News Round-Up (V)

--Netflix to Launch Free iPhone App
--Netgem Powers Interactive TV-Enabled Hybrid TV Service for Monaco Telecom
--Ocean Blue-Powered Talking Set-Top Boxes Scheduled to Launch in August
--Ooyala Now Offering "Behind-the-Firewall" Hosting of Video Assets

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.

  • During Apple CEO Steve Jobs' WWDC keynote Monday, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings announced plans to launch a free "Watch Instantly" iPhone app by the summer. NewTeeVee's Janko Roettgers has more.
  • Netgem has announced that it has partnered with Monaco Telecom to launch a hybrid TV offering, based on its middleware and set-top boxes. "The new TV service combines digital cable-delivered broadcast HDTV and pay-TV channels with OTT TV services into one, branded user experience," the company states in its press materials. "OTT services provided by Netgem include VOD films from Netgem's sister company, Video Futur, and a bespoke, interactive Monaco Telecom channel that aggregates its existing online weather, traffic and news services, updating content in real time." The service also includes DVR and media center functionality and an app that allows viewers to use their iPhone as a remote control.
  • Bristol, UK-based digital TV software provider, Ocean Blue Software, has announced that its text-to-speech technology (see the article published on, August 10th), which has now been branded "Talk@TV," is being incorporated into set-top boxes from Korea's Arion Technology, which are slated to be available in retail in the UK in August. "The new set-top boxes are like regular Freeview or satellite boxes, but will be able to talk to their blind or partially sighted owners--advising, via speech technology, the TV programming schedule, for example what's on and when," the company states in its press materials. "Owners will be able to adjust the speed and verbosity of the voice to suit their needs, choose to enlarge or reduce font sizes and change background and text colors. A re-designed and easy-to-use remote control will also be included. The technology has been developed in partnership with digital TV chip giant, STMicroelectronics, whose processors lie at the heart of most TV's and set-top boxes. Phase two of the development will introduce voice activation technology to allow owners to talk back to their TV sets--'channel up,' 'channel down,' 'volume up.'" The technology was originally developed via a collaboration between Ocean Blue and the Royal National Institute for the Blind.
  • Online video platform provider, Ooyala, has announced that it has integrated behind-the-firewall hosting of video assets, thus allowing companies to transcode and host video assets on their own infrastructure and leverage the company's platform to "manage, syndicate, monetize, deliver and analyze their videos across all viewing screens." "Behind-the-firewall hosting of video assets is optimal for publishers with vast content libraries that have already been transcoded and for publishers who would like to manage the security of their assets on their own private infrastructure," the company explains in its press materials, adding that "video content is referenced by Backlot, Ooyala's end-to-end platform, but is never copied or removed from the publisher's infrastructure." Ooyala has also announced that it has been tapped by GigaOm to power video across its network of seven blogs.


North America