Interactive TV News Round-Up

Clvr.Tv Interactive Video Player Demo for Launch Conference Featuring Never Summer

--Clvr TV Launches Interactive Video Player
--Ergen: DISH in Talks with Cable Programmers about Streaming Channels OTT
--Motorola Challenges TiVo DVR Patents
--30% of Netflix's Instant Streaming Content Now Offers Subtitles
--NetPlay TV COO, Guy Templer, to Step Down
--TV Guide Offers "Second-Screen Red Carpet Fashion Cam" for Oscars
--YouTube Disputes Report that it Is Planning to Launch Subscription-Based Streaming Service in the UK

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

  • A Denver-based company called Clvr TV has launched a video player that it says allows users to interact with clickable hotspots in order to, for example, purchase products, book reservations, or share content via social media. The company, which claims to be cash-flow positive and to have no debt, says that its focus to date "has been on Colorado companies, to help the local community and local businesses get more results out of their online presence, while helping them integrate new technologies." Said CEO, Mike Wagle: "Our new technology has been in development for three plus years and we honestly believe it will change the way that people interact with video content online, on mobile devices, and on television." A demo video of the company's new interactive video player is embedded above.
  • During DISH Network's earnings conference call last week, CEO Charlie Ergen revealed that the company is in discussions with cable programmers about securing the rights to stream their channels over the top. Light Reading Cable's Steve Donohue has more.
  • Motorola Mobility Holdings on Friday filed a lawsuit in federal court in Texarkana, Texas, challenging various TiVo DVR patents, including the company's "time warp" patent (i.e. the patent at the center of TiVo's long-running dispute with DISH Network and EchoStar), Bloomberg reports. The company is seeking a ruling that set-top boxes used by its customer, Verizon--which was sued by TiVo for patent infringement back in 2009--are not based on TiVo's intellectual property. It claims that engineers from its General Instrument arm formed a company called Imedia that developed "fundamental inventions related to digital video recorders" back in 1994 and 1995, before TiVo was founded. "The TiVo patents disclose and claim the same technology that Imedia engineers invented years before," Motorola claims in its filing. "TiVo obtained patents on its DVR product and sued the industry."
  • In a posting on Netflix's corporate blog, Friday, chief product officer Neil Hunt provided an update on the availability of subtitles on the company's instant streaming service. "In the US, more than 3,500 TV episodes and movies have subtitles available, representing about 30% of viewing (this is in addition to the subtitles already available 'burned in' to the picture for all non-English content)," he wrote. "More subtitles are being added every week, and we expect to get to 80% viewing coverage by the end of 2011 (with similar goals for Canada). We've added this page on the Netflix Web site that lists all of the TV shows and movies that are available with subtitles. It is accessible via a link in the Netflix Web site footer, via search (for 'subtitle' or 'caption'), or linked from the detail page of any title that has subtitles. Subtitles are supported on PC's and Macs, Nintendo Wii, Sony PS3, Google TV, and the Boxee Box. We expect that Roku and Xbox 360 will support subtitles later this year. Most new Netflix-ready devices released this summer or later will support subtitles. For content that has subtitles, look for the Subtitles button in the player on the PC/Mac. On Netflix-ready devices, look for Audio and Subtitles on the movie or TV show detail page before you begin playing.
  • UK interactive TV company, NetPlay TV, has announced that COO Guy Templer will be leaving the company, March 31st, in order to "pursue another career opportunity." Templer joined the company when it acquired Two Way Gaming, a joint venture between Two Way TV and Win Gaming. "Guy has played a large part in the restructuring we have implemented over the past few months," NetPlay TV CEO, Charles Butler, said in a prepared statement. "He has helped to build a very strong management team, which is now running the core of the business. We have come through a difficult period and Guy is leaving with the business on a strong footing when the results of our recent hard efforts are beginning to be reflected in the Company's performance, we wish to thank him for his contribution."
  • offered what it called a "second-screen Oscars Red Carpet Fashion Cam" for Sunday night's Academy Awards. "Starting at 6ET/3PT on Sunday, users can get their fashion fix with's real-time Fashion Cam video stream, which captures stars as they pose for photographers, and allows users to weigh in with their own picks of the fashion hits and misses via Twitter and Facebook," the company explained in its press materials. "Red carpet fashion is among the most popular content featured on, with traffic to awards season content up 61 percent year-over-year in 2011. The Fashion Cam extends's social-TV experience, which also integrates TV show check-in with up-to-the-minute news coverage and user discussions."
  • YouTube is disputing a report in Friday's New York Post that it is planning to launch a subscription-based streaming video service for the UK.
North America