News Round-Up (VII)

--Clearleap, itaas Develop EBIF App for Continuous, Lean-Back Viewing of Short-Form VOD
--Ustream Launches in Japan
--Verizon Adds YouTube Access, Internet Radio to FiOS TV, Extends Media Manager to All HD Subs
--Virgin Media Launches Online VOD Service, "Virgin Media Online Movies"
--Vidiactive Launches Social TV Platform

The [itvt] editorial team will be on the road this week and next, so we will be covering most stories in round-up/summary form, and we anticipate that there will be some additional interruptions of our regular news publishing schedule beyond that. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience to our readers.

  • Clearleap, an Atlanta-based company which offers a technology platform for bringing Internet-sourced video content to television sets, has announced that it has partnered with itaas, an Atlanta-based company that provides a range of software development, integration and testing services for interactive TV, to develop an EBIF application, dubbed MyPlaylistTV, that is designed to give cable, satellite and IPTV viewers a continuous, lean-back viewing experience for short-form programming on VOD. According to the companies, the app "provides TV viewers with the ability to generate pre-populated playlists from their VOD libraries and have the video segments stream in a linear fashion, with numerous options to navigate forward, backwards and between different play lists without the usual stops and starts of today's VOD systems. The Web-like user interface," Clearleap's press materials for the new app continue, "which was developed in partnership with itaas, sorts content by category or genre and leverages Clearleap's cloud-based video management platform and footage from its Content Marketplace, a collection of scouted, vetted, and licensed programming from national, special interest and best of Web programmers." Clearleap and itaas plan to demo MyPlayListTV in Booth 439 at the NCTA Cable Show in Los Angeles next month.
  • Live Internet broadcasting service provider, Ustream, has used new funding from Softbank to launch a Japanese version of its service. NewTeeVee's Ryan Lawler has more.
  • Verizon FiOS TV has announced the addition of YouTube to its platform's Internet video capabilities, allowing customers to use their remotes to search for and play any YouTube video. It has also added an Internet radio service, via a partnership with Clear Channel's "Verizon's Internet Radio and Internet Videos services are both accessible via Media Manager, which already allows subscribers to search and view on their TV's user-generated content from online video-sharing sites, Dailymotion and Veoh," Verizon says in its press materials. "In addition, Verizon has expanded the Media Manager service, making it available to all FiOS TV HD customers. Previously, it was available only to DVR customers." (Note: YouTube's interactive Annotations feature will not be supported on FiOS TV at this time, a Verizon spokesperson told [itvt].)
  • UK cable operator, Virgin Media, has launched an online VOD service, Virgin Media Online Movies, which is available to all UK consumers (i.e. not just Virgin Media subscribers). New releases are priced at £3.99, and all rentals will offer unlimited views for 48 hours. The service is powered by Microsoft Silverlight, and its content is provided by FilmFlex Movies.
  • A London-based company called Vidiactive contacted [itvt] Wednesday to let us know that it has launched a social TV platform. According to the company, the platform "enables any Internet video to be browsed full screen on a television and also enables users to control, share and manage their content and content feeds." The platform is currently undergoing internal trials with "one of the world's largest network providers," the company says. More information on the platform (including FAQ's) is available here.


North America