News Round-Up

--Germany's 7P Developing Interactive TV Widgets for Yahoo! Widget Engine
--Accenture Launches OTT TV Solution
--Amino in IPTV Set-Top Deal with CDE Lightband
--Brightcove Releases Version 4.1 of its Platform
--bwin Launches Social TV System
--Edgeware Appoints New CMO, EVP of Sales
--Fox Networks Names Julie Simon SVP of Advanced Services
--New IneoQuest Social TV Service Will Also Gather Feedback on Pay-TV QoS
--iStreamPlanet Integrates Silverlight Rough Cut Editor into its Video Workflow Automation Platform
--China's JENA to Integrate Qtv's Internet Media Player into its Connected TV's, STB's
--Netflix on Wii Now Available to All US Consumers
--Nordija Partners with AcumenLink to Bring its Widget-Based IPTV Middleware to US
--Rentrak to Provide VOD Measurement for New National Geographic Channel
--Turner Sports to Provide Multiscreen Coverage of NBA Playoffs
--Multiple OTT Developments in Australian Market

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

  • Cologne-based Seven Principles (7P) has announced that it is developing interactive TV widgets as a development partner of Yahoo! Connected TV. The company says that it will launch a phone book widget later this quarter, which it says "allows a search by name and place as well as a reverse search using the phone number," and also allows addresses to be displayed in Google Maps on the TV screen.
  • Accenture has launched an over-the-top TV solution, which it says "provides a seamless consumer experience for accessing linear content through the broadcast network on a TV set, as well as non-linear services such as catch-up TV and video-on-demand through a broadband IP network," and is "also designed to allow the provider to extend content and the consumer experience to additional platforms including PC's, mobile, gaming consoles and connected TV's." According to the company, the solution "supports all of the most commonly used set-top box and Internet-enabled TV industry standards, which enables a quick and easy deployment of interactive applications from a variety of equipment manufacturers."
  • Amino Communications has secured a long-term deal to provide MPEG-4 IPTV set-top boxes to CDE Lightband, the broadband and electricity provider for Clarksville, Tennessee. According to the company, CDE Lightband has already deployed around 10,000 of its set-tops, which are supporting, among other things, an EPG and a VOD service.
  • Brightcove has released Version 4.1 of its broadband video platform.
  • Vienna-based online gaming specialist, bwin, has launched a social TV system, dubbed "Sheeva," at the NAB show in Las Vegas. According to the company, "Sheeva fuses live video with social media platforms and instant messaging systems while simultaneously integrating real-time data from bwin's extensive online gaming line-up. To give a practical example," the company's press materials continue, "a soccer game broadcast can be enhanced with inserts from bwin gaming line-up and a moderator-controlled Skype chat."
  • Edgeware, a Stockholm-based provider of VOD server systems, has announced the appointments of a new chief marketing officer and a new EVP of sales.
  • Fox Networks' affiliate sales and marketing division has named Julie Simon SVP of advanced services, in which role she will be tasked with expanding its distribution on such platforms as interactive TV and VOD.
  • IneoQuest has launched a social TV service, dubbed Vloop, which--in line with the company's core competency--is designed to gather viewers' feedback on the quality of their pay-TV service, as well as enabling them to chat in real time about the shows they are watching, according to a report by Todd Spangler in Multichannel News. The service, which uses Facebook's backend, will eventually launch on the Apple iPhone and on the Yahoo! Widget platform, IneoQuest says.
  • iStreamPlanet has announced that it has integrated Microsoft Silverlight Rough Cut Editor (RCE) into its Video Workflow Automation Platform (VWAP), which it bills as "an end-to-end, cloud-based platform designed to enable linear or ad-hoc broadcasters, content creators, or anyone with a large number of events or multiple channels to automatically schedule, provision and publish content to multiple screen experiences, including desktop, IPTV and mobile." According to the company, the integration of Silverlight RCE means that its customers can "edit live and on-demand video content, manage metadata such as play-by-play, do on-demand advertisement insertion and publish through the VWAP."
  • China's JENA has announced that it will integrate Qtv's Internet TV media player into its connected set-top boxes and TV's. "The Qtv Internet TV media player brings the content and services of hundreds of providers to the television, mobile phone and computer," the companies state in their press materials. "Users can enjoy YouTube videos, Picasa and Flickr online photo albums, Internet radio, shopping and more. Qtv is also implementing Widevine digital rights management (DRM) to ensure that premium content remains secure. The content from all the providers is integrated in a simple-to-use interface that allows users to browse for content by category, genre, provider, favorites, keyword and title. Qtv is also the only solution with Q points, enabling users to start watching a video on the TV, pause and then continue watching on their mobile phone or computer."
  • Netflix has announced that instant streaming on the Nintendo Wii is now available to all US consumers, after launching to a select group last month.
  • Denmark's Nordija has announced that it is partnering with AcumenLink to bring its widget-based IPTV middleware to the US market and the rest of the Americas.
  • Rentrak has been tapped by National Geographic Networks to provide VOD measurement services for the latter's newest channel, Nat Geo WILD, which launched March 29th.
  • Turner Sports has announced its plans for multiplatform (TV, online and mobile) coverage of the NBA Playoffs.
  • The Age's Adam Turner has a useful summary of recent OTT TV developments in Australia, including a deal between Australia's FetchTV and iiNet; a deal between Samsung and Telstra's BigPond service; and the expansion of Sony's Bravia service.


North America