Interactive TV News Round-Up

--Vudu OTT Service Now Available on Boxee
--Swisscom Launches Two Mobile TV Apps
--Verimatrix Secures Hong Kong VOD Service

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

  • Boxee said Wednesday that it has now launched the Walmart-owned Vudu OTT service (though not yet Netflix's service, which the company promises will launch later this month) on the Boxee Box. "Vudu on the Boxee Box means: access to the largest selection of HD movies on-demand, new releases (same day as DVD), thousands of movies available for rental at $2 for 2 nights," Boxee CEO, Avner Ronen, wrote on the company's blog. "We are psyched. The Vudu HDX format on the Boxee Box is a match made in geek heaven! (that normal people will appreciate, too). Video is 1080p HD at 24 fps. Sound is Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 surround. It takes advantage of some crafty engineering from VUDU dubbed TruFilm which optimizes the encoding, transmission and display of HDX movies on 40-inch HDTV's and larger screens. It's kind of hard to believe this stuff is coming over your Internet connection. Invite some friends over. Rent an HDX movie. You are guaranteed to gain new respect for your geekness and pass the crucial WAF test. Vudu is offering every new user who signs up on the Boxee Box a $5.99 credit towards a first rental/purchase. Take advantage of it! We've heard from many of you about Netflix as well--we are still on track for a release later this month. We will post another update next week on the subject."
  • Swisscom contacted [itvt] Wednesday to let us know about two new mobile apps it has just launched: Swisscom TV Guide for iPhone and an iPhone/Android/Windows Phone 7 app for the company's Swisscom TV air broadband video service. "Swisscom TV plus customers can call up the Swisscom TV Guide for iPhone at any time while on the move and can use it to schedule which programs they wish to record via their TV box at home," a Swisscom representative stated in an email. "This way they no longer miss out on any interesting films or programs...Swisscom TV plus customers can access the free new Swisscom TV Guide app at any time while on the move and schedule the recording of their favorite programs. They can also use it to call up the full television program, at any time, wherever they happen to be. They can browse through the film catalog, containing over 1,000 top films (Teleclub on Demand), watch trailers and schedule films for later viewing. At home, they simply key in the order number using the remote control and the 'night at the movies' can begin. The Swisscom TV Guide (in four languages) is available immediately in the Apple App Store and is automatically downloaded in the language of the smartphone. Swisscom has also launched a new app for Swisscom TV air. With the new app--for iPhone, Android and Windows Phone 7 devices--customers simply select the respective TV symbol in order to watch mobile television. Thanks to Swisscom TV air, customers can watch TV on their computer as well as on their mobile phone while on the move. Over 100,000 users already subscribe to this service and benefit from 50 TV programs, over 2,000 exclusive football and ice hockey matches a year (Teleclub Sport Live) and more than 1,000 blockbuster films, documentaries, family and children's programs."
  • Verimatrix said Wednesday that Hong Kong-based Anyplex is securing its OTT VOD service with the Verimatrix Video Content Authority System (VCAS) for Internet TV. "Anyplex is a leading on-demand streaming service in Hong Kong that delivers premium content to any Anyplex-enabled devices, such as set-top boxes (STB's), connected TV's, iPhones, iPod touch and iPads," Verimatrix states in its press materials. "Key challenges for Anyplex to deliver video to multiple consumer devices over unmanaged networks included the need to secure on-demand content from studios with shorter release windows and maintain high Quality of Experience (QoE) for consumers. It rapidly became apparent that the HTTP Live Streaming protocol had several advantages in addressing automatic bitrate for OTT content to be shared between devices with different screen resolutions, processing power and available network bandwidth, while maintaining a smooth viewer experience. HTTP Live Streaming requires a smaller memory footprint that suits most devices with lightweight memory. The benefits of HTTP Live Streaming for Anyplex are two-fold in terms of a lower capital expenditure and day-to-day operational costs. In addition, VCAS for Internet TV includes important extensions to the baseline security in HTTP Live Streaming that improve the capability to support subscription and transaction based pay-TV services. In particular, VCAS for Internet TV ensures that decryption keys are managed and selectively distributed to authorized clients only. This robust layer of security granted Anyplex access to more premium content and shorter release windows from studios...VCAS for Internet TV provides significant value by overlaying the HTTP Live Streaming protocol with a mechanism for registering and tracking individual devices, together with a way to manage entitlement for content viewing. This type of security opens up the potential for flexible business models that can help up-sell OTT content for premium services and cross-sell over multi-layer, multi-device distribution."


North America