Interactive TV News Round-Up (VIII): Sonic Solutions, Suddenlink, TiVo, thePlatform, Tunerfish, TVGuide.com

Because the [itvt] editorial team has been on the road the past few weeks, we are covering recent news in round-up/summary form. Due to the volume of news we are covering in this issue, our summaries are somewhat more abbreviated than usual (note: extensive background information on most of the companies and technologies covered in this issue can be found by using itvt.com's search functionality). We apologize for any inconvenience to our readers: our regular daily news coverage will return shortly.

  • Sonic Solutions (which is in the process of being acquired by Rovi--see article in this issue) has announced that Sears is using its RoxioNow platform to power Alphaline Entertainment, a new movie download service for Sears and Kmart customers. "The new service enables Sears and Kmart customers to download entertainment online, including new movies on the same day they are released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc," the company states in its press materials. "Sonic is working with Sears on a multi-phase rollout that includes making the service available from a broad range of connected devices and ensuring compatibility with studio-supported digital programs. Sonic's multi-year agreement with Sears extends the reach of the RoxioNow platform which powers a range of digital services for leading brick-and-mortar retailers, cable operators, PC manufacturers, game system vendors, consumer electronics makers, and Hollywood studios' direct-to-consumer initiatives. Sonic and Sears are teaming to embed the services at a chip level on a growing network of devices including portable media players, Blu-ray Disc players, mobile phones, and high-definition television sets from leading manufacturers."
  • Cable operator, Suddenlink, has begun its roll-out of a hybrid-TV service based on the TiVo Premiere DVR, in Lubbock and Midland, Texas. "The TiVo Premiere combines Suddenlink's service with TiVo's best-in-class user interface to offer access to thousands of hours of entertainment choices, including content from Suddenlink's video-on-demand (VOD) library and the Web, all accessible through TiVo's advanced search and discovery features," Suddenlink states in its press materials. "Suddenlink is the only multichannel TV service provider in these communities to offer TiVo Premiere." Among other things, the TiVo-based hybrid-TV service offers Web-based widgets for local news, sports and weather and for Facebook and Twitter; as well as access to YouTube and Pandora. However, while Suddenlink says that it is working to add OTT video offerings from Amazon, Blockbuster and Hulu Plus to the new service, the service will not for the foreseeable future allow access to Netflix. According to Suddenlink, "Netflix is currently prohibited--by some of their contracts with movie studios and other content producers--from making their service available on the TiVo devices offered by operators like Suddenlink. If Netflix is able to renegotiate its contracts and make its service available to cable operators like Suddenlink, we'll certainly consider adding that service," Suddenlink states in its promotional materials for the new service. Light Reading Cable's Jeff Baumgartner has more.
  • Comcast-owned online video platform provider, thePlatform, has launched mpx Mobile, which it bills as "an iPhone app for professional video publishing on-the-go." According to the company, customers can use the free app to: "view their entire list of content in any part of their mpx accounts; check editorial status and publishing workflows; edit or modify metadata like title and description; publish new videos or clips; unpublish problem videos or clips; approve or unapprove content for publishing or syndication; and easily navigate between multiple mpx accounts." In other thePlatform news: 1) the company is powering LGBT network here! TV's new Online Subscription Video Player; 2) the Associated Press is "switching hosting duties for its Online Video Network" from thePlatform to the News Distribution Network (NDN), according to a report by Paid Content.
  • Comcast-owned social TV service, Tunerfish, has launched an Android app and has rolled out another update to its iPhone app. According to the company, the iPhone update provides "a better, more interactive trending view" and "take[s] push notifications to the next level with friend-watching alerts and a settings panel."
  • TVGuide.com, which recently launched a social "check-in" service for TV, has now launched a "Movies Check-in" service. "The feature allows entertainment fans to share their passion for their favorite movies by clicking 'I'll Watch' buttons throughout the site, including over 40,000 movies' fan pages featuring reviews, trailers, DVD's, on-demand and TV listings," the company states in its press materials. "TVGuide.com's 330,000 fan pages include more than 40,000 movie fan pages, from 'Tron' to 'Citizen Kane.' Each movie fan page includes original news and reviews, cast bios, photography and movie trailers. Users also can view when a movie is on TV, DVD, on-demand or online." 

 

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