News Round-Up

--ADB Demo's tru2way Set-Back Box with Limited DVR Functionality
--Australian OTT Service, FetchTV, Selects Envivio's Delivery Platform
--Report: Hulu Plus Will Not Launch This Month
--Project Canvas Seeking Eighth Partner
--Discovery's Zaslav Will Not Stand for Re-Election to TiVo's Board
--YouTube Launches Localized South African Version of its Service

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

  • At the NCTA Cable Show in Los Angeles last week, Advanced Digital Broadcast (ADB) demo'd a tru2way "set-back box," code-named "Phantom," that provides some DVR functionality by using standard SD High Capacity (SDHC) cards for video storage. Light Reading Cable's Jeff Baumgartner has more.
  • Envivio has announced that Australian OTT service, FetchTV, has selected its Three Screens solution as the delivery platform for its subscription-based offering. "The FetchTV service employs Envivio 4Caster C42 video encoders, featuring Extreme codec technology, to deliver visually stunning standard and high-definition content over capacity-restricted broadband networks without degradation," the company says in its press materials. "The 4Caster C42 allows FetchTV to create a high-quality alternative to incumbent services that can be delivered by Australian ISP's over consumers' existing broadband connections. The systems have been deployed at two headends located in Melbourne and Sydney."
  • Hulu Plus, the subscription service that network-backed broadband video platform, Hulu, was supposed to launch as soon as May 24th (according to a report last month in the Los Angeles Times), will not be launching anytime soon, according to a report by All Things Digital's Peter Kafka.
  • Project Canvas--an initiative that sees 1) UK public service broadcasters, the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Five, 2) UK ISP's, BT and Talk Talk, and 3) UK broadcast transmission company, Arqiva, partnering in order to attempt to develop a common standard and interface for the delivery of online catch-up services such as the BBC iPlayer, the ITV player and 4oD, as well as other Internet-based services (including VOD and interactive TV widgets), to broadband-connected Freeview and Freesat set-top boxes (note: the partners in Project Canvas would run the platform, provide an SDK to parties interested in developing content and services for the platform, and also license the platform's user experience and brand to consumer electronics manufacturers; once the BBC has achieved final approval for its participation, the Project Canvas partners plan to form a joint venture that other industry players will also be able to buy into as equal partners)--is seeking an eighth partner, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal.
  • In a Form 8-K filed with the SEC Tuesday, TiVo announced that Discovery Communications president and CEO, David Zaslav, who has served on TiVo's board for nine years and who currently chairs its Pricing Committee and sits on its Compensation Committee, will not stand for re-election at the end of his term, which expires at TiVo's upcoming 2010 Annual Meeting.
  • YouTube has announced the launch of a localized South African version of its service. This, the company says, represents its first domain launch on the African continent. "In practice," the company explains on its blog, "this means that South Africa-based channels like Freshlyground and Khayav should enjoy more profile locally, and at the same time should also find it easier to identify other local users. From now on when users in South Africa visit the localized site they will see, for example, the Most Popular and Most Viewed videos in South Africa along with local content that closely matches their interests. In conjunction with launching our South African domain, we are teaming up with local broadcasters to ensure that YouTube users, wherever they may be, have access to some of the best locally produced content from leading local broadcasters. These include the South African Broadcasting Corporation and who have uploaded news content including content about all the soccer fever building up in the country! In addition, South African journalism schools, such as Rhodes Journalism School and Wits Journalism School, are also using YouTube to showcase aspiring journalists' talent and highlight news items that are frequently under-reported."


North America