Interactive TV News Round-Up (I): AccuWeather, Panasonic, Alticast, Amino, Avail-TVN

Panasonic CES 2011 VIERA Connect Highlights

--AccuWeather.com Unveils Interactive TV App for Panasonic's New Viera Connect Platform
--Alticast Provides More Detail on its Integrated tru2way/Android Solution
--Vodafone Iceland Upgrades IPTV Offering with Amino A140 Set-Tops
--Avail-TVN Bringing On-Demand Nigerian Movies to US

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.

  • AccuWeather.com has announced that it will offer an interactive TV application on Panasonic's new Viera Connect platform (note: for more on the latter, see the article published on itvt.com, January 6th). Key features of the new app, according to AccuWeather.com, include: "1) Accurate and localized forecasts for all global locations in more than 30 languages. 2) Detailed hourly forecasts for the next six hours and comprehensive forecasts for the next 11 days, all updated every hour to provide the greatest level of accuracy. 3) Dynamic, informative, animated weather maps including Doppler radar, current and forecast weather conditions, and satellite imagery. 4) More than 500, new, broadcast-quality city, regional, national, and international forecast and severe weather videos available every day--all videos are up-to-date and localized, with many available in both English and Spanish. 5) Warnings for severe and disruptive weather threats, such as snow and ice, heavy rain and high winds, hurricanes and tropical storms, and thunderstorms and tornadoes. 6) Special lifestyle weather and health forecasts with detail for specific outdoor activities, such as dog walking, tennis, and gardening, and health-related weather forecasts, such as UV forecasts and weather conditions for people suffering from allergies." (Note: A demo video for Panasonic Viera Connect is embedded above.)
  • As [itvt] reported last week (see the article published on itvt.com, January 3rd), Alticast recently announced that it would use CES to demo a software solution that consists of "Alticast's GEM/tru2way platform middleware stack integrated on the Android operating system." Light Reading Cable's Jeff Baumgartner caught up with Alticast's SVP of business development, Jeff Bonin, at CES and got him to provide more detail about the new solution, which Bonin said is designed to "allow operators to preserve their investments in the tru2way platform and the apps that run on it (interactive program guides, video-on-demand clients, and perhaps games and widgets) while migrating to Android and eventually taking full advantage of its much larger developer community."
  • Amino Communications has announced that Vodafone Iceland has selected its A140 SD/HD set-top boxes for a service upgrade of its IPTV offering, which currently provides broadcast TV, VOD and catch-up TV to around 25,000 customers. The telco previously used Amino's A110 set-tops, but says that it is upgrading in order to meet demand for HD.
  • Avail-TVN has signed a deal with Aso Rock Entertainment to provide VOD content management and distribution services for the latter's "Nollywood" movies (note: Nigeria's film industry is said to be worth around $250 million, making the country the third-largest producer of films behind the US and India). The first pay-TV operator to offer a VOD service as a result of the deal is Verizon FiOS TV.

 

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