News Round-Up

--Report: TV Networks Reluctant to Support Google TV
--IP Vision Files Complaint with Ofcom over Project Canvas
--Monsoon Launches its Vulkano Platform, which it Bills as Replacing TiVo, Slingbox and Roku
--Total Immersion Uses Augmented Reality to Promote Environmental Awareness

Here are some other interactive TV-related stories we didn't have room for in this issue:

  • "Google Inc. is launching a campaign to line up TV networks' support for its new Google TV software, but many remain reluctant to partner with a service they believe encroaches on their turf," Jessica Vascellaro reports in the Wall Street Journal. According to Vascellaro's report, while Google has met with officials of ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and other networks in recent weeks, in a bid to encourage them to work with Google TV, content owners "are skeptical that Google can provide a business model that would compensate for potentially cannibalizing TV owners' existing broadcast businesses."
  • IP Vision, the Netgem-backed company that operates the UK hybrid TV service, FetchTV, has filed a complaint with UK communications regulator, Ofcom, over Project Canvas. Earlier this month, a similar complaint was filed by UK cable operator, Virgin Media.
  • Monsoon Multimedia has announced the commercial availability of its new Vulkano set-top boxes (see the article published on, August 2nd), which it bills as "integrat[ing] multiple disruptive technologies--DVR, Web video, place shifting, Universal Plug and Play streaming and mobile video recording--while eliminating the need for multiple boxes." Vulkano units, which Monsoon also touts as "replacing...Tivo, Slingbox and Roku," are priced between $259 and $379, depending on storage capacity.
  • Augmented reality specialist, Total Immersion, has announced that it has "joined forces with two environmental organizations to bring an engaging lesson in eco awareness to children visiting SEA Lab in Redondo Beach, just south of Los Angeles. "In association with the Montrose Settlements Restoration Program and Pavement LA, Total Immersion developed an environmental kiosk that uses AR to teach kids about pollution and its effects on wildlife and the environment," the company states in its press materials. "DDT's and PCB's dumped in the ocean near Los Angeles decades ago continue to contaminate natural resources in the area. The Montrose Settlements Restoration Program is taking action to restore these resources. Kiosk visitors can sample any of three augmented reality experiences, each accompanied by an embedded informational video. As kids witness the nesting habits of bald eagles, they learn about the lingering impact of DDT on the species. A separate vignette highlights habitat restoration among native seabirds, known as murrelets, while a third promotes safe fishing via an animated look at the white croaker, a fish at risk from DDT's and PCB's that are still found in the sand and mud on the ocean bottom."


North America