News Round-Up (V): RTE (MHEG), Music Choice, NDS

--MHEG Selected as Interactive Middleware for Ireland's National DTT Service
--Music Choice Launches "Back 2 School" Programming Promotion for its Interactive Channel, SWRV
--NDS Says New Hire Heralds Increased Focus on Advanced Advertising Solutions for Asia Pacific

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.

  • Irish public broadcaster, RTE, has selected MHEG as the interactive middleware for the roll-out of its national digital terrestrial service. "Our principal initial objective with reception equipment is to encourage the development of a competitive horizontal market," Emer Conlon, IT project manager for RTE Publishing, said in a prepared statement. "The key reason for selecting MHEG is the broad consumer choice based on existing product development in other markets and the short-term availability of receiver products using existing supply channels. We have seen the success of MHEG in the UK and elsewhere and that simply isn't the case for other middlewares. MHEG has very strong manufacturer support." According to press materials provided to [itvt] by the International MHEG Promotion Alliance (IMPALA), an organization that was set up in 2006 by Strategy & Technology, Cabot Communications and EchoStar Europe to promote use of the MHEG middleware standard beyond the UK (where it powers the free-to-air Freeview and Freesat services), RTE "has initially specified the MHEG 1.06 profile with the addition of HD capabilities with the broadcaster looking at further options as the DTT project develops. The broadcaster will be providing a free-to-air service to the Republic of Ireland's approximately 1.6 million TV homes and it will launch with the digital teletext service RTE Aertel," IMPALA's press materials continue. "There will be two DTT multiplexes with HD content forming part of the offering soon after launch. A satellite service--similar to Freesat in the UK--will provide access to the small number of households who can’t receive the DTT signals."
  • Multiplatform music programmer, Music Choice, has announced the launch of a "Back 2 School" cross-platform programming promotion for its interactive music channel, SWRV.
  • Interactive TV and conditional access technology provider, NDS, has announced the appointment of Darryn Rodricks as director of advertising solutions for the Asia Pacific region. According to the company, Rodricks' appointment heralds "an increased focus on advanced advertising solutions in the Asia Pacific region. In this new role," NDS states in its press materials, "Darryn will be responsible for the positioning and sale of NDS' advanced advertising solutions to major advertisers, advertising agencies, content providers and pay-TV operators across the Asia Pacific region. Darryn is a seasoned advertising industry professional with 17 years of experience in the Asia Pacific region. For the previous nine years he held the position of vice president of integrated sales and marketing with STAR TV based in their Hong Kong office. In his role with STAR TV, Darryn was responsible for running large integrated marketing campaigns across the region for STAR TV clients."

 

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