Interactive TV News Round-Up

--BBC Releases Red-Button Programming Schedule through January 14th
--Broadcom Unveils Set-Top Box Solutions
--Cedar Point to Be Acquired by Genband
--HSN Partners with "Social Product Development" Company, Quirky
--Report: Microsoft to Unveil Windows-Based Connected-TV Solution at CES
--RCDb, Panvidea Team on Solution for Cloud-Based Preparation of Blu-ray Streaming Video
--Rovi Files Patent-Infringement Lawsuit against Amazon, IMDb
--Sensio to Distribute 3D Content OTT
--Starz to Launch "Spartacus" Social Media Game, iPad Multimedia Script App
--ViVu in Interactive Video Partnership with AMD

Here is a round-up of some other recent interactive TV-related stories that we didn't have room for in this issue:

  • The BBC has announced the line-up of content that will be available on its red-button interactive TV service through January 14th.
  • Broadcom has announced 11 new connected home set-top box solutions with integrated content protection from NDS, and nine new 40nm set-top box solutions for "the next-generation 3DTV Internet-connected home."
  • Cedar Point Communications, a company best known for its IP switching solutions for cable operators but which, among other things, has collaborated with Comcast Media Center to deliver EBIF-based tcommerce apps via HITS AxIS, will be acquired by Genband.
  • Interactive multichannel retailer, HSN, has announced that it will later this month showcase products from a company called Quirky which operates what it terms a "social product development network." According to Quirky's press materials, it "brings two brand new consumer products to market each week by enabling a fluid conversation between a global community and Quirky's expert product design staff. Each Quirky product solves a problem and carries a great story of the inventors who made it happen," the materials continue. "Revenue is shared with those who help bring each product to life."
  • At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, Microsoft will unveil a "stripped-down" version of Windows that is designed for use in set-top boxes and connected TV's, according to a report by Brier Dudley in the Seattle Times. The report claims that the software is a version of Microsoft's embedded device software, that has been overlaid with the Windows Media Center interface and support for remote controls. According to the report, the software will be available in $200 set-top boxes which will go on sale later this year and which Dudley anticipates will "pose a serious challenge to the new Apple and Google TV devices, largely because the Windows boxes have a polished and familiar TV-program guide that makes it easy to blend and navigate both online and broadcast content."
  • TV software and data services company, Related Content Database (RCDb), and Panvidea, which offers a cloud-based solution for cross-platform content preparation and distribution, have announced a joint solution for cloud-based preparation of Blu-ray streaming video. "The joint solution unites Panvidea's cloud-based media processing tools with RCDb's industry leading Blu-ray software into a one-stop solution for professional BD-Live content preparation," the companies state in their press materials. "The solution is especially designed to process large libraries of content into the streaming Blu-ray format in a short, economical period of time. Media companies are able to send their content directly to Panvidea in any standard professional format and Panvidea will encode and prepare the content, optimized for RCDb powered Blu-ray streaming delivery. The solution combines Panvidea's on-demand and highly scalable post-production and video encoding engine with RCDb's Blu-ray content preparation tools. Panvidea's integrated online dashboard allows customers to manage the entire digital media distribution workflow from ingestion through delivery. Panvidea already powers the digital video processing workflows of leading media companies including A&E Television Network, Fox Broadcasting Company, and Getty Images. RCDb software powers Blu-ray disc products from leading Hollywood studios and network operators."
  • Rovi has filed a lawsuit against Amazon and its subsidiary, IMDb, claiming that the online TV guides on IMDb TV infringe five of its EPG patents. The text of the complaint is available here. Paid Content has some background.
  • Sensio has announced that it has "negotiated the rights to a varied library including independent movies, documentaries, and blockbusters, which it will encode in the Sensio Hi-Fi 3D format, to be distributed through the video-on-demand (VOD) platform of RoxioNow, a major player in OTT services. Manufacturers of Internet-connected devices incorporating the Sensio Hi-Fi 3D decoder will be able to offer privileged access to the superior visual quality of this diversified and expanding library of 3D content to their customers," the company states in its press materials. "These devices include 3D-connected TV's, starting with Vizio's XVT range, as well as Blu-ray Disc players and PC's."
  • Starz Digital Media has announced plans to complement its upcoming original series, "Spartacus: Gods of the Arena," with the company's first social media game and with an "iPad multimedia script app." " The Facebook-based 'Spartacus: Gods of the Arena' social game is free to play and allows you to run your own Ludus (gladiator school) in the role of Lanista (manager of gladiators)," Starz explains in its press materials. "Assemble and train your team of gladiators to be fighting champions. Your ultimate goal is to achieve honor and glory through your fighters battling in the top arenas of the Roman Empire." Starz bills the iPad script app, meanwhile, as "provid[ing] a robust viewing experience with electronic screenplays from the Starz original series augmented by exclusive multimedia video segments, director's notes, cast photos, historical background information, and more."
  • Videoconferencing specialist, ViVu, has announced a collaboration with AMD that it says will enable it to "develop next-generation interactive video software, with broad applications ranging from home entertainment to enterprise video collaboration."


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