News Round-Up (V): Minerva Networks, Netflix, NetPlay TV

Netflix iPhone App Video

--Minerva Networks Powering Interactive TV Widget-Enabled IPTV Offering for Costa Rica's ICE
--Netflix Launches iPhone/iPod Touch App
--NetPlay TV's New iPhone App Lets Users Interact with its Interactive TV Gambling Programming

Due to the large volume of interactive TV-related news generated over the past few days, we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format. Our regular news coverage will return shortly.

  • IPTV middleware provider, Minerva Networks, has announced that ICE, the incumbent telco and electricity provider in Costa Rica, has selected its fourth-generation iTVManager platform to power triple-play services. According to Minerva, the IPTV component of that service offering will include network-based PVR (nPVR), VOD, caller-ID on TV, and a "host" of interactive TV widgets. "Featured in over 200 deployments worldwide, Minerva's iTVManager is the leading open platform for the delivery of next-generation IP television services, including 2D and 3D high-definition television (HDTV), set-top box and network-based personal video recording (PVR and nPVR), whole-home digital video recording (WHDVR) and video-on-demand (VOD)," Minerva states in its press materials. "The Minerva solution also features a widget engine that enables the seamless integration of third-party applications and services including RSS news feeds, stocks, weather and traffic information, visual voicemail, caller-ID and popular social networking services."
  • Netflix has announced the availability in the Apple App Store of a free Netflix streaming app for iPhone and iPod touch. A demo video of the app is embedded above. "The Netflix App delivers a high-quality viewing experience, a broad array of movie and TV choices and a clean, intuitive interface," Netflix states in its press materials. "It is available via both WiFi and 3G networks. TV episodes and movies are conveniently organized into a variety of categories based on members' personal preferences, popular genres, new arrivals and members' individual instant queues. Members can choose a movie or TV episode from any of the lists and just tap the innovative Multi-Touch user interface to watch instantly or to save the title for viewing later. Additionally, users have the option of fast-forwarding and rewinding the video stream, and stopping at any time. When users want to start watching again, the video stream starts exactly where it was stopped, even on a different device capable of streaming from Netflix. The Netflix App supports any iPhone or iPod touch device running iOS version 3.13 or later."
  • UK-based interactive wagering company, NetPlay TV, has announced the availability of a new, free "SuperCasino" iPhone app in the Apple App Store. The app--which was developed in partnership with Sweden's Miles Ahead and which NetPlay TV claims is "the first real money casino game application available from Apple's App Store"--is designed to enable viewers to interact with NetPlay TV's live TV wagering programs: "'SuperCasino' users can now interact in real-time with the show's 'Live Roulette' show on Five and 'Autowheel' on Sky 866," NetPlay TV states in its press materials. "Replicating the functionality found on the Web, users can now place bets, interact with the TV show by messaging the presenter, and see their name appear on screen straight from their iPhone."


North America