringement case. Light Reading Cable's Jeff Baumgartner has more.
  • Google has launched a service called Search Stories Video Creator that allows users to create videos modeled after the company's "Search Stories" series of ads, which use a series of search queries to tell a story (note: a Search Stories ad, entitled "Parisian Love," garnered a fair amount of notice when it aired during the Super Bowl earlier this year--see the video embedded above). The service invites users to enter up to seven queries and choose a song, in order to generate their own Search Stories ad. TechCrunch's Jason Kincaid has more.
  • Networking infrastructure company, Juniper Networks, is making a play for the broadband video space. The company has announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Ankeena Networks, for an undisclosed amount (described by Juniper as being less than $100 million). It plans to merge the company into its Junos Ready Software business group, and use its software to "offer high-performance content delivery networking and '3 Screen' media delivery solutions for the next-generation service provider network, capitalizing on the explosive growth of video traffic on both mobile and fixed networks worldwide...Ankeena's Media Flow Director ensures that users receive a smooth-viewing experience regardless of the viewing device and varying network conditions," Juniper's press materials announcing the acquisition continue. "Ankeena's comprehensive support for different adaptive streaming technologies allows viewers to enjoy watching videos without any buffering or stuttering by dynamically detecting the available bandwidth and varying the delivery bit-rate. While providing a high-quality video output, Ankeena's Media Optimized multi-tier caching technology also provides up to a 10-to-1 reduction in the number of servers needed to deliver the same amount of media, with a similar reduction in transit network and media delivery costs."
  • LG Electronics has announced a partnership with Australia's Telstra to offer the latter's BigPond Movies broadband video service on a new range of connected TV's. The service's movies will be available on a pay-per-view basis. According to the companies, "The BigPond TV service on LG TV's will evolve over time to provide a range of IP-delivered video services to LG TV's, including linear channels and video-on-demand across a range of genres headlined by news, sport and movies--with music and games content soon to follow." In related news: 1) Sony has announced plans to incorporate Australian broadcaster ABC's iView broadband video service into its connected TV products for the Australian market. It is also incorporating On Networks, Dailymotion, Howcast and Concierge. 2) Australian Web portal, ninemsn, has launched a catch-up TV service, dubbed FixPlay, that offers full episodes of its current shows and of other networks' older shows.
  • Netflix has signed distribution deals with 20th Century Fox and Universal Pictures that include a 28-day delay on it offering those studios' new releases on its Internet streaming service, in exchange for more favorable financial terms on those releases. Ben Fritz of the Los Angeles Times has more.
  • Visible Measures has announced support for HTML5 video measurement, enabling it to extend its online performance metrics to video content and ads consumed on the Apple iPad, iPhone and iPod touch devices. "Visible Measures customers who deploy video content and advertising via HTML5 can now receive the company's complete portfolio of directly measured video performance metrics, including reach, audience engagement, ad performance, content distribution, geolocation, viewer demographics, and more," Visible Measures states in its press materials. "The patented Visible Measures platform collects data on an anonymous, aggregated basis while providing detailed visibility into audience, content, and ad campaign performance."
  • Wowza Media Systems and Digital Rapids have announced a partnership that they say is "designed to streamline infrastructures for businesses eager to stream video at the highest quality to all digital screens--mobile, desktop and IPTV. Together, the Wowza Media Server 2 and Digital Rapids' multi-format encoding and live streaming systems enable content creators, distributors and broadcasters to efficiently bring content to multiple viewing platforms and player technologies," the companies' press materials announcing their partnership continue. "Digital Rapids' latest release, the StreamZHD Live ABR adaptive streaming system, encodes and streams live HD and SD content with unparalleled quality and performance using the latest in adaptive bitrate delivery technologies. Combined with the Wowza Media Server 2, the unified solution enables simultaneous streaming to multiple players and devices using a single multi-bitrate encoder source--freeing organizations from the traditional financial and resource burdens of deploying and operating separate client-specific encoder and server infrastructures."

 

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