Interactive TV News Round-Up (I): Arris, BackChannelMedia (BCM), BBC iPlayer, Bravo

Clickable TV for Knology HD - 60 Second Commercial

--Arris Uses Digeo's Moxi Technology for New "Whole Home Solution"
--BackChannelMedia Rebrands as BCM
--BBC iPlayer Now Offers Links to Third-Party VOD Content
--Bravo Promotes High-Profile Interactive TV Industry Figure, Lisa Hsia

Due to the large volume of news generated over the past two days, we are covering stories in this issue in summary/round-up format.

  • Arris has used technology from Moxi, the multi-room DVR platform it acquired via its acquisition of Digeo back on 2009, as well as the Moxi box's Emmy-winning "crosshairs" interface, for a new "Whole Home Solution" which it says will initially be offered by former Digeo customer, Oregon-based MSO BendBroadband. "The Arris Whole Home Solution consists of the Arris Media Gateway, a converged multi-services platform that provides integrated multimedia entertainment to the entire home, and Arris Media Players connected to each television," the company states in its press materials. "The Whole Home Solution provides a lower-cost-per-household alternative to traditional cable set-top boxes, E-MTA's, cable modems and wireless WiFi routers. The solution includes a centralized gateway providing multimedia entertainment services including broadcast and narrowcast video, video-on-demand, DOCSIS 3.0 high-speed data and two lines of carrier-grade voice-over-IP, as well as Internet over-the-top and media sharing of user-generated content. The Arris Media Gateway includes a 6-tuner, multi-room HD DVR with 500 GB HDD storage and 4-port Ethernet home networking router with MoCA(R) 1.1+ home networking technology and optional 802.11n WiFi. Additionally, it supports DLNA to connect with subscriber-owned DLNA-enabled devices across the home network and CableCARD conditional access. When integrated with the Arris ConvergeMedia management system's flexible multiscreen architecture, the Gateway delivers an enhanced on-demand experience that serves both traditional set-tops and advanced IP-capable devices. The Arris Media Player supports full HD with HDMI, component, and composite outputs, front and rear USB ports, 10/100 Mbps Ethernet and MoCA 1.1+. The Media Player also features front-panel navigation and clock, along with a backlit remote control."
  • BackChannelMedia--a company that offers a patent-pending EBIF-based technology called Clickable TV, which allows viewers to forward or "bookmark" information from their TV to a personal Web portal or to their email account--has announced that it has rebranded itself as BCM. "BCM launched Clickable TV in Montgomery, Alabama in January 2011 with WSFA 12 News and WCOV Fox 20 participating in the launch to Knology digital HD cable subscribers in the Montgomery area," the company states in its press materials. "This launch was significant to the entire broadcast and cable industry because it represents the first time local television stations and cable companies have been able to come together to deploy an interactive EBIF RFI (Request for Information) application. As television competes with online media for viewers and advertising dollars in 2011 and beyond, BCM will continue to offer broadcasters and cable operators with the right tools to enhance existing content for their viewers and provide advertisers with valuable TV engagement data."
  • The BBC has announced that it has begun providing links to third-party programming on its popular catch-up TV service, the BBC iPlayer. "Through metadata-sharing partnerships, you can now find programs from ITV, Channel 4, S4C, Five, and new partner, MSN Video Player, directly from the BBC iPlayer Web site," the corporation explained on its BBC Internet blog, Thursday. "Either by using the 'schedule widget' or the 'search' function, you will be able to find other video-on-demand content, and link directly into the playback page of your chosen program from one of our partners' Web sites. To do this, feeds are taken from our partners periodically that contain all their program information, both scheduled and on-demand to make the programs findable through the BBC iPlayer interface. When the content isn't available, the program title is grayed out and the words 'not available' appear beneath the program information. It's been a while in the making, but this has been an extremely ambitious and technically complicated project. We wanted to get to a user experience that feels intuitive and not 'bolted on,' even though the experience is as much reliant on the data feeds from our partners as our own engineering. We've worked hard with our partners to make sure that we're getting the right data and images for programs when available; however, you may find from time to time there's no images...The occasional lack of images is down to technical limitations and we're working with all partners to rectify this as soon as we can. We [are] really pleased to have six partners for launch, but inclusion into this program is not limited. Any provider of UK on-demand content that holds rights to video that has previously been broadcast on an Ofcom-regulated channel can apply to become a BBC iPlayer partner and have their content added, so we hope to see more partners' programs appear in BBC iPlayer over time. More broadly, we think BBC Online should serve as a hub to support other UK sites and want to double the traffic we send externally."
  • Bravo has announced the promotion of high-profile interactive TV industry figure and two-time [itvt] Award for Leadership in Interactive and Multiplatform Television recipient, Lisa Hsia, to the new position of EVP of Bravo Digital Media. She has served as SVP of Bravo Digital Media since November, 2005. "In her new role, she will continue to oversee Bravo's digital businesses including and, as well as Bravo's initiatives in emerging media--wireless, interactive TV, apps, gaming and multiplatform programming," Bravo states in its press materials. "During her tenure at Bravo, Hsia has built Digital Media into an interactive powerhouse with numerous initiatives that serve to enhance viewer engagement. Her innovations include the Infoframe, the first technology to make both on-air programming and commercials interactive, Bravo Talk Bubble, the first real-time viewing party and social-TV event, and Bravo Now, the first tablet and smartphone application that allows fans to participate in a live viewing companion experience. She has also implemented @BravoTV, a Twitter tracker and tweet instigator that takes social TV into a 24/7 experience and 'Watch What Happens: Live,' a successful online video show that became an on-air hit last year. Since Hsia joined Bravo, unique visitors to have increased by over 800 percent, while page views have also increased by more than 400 percent. In January 2011, Bravo Digital posted remarkable double-digit growth, recording its best January ever in page views, uniques and video streams. Bravo Mobile delivered its best January ever in page views and video streams."
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