Interactive TV News Round-Up (III): DISH, EchoStar, Move Networks, Electra Entertainment, Access, ES3, Pace

--DISH Network Launches DISH Remote Access for Android Tablets, Demo's Sling Extender
--EchoStar Acquires Move Networks Assets
--Electra Entertainment in Interactive TV Partnership with Access
--ES3, Pace Team to Develop Interactive TV Apps for Microsoft Mediaroom

Due to the large volume of news generated by the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which took place last week in Las Vegas, we are covering stories in this issue in summary/round-up form. Our regular news coverage will return shortly.

  • DISH Network has announced that DISH Remote Access, its free application that allows subscribers to its service to watch live and recorded TV on their smartphones, is now available for Android tablets. The app allows DISH customers "with a broadband-connected, Sling-enabled device such as the Sling Adapter--a small place-shifting device that pairs with DISH Network's ViP 722 or 722k HD DVR's--[to] enjoy live and recorded TV viewing on Android tablets," the company states in its press materials. "In addition to TV viewing, the DISH Remote Access app also gives DISH Network customers with compatible DVR's the ability to browse and search up to nine days of programming, schedule DVR recordings, manage conflicts, delete shows on multiple receivers, and transform the Android tablet into a fully functioning remote control."
  • In other DISH Network news: At CES, the company demo'd the Sling Extender, a product that allows subscribers with a Sling-enabled set-top box to watch TV on a second television set over WiFi. Multichannel News's Todd Spangler has more.
  • EchoStar has announced that it has acquired assets of adaptive streaming pioneer, Move Networks, for an undisclosed amount. Move, which raised around $70 million from investors including Cisco Systems, has struggled in recent years as its adaptive streaming technology ceased to be a differentiator for the company.
  • Electra Entertainment, a company that was founded in early 2003 by Static 2358 founder, Jasper Smith, and former Gemstar-TV Guide CTO, Jonathan Drazin, has signed a software license agreement with digital TV software company, Access. "The agreement brings Access' NetFront Browser for TV and NetFront Living Connect, a DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) solution, to Electra's proprietary Trove hybrid DVB/IP connected-TV software platform," the companies state in their press materials. "Within the agreement, Electra's Trove hybrid DVB/IP connected-TV software platform for the UK market will feature NetFront Browser for BBC iPlayer, while NetFront Browser for HbbTV and NetFront Living Connect will be available for use globally in any set-top boxes and other connected devices that carry the Trove hybrid DVB/IP connected-TV software platform. The first customer for Electra devices supported by Access solutions is the UK's No. 1 retailer [presumably Tesco, with which Electra has an existing relationship]. The retailer will be offering connected Freeview devices featuring Electra's Trove hybrid DVB/IP connected-TV software platform, giving its customers access to ground-breaking interactive services via the Freeview service. NetFront Browser integrated with Electra's Trove hybrid DVB/IP connected-TV software platform will allow consumers to access a range of unparalleled interactive services via Freeview including access to VOD content, catch-up TV, games and interactive apps. NetFront Living Connect will give consumers the ability to access, control and synchronize digital content including photos, movies or music across different media devices within their homes and remotely. Consumers will also be able to keep their digital content secure while filtering the content made available to their children with parental control and security functions...Premium content and apps are delivered on Trove-enabled Freeview devices via Electra's service portal, Channel Zero, which acts as a powerful gateway. Providing a host of additional entertainment services alongside Freeview, Channel Zero also offers retailers, a richer and deeper on-screen branding and selling platform, allowing them to stay in daily in-home contact with their customers on an individual, regional or national basis. Easily accessible to the viewer as the first channel in the Electronic Program Guide (EPG) or via a dedicated button on the remote, Channel Zero has already launched with apps such as Reuters news, Met Office weather, What's On TV magazine and PlayJam games."
  • IPTV application developer, ES3, has teamed with set-top giant, Pace, to develop a series of interactive TV applications for the Microsoft Mediaroom IPTV platform. "The solution leverages the power of the Pace residential gateway (RG) and set-top box (STB), providing simplified access to manage devices in the home network, manage settings on the RG and provide methods for self-help in troubleshooting issues in the home network, all through a user-friendly interactive experience on the TV," the companies state in their press materials. "With these applications, users are able to view all of their devices that are connected on the home network, add new devices, troubleshoot issues in the network and manage settings of their Pace RG." Said John Grady, Pace's senior director of strategic alliances: "This initiative has enabled Pace to find new ways of leveraging our residential gateway, management systems, and set-top box products to address some of the fundamental business problems IPTV operators are confronting today. For example, subscribers can now restore television service using our guided resolution flows with the click of a button, reducing the need for expensive customer support calls or technician visits."


North America