News Round-Up (VIII): Telus, Microsoft, thePlatform, RCN, TiVo, DISH Network

--Telus Enables Access to its Microsoft Mediaroom-Powered IPTV Service via Xbox
--thePlatform Launches Tools for Creating/Managing Video Feeds, Applying Ad Policies, Enforcing Viewing Restrictions
--RCN Launches TiVo Service in Chicago, FTC Weighs in on TiVo-DISH Litigation

Because the [itvt] editorial team has been on the road the past few weeks, we are covering recent news stories in summary/round-up form. We anticipate that it will take a few days for us to catch up with all the recent news: so if your company has sent us a press release or briefed us on an announcement, and you don't yet see your news covered in this issue, please bear with us. We apologize for any inconvenience to our readers.

  • Canadian telco, Telus, has announced that it has teamed with Microsoft to enable subscribers to its Microsoft Mediaroom-powered IPTV service, Optik TV, to access the service on the Xbox 360. Telus is the first pay-TV provider in North America to offer this capability. According to Telus, Optik TV subscribers can now "use an Xbox 360 as a digital set top box to: Watch any of Optik TV’s over 400 digital channels, including over 50 in HD; watch any shows they have recorded on their Optik HD PVR digital box; use PVR Anywhere to record up to three live shows simultaneously from any room; pause a recorded program in one room and pick it up from the same spot in a different room; [and] get PVR functionality from any TV when watching recorded programs--pause, replay, rewind, fast-forward...In addition to being able to watch recorded shows and schedule recordings," Telus states in its press materials, "subscribers can also use the Xbox 360 console to access digital photos and digital music libraries on the TV via their home wireless network and connected Windows PC."
  • Comcast-owned white-label video publishing company, thePlatform, has announced the launch of a suite of new features which it says will enhance its customers' ability to enforce video business policies, monetization models and content restrictions using its mpx Beta video management system. "Specifically," the company explains in its press materials, "mpx Beta now includes new tools for creating and managing curated video feeds, integrated support for applying advertising policies, and additional capabilities to enforce viewing restrictions for TV shows, live events, movies, clips, and more." thePlatform has also published a free white paper which it says outlines "best practices to secure content at both the media file and playback levels [and] discusses security considerations for storage, content delivery, feeds, URL tokens, availability windows, IP addresses, geo-restrictions, domain referrals, device identification, digital rights management (DRM), and entitlements." In addition, it has announced that mpx Beta has been chosen by the Outdoor Channel to manage and publish online video for, and that the Outdoor Channel is also using its video player technology, including features for sharing video across social networks.
  • RCN has announced the launch of its TiVo Premiere from RCN service in Chicago, having previously rolled it out in all its other markets, including Washington, DC; New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, and the Lehigh Valley (PA). In other TiVo news: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has urged the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to consider the impact on the market of contempt rulings and injunctions in the court's review of a ruling in TiVo's "Time Warp" patent litigation against DISH Network and EchoStar, but has taken no position on the case itself. Multichannel News's Todd Spangler has more.


North America