Interactive TV News Round-Up (VI): Samsung, SCTE, Alcatel-Lucent, Aurora, Genband, Juniper, SeaChange

Askking pour Samsung Smart TV

--Samsung Announces Winners of its European Connected-TV App Development Contest
--Samsung Announces European Availability of its "Smart Hub" Connected-TV Offering
--SCTE Announces Technology Challenge Contestants

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

  • At its 2011 European Forum in Budapest, Monday, Samsung announced the winners of its European connected-TV application development contest, the Samsung Smart TV Challenge, which focused on the UK, Germany and France (note: Samsung recently announced the winners of a similar contest in the US--see the article published on, January 6th). "Samsung launched the Smart TV Challenge in September 2010 across the United Kingdom, Germany and France, to coincide with the release of the Samsung TV Application software development kit (SDK), which makes it even easier for developers to build and deploy smart-TV applications and integrate them across a range of devices and controllers," the company states in its press materials. "Aimed at aspiring developers, the European contest drew more than 2,000 developers to register to the site, as entrants competed for a piece of the 500,000 Euro prize pool and the chance to be featured on the Samsung Apps storefront." The contest's panel of judges (note: the contest also featured a Popular Choice Award, selected via an open online vote) selected a first-place winner from each of the three countries covered by the contest: the UK winner was Astra Recommends, an app that "uses an intelligent recommendation engine to suggest suitable broadcast programs, and allows users to swap program recommendations with friends via Facebook"; the German winner was Yogamour, an app that "offers various yoga lessons as video-on-demand, helping users keep in shape from the comfort of their own homes"; and the French winner was Askking, a "multi-player quiz game that allows users to test their knowledge on regularly updated quizzes, playing either in solo mode or against other players across the globe," and that lets players win points "based on their number of right answers and their activity in submitting and moderating questions." More information on the second- and third-place runners-up and the Popular Choice winners for each region can be found here.
  • Samsung also used its European Regional Forum to announce that all its LED and plasma TV's for the European market now feature its "Smart Hub" collection of connected-TV services. "Key features of Samsung's Smart Hub include: Samsung Apps, the world's first HDTV-based application store, offering about 400 paid and free apps globally that help people connect to their various passions--whether in sports, entertainment, information, games or social networking; Search All, which makes it easier to search for desired content on your TV and other DLNA-certified connected media storage devices, networked PC and mobile devices, and Internet and video-on-demand services; Your Video, which delivers recommendations based on a user's viewing history; Web Browser, which offers full Web browsing right from your TV; and Social TV, which makes it easier to chat with friends and family in real time while watching the same TV content, thanks to integration with social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Google Talk," the company states in its press materials.
  • The SCTE has announced that it will hold its annual Technology Challenge March 8th at the SCTE Canadian Summit in Toronto. Starting at 8:45AM, attendees will be able to use mobile text messaging to vote for one of five solutions, with the winner being announced during lunch. According to the SCTE, the contestants are 1) Alcatel-Lucent, which "will demonstrate the Velocix Digital Media Delivery platform, a simple and cost-effective solution for secure, reliable delivery of subscription video services to a wide range of fixed and mobile consumer IP devices"; 2) Aurora Networks, which "will showcase the ability of the Light-Plex module and the AT354G series of full-spectrum DWDM transmitters to manage CMAP-driven network realignment remotely as the number of narrowcast signals is increased"; 3) Genband, which "will demonstrate how the Visual Communications Suite, part of the expanding A2 applications portfolio, can offer a holistic approach to communications management that allows subscribers access to and control over a variety of services on the TV and other devices"; 4) Juniper Networks, which "will demonstrate Media Flow HTTP adaptive bitrate streaming and network caching to extend cable TV services to subscriber multiscreen devices over unmanaged networks"; and 5) SeaChange International, which will "demonstrate on-demand and linear video streaming to multiple screens including smartphone, PC, iPad and set-top, showing how operators today can deploy multiscreen seamlessly and incrementally in conjunction with existing video delivery platforms."
North America