Orca Interactive Launches Compass Trax to "Engage Viewers in the Content Discovery Experience"

--Teams with Viaccess, SoftAtHome and Pace to Power Hybrid TV Service for Sweden's Boxer

IPTV middleware and content-discovery company, Orca Interactive, says that it will launch a new module for its Compass content-discovery platform at the IBC in Amsterdam later this week. According to the company, the new module, dubbed Compass Trax, offers viewers an "enriched" experience and a compelling way of exploring content, based on a range of "content tracks"; and "lets users enjoy and immerse themselves in the discovery experience on the way to finding the right content to watch."

By selecting their personal "content track," Orca says, users of the new module will be able to view the discovery experience "through different lenses," based on such criteria as personal preferences, social input, popular options, special offers, up-to-date information, favorite actors, and more. According to the company, Compass Trax complements the fast retrieval of content that is enabled by Compass's personalized recommendations and search functionality by offering viewers a more leisurely and enjoyable experience: viewers can spend more time exploring and learning about available content options, the company says, thereby creating various opportunities for operators to "exploit the highly engaging experience to drive new revenues."

Orca says that Compass Trax will be available both as a local and as a cloud-based SaaS (software-as-a-service) offering, making it easily scalable and thus suitable for both small- and large-scale deployments. It can be integrated with "value-chain partners," the company says, in order to further enrich the user experience through rich metadata and Web-based information for both Web and premium content. "From a user's perspective, Compass Trax allows entertainment consumers to take the scenic route to their final (content) destination," Sefy Ariely, Orca's VP of sales and marketing, said in a prepared statement. "Our aim is to create a more engaging and rich viewer experience. That way, using Compass Trax, pay-TV operators will be able to position themselves as the 'go to' gateway for any type of content, whether it is within their 'walled garden' or available over the Web. In the new age of content ubiquity, new revenue opportunities will come from captivating the attention of the viewers and controlling the way to the content, rather than controlling the content itself."

According to Orca, visitors to its IBC booth (2.B40) will see demo's of Compass Trax pre-integrated with MetaChannels, a white-label video aggregation and distribution service that enables the integration of Web content into pay-TV services, and Gracenote, a platform that it says integrates global metadata and enriched content with an infrastructure that services content searches and identification queries worldwide.

In related news: Orca and its parent company, Viaccess, a provider of content security solutions, have announced that their technologies will power a hybrid service from Swedish digital terrestrial pay-TV provider, Boxer, that will add VOD and interactive TV to the latter's existing line-up of premium linear-TV programming. The companies plan to demo their joint hybrid-TV solution in their respective booths (Orca: 2.B40; Viaccess: 1.A51) at the IBC later this week.

Viaccess says that it is providing Boxer with an "ecosystem of partners" which enable an end-to-end solution that allows the latter to bring its VOD service to market quickly. According to the company, the Boxer deployment includes Viaccess's content protection technology, Orca's IPTV middleware and content-discovery solutions, "high-end" set-top box middleware from SoftAtHome, and DVB-T2 PVR-enabled hybrid set-top boxes from Pace. Viaccess and Orca say that Boxer is one of the first broadcasters in the world to use DVB-T2, a standard which allows the delivery of HDTV services over digital terrestrial. Boxer is also using a Flash-based interface to enhance the user interface for its service, the companies say, which is slated to offer live TV, transactional VOD, interactive TV, pause-live-TV and PVR. The service's VOD component will delivered over IP via progressive download. "Viaccess has been working closely with Boxer for more than eight years to protect their live premium content," Viaccess CEO, Francois Moreau de Saint Martin, said in a prepared statement. "We are proud to continue our relationship as Boxer makes the decision to launch VOD and interactive TV. With this technology alliance of Viaccess, Orca, SoftAtHome and Pace, Boxer is now highly competitive in the market by delivering VOD content over the open Internet and taking advantage of all the new possibilities digital TV has to offer." Added Orca CEO, Haggai Barel: "Over-the-top TV is an opportunity for pay-TV operators. In order to win the battle, they should selectively open the 'walled garden,' increase their eligibility and enhance their service with more personalization, more interactivity, and more Web-related functionality, while keeping their traditional assets of high QoS, superior user experience and outstanding customer service. We are excited to work with Boxer enabling them to effectively offer an engaging TV service that will reposition them in today's competitive market."