News Round-Up (VI): NDS, Netflix, News Over Wireless (Yahoo! TV Widgets), Ooyala

--NDS Announces its Booth Plans for IBC 2010
--Netflix Extends Deal with Warner Bros., Will Launch Streaming Service in Canada
--News Over Wireless Creating Yahoo! TV Widgets for over 30 Local TV Stations
--Ooyala Supports Silverlight, Demo's Interactive Video Capabilities

The [itvt] editorial team is on the road this week and next, so we are 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.

  • Interactive TV and conditional access technology provider, NDS, has announced the line-up of technologies and products that it will be showcasing in its booth (Hall 1, Stand 1.A71) at the upcoming IBC show in Amsterdam. According to the company, it will showcase "how its solutions can help operators not only improve the experience for existing subscribers, but also engage new customers": "Whilst we continue to believe that the killer application of digital TV is compelling content, and that digital television offers greater choice, quality and convenience for consumers, we also believe that the technological advances in broadband-enabled devices provide our customers with the opportunity to offer consumers additional ways to enjoy their favorite programs," NDS chairman and CEO, Abe Peled, explained in a prepared statement. "We provide the technologies that enable operators to expand viewing opportunities in the home to PC's, connected TV's, and devices such as tablets, mobile devices and laptops on the go, with additional access to richer metadata about the programs, and new ways to monetize their advertising infrastructure--allowing them to truly maximize on new opportunities." NDS says that its IBC exhibit will focus on four key areas of expertise: 1) enhancing platforms with OTT (according to the company, its IBC showcase of OTT solutions will range "from the launch of a fully integrated OTT offering that enables content portability across multiple devices in the home, to the introduction of a VOD catalog on a hybrid platform"); 2) innovation in the user interface (including 3D TV solutions, the company's Snowflake UI, and NDS Oona, which the company describes as "the conceptual UI from NDS that incorporates contextualized widgets, social interaction, together with search and recommendations, to address the functional complexities of the connected environment"); 3) enabling the experience (i.e. a showcase of the company's MediaHighway middleware and VideoGuard conditional access solutions); and 4) advanced advertising (including a demo of the company's NDS Dynamic solution and a joint demo with BlackArrow).
  • Netflix has announced an expansion of its existing streaming content deal with Warner Bros. According to the company, the deal "adds a slate of catalog TV shows available to watch instantly at Netflix and extends the existing license for catalog movies through 2011." Among other things, the deal gives Netflix streaming rights, for a four-year period, to all 100 episodes of the drama series, "Nip/Tuck," as well as streaming rights to the series, "Veronica Mars," "Pushing Daisies," and "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles." The company has also announced that it will expand into Canada this fall. Not only will Canada be the company's "inaugural international market," it says, but "Canada will also mark the first streaming-only service promoted by Netflix." Finally, the company has released its second-quarter results, in which, among other things, it reveals that "the percentage of subscribers who watched instantly more than 15 minutes of a TV episode or movie in the second quarter of 2010 was 61 percent, compared to 37 percent for the same period of 2009 and 55 percent for the first quarter of 2010."
  • News Over Wireless (NOW), a company that develops mobile apps and Web sites for local TV stations, contacted [itvt] Thursday to let us know that it is now turning its efforts to developing interactive TV widgets for the Yahoo! Widget Engine platform. According to the company, its first widget, which was created for WRAL, a Capitol Broadcasting Company station in North Carolina, will allow viewers to see news headlines, read local news stories, watch streaming video and check the weather--all while continuing to watch regular TV programming. A NOW spokesperson told us that the company "now plans to leverage the TV Widget template it created for WRAL to bring more local TV stations to the Yahoo! Connected TV platform very quickly; there are currently 30 additional TV Widgets from other stations in development," the spokesperson added.
  • Broadband video platform provider, Ooyala, has published a list of recent updates to its platform, which include the ability for Ooyala customers to use Microsoft Silverlight to publish online video. According to the company, the Ooyala player for Silverlight (more information on which can be found here) includes "Smooth Streaming for adaptive bitrate delivery, multiple camera angles for live events, and several other nice features." Meanwhile, the company's Ooyala Labs arm has produced a demo showcasing support for interactive video on its platform, including, the company says, the ability to "search and seek to objects in video, [and to] create clickable objects in video, enabling click-to-buy and targeted advertising; scalable creation of interactive elements using patent Computer Vision algorithms; [and the ability to] customize the viewership experience using API's." Finally, Ooyala regional sales director, Bill Gash, has been elected as chairman of the IAB's video council.


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