News Round-Up (IV): Icareus (HbbTV), ITV, LOVEFiLM, MGM

--Finnish Interactive TV Company, Icareus, Launches Object Carousel and Lab Solution for HbbTV
--ITV Live to Enable Two-Screen Interactive TV for "The X Factor"
--LOVEFiLM in Streaming Video Deal with MGM

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.

  • Helsinki-based interactive TV company, Icareus, has announced two new HbbTV-compliant products: Icareus Playout CS100 for HbbTV, which the company bills as a professional DSM-CC object carousel for managing and delivering interactive TV applications in commercial broadcast networks; and Icareus Playout PC100 for HbbTV, which the company describes as a "complete end-to-end laboratory solution for piloting HbbTV services in non-commercial networks." According to the company, the latter product incorporates an HbbTV object carousel, a PSI/SI generator, a scheduler and a multiplexer all "packaged in one compact server." (Note: HbbTV--short for "Hybrid Broadcast Broadband Television"--is a pan-European initiative that was launched in August, 2009, and that describes its goal as "harmonizing the broadcast and broadband delivery of news, information and entertainment to the end consumer through TV's and set-top boxes with an optional Web connection.")
  • UK commercial terrestrial broadcaster, ITV, plans to roll out its new, video-enabled two-screen interactive TV service, ITV Live (see the article published on itvt.com, May 31st)--which it previously offered in conjunction with its World Cup coverage--to accompany the reality show, "The X Factor." "As the audition phases draw to a close, The X Factor 2010 ITV Live experience will offer chat, polls, facts, photos and Facebook/Twitter sync-ups for fans to get even more involved with the show on Saturday nights," Kate Bradshaw, head of online commissioning at ITV.com, said in a prepared statement. "The live show phase will get even more exciting, including new video features." New Media Age has more.
  • LOVEFiLM, the company often referred to as "the European Netflix," has announced the signing of a UK distribution deal with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios (MGM) that will enable its subscribers to watch MGM titles on the Internet and on OTT devices via the LOVEFiLM Player. "MGM Classics will be available to LOVEFiLM members as part of their subscription including the multi-Oscar winning films 'West Side Story' and 'The Apartment,' as well as the original 1974 BAFTA-nominated 'The Taking of Pelham One Two Three,' among other award-winning films," the companies state in their press materials. "New MGM releases will be available to access instantly on a transactional basis."

 

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