Interactive TV News Round-Up (III): Accedo, Facebook, Al Jazeera, Avail-TVN, Brightcove, Military.com

--Facebook Designates Accedo Broadband "Preferred Developer Consultant" for TV Applications
--Al Jazeera English to Launch Social Media-Driven Show, "The Stream"
--Avail-TVN Launches Digital Media Metadata Management Solution
--Brightcove Powers Broadband Video for Military.com

Because the [itvt] editorial team has been busy this week working on the TV of Tomorrow Show 2011, we are covering recent news in round-up/summary form. Once again, we anticipate that it will take us a few days to catch up with all the news we plan to cover: so if your company has sent us a press release or briefed us on an announcement, and you don't see your news covered in this issue, please bear with us.

  • Accedo Broadband, a Stockholm-based provider of interactive TV applications and app stores for IPTV and broadband-connected consumer electronics devices, has announced that it has been selected by Facebook as a "preferred developer consultant" for Facebook TV applications. "Facebook launched Facebook Platform in May 2007 to enable developers and entrepreneurs to access the core features of Facebook through a set of powerful API's," Accedo states in its press materials. "Facebook Platform enables companies and developers to build apps or integrations that can potentially reach an audience of more than 500 million people...Accedo is working with TV operators, CE manufacturers, TV platforms and media companies to create advanced TV applications, which integrate with Facebook. Applications are both standalone apps and integrated apps with contextual functionality and are compliant with all major IPTV middlewares and connected-TV solutions." Said Accedo CEO, Michael Lantz: "We are excited about this sign of confidence in our ability of deploying TV apps which integrate with the Facebook Platform. We plan for further innovation in the area of social TV, and see plenty of possibilities of adding attractive functionality to most of the apps in our portfolio."
  • Al Jazeera English will in May launch a show, called "The Stream," that will be powered by social networking. "The core idea of 'The Stream' is that it's not scripted in the ordinary way," writes Wired.com's Dylan Tweney. "Rather than give the hosts a script, typed rundown, or teleprompter cues, the producers will make extensive use of tweets, Facebook wall posts, and YouTube videos from their most engaged viewers and the Web at large." According to Tweney, the show's hosts will read, display on screen, and respond to viewers' tweets and other social-media communications; play YouTube videos; and interview guests via Skype, among other things.
  • VOD content/distribution services provider, Avail-TVN, has announced the availability of its new Content Prep Solution, which it bills as a metadata creation, asset management and workflow automation system for content providers that distribute digital media. "This new Web-based service was created in response to content providers' need to increase efficiencies within their established workflows," the company states in its press materials. "Content Prep was custom-designed to simplify the process of metadata creation and management while streamlining the management, distribution and syndication of digital content. Current partners include Bloomberg and Sportskool, with plans to bring the new service to additional content providers over the next few months. As consumer demand for digital media increases, content providers are tasked with managing an ever-increasing amount of metadata in support of media files. Avail-TVN's Content Prep Solution eliminates time-consuming manual workflow processes related to metadata input and management, and allows content providers to manage an array of license windows and asset packages and their syndication paths from a single interface...Metadata files contain descriptive information about the content and define critical characteristics such as video codecs, associated audio channels, ad marking, and other elements used in tracking and syndication. The Avail-TVN Content Prep Solution, which integrates Signiant's Workflow Manager product, provides all the tools necessary to compose, edit, manage, and publish metadata for digital content. Content Prep also helps ensure that consumers can find the programs they want by helping content providers populate menus with detailed information that makes programming searchable for viewing or purchase."
  • Online video platform provider, Brightcove, has been tapped to power a broadband video portal for Military.com (note: the latter, a business unit of Monster Worldwide, is a Web portal targeted at active-duty military personnel, reservists, veterans, military families and other interested parties). "The new video portal brings together the popular Shock and Awe video gallery and Military.com original video content within 30 additional categories and more than 100 new subcategories for video viewers to browse," Brightcove states on its corporate blog. "Additionally, Brightcove enables site visitors to view the most popular and related videos, as well as making it simpler to upload their own video content from the battle lines. The Video Center also features enhanced search functions to make it easier for members to access their favorite content as well as socialize video content of their choice with popular media outlets like Facebook and Twitter. Military.com's Video Center facelift will also allow for better technology and tracking as more advertisers leverage the solutions offered by Military.com to target and reach the online military community. This really is a step forward for Military.com in the video advertising world thanks to Brightcove's range of advertising features."
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