Interactive TV News Round-Up (VI): OIPF, Ryz Media, Virgin Media, TiVo

--OIPF Elects New President
--Ryz Media Launches Social-TV/Programming-Discovery/Remote-Control App, blinQ
--Virgin Media Launches First Ad Campaign for its TiVo-Powered Hybrid-TV Service

Because the [itvt] editorial team is on the road this week, we are covering stories in this edition of the newsletter in round-up format:

  • The Open IPTV Forum (OIPF)--an industry group that is attempting to bring together telcos, consumer electronics manufacturers, and network infrastructure providers, in order to develop specifications for an open, end-to-end solution that will facilitate development and deployment of interactive, personalized IPTV services--has announced the election of Dr. Nilo Mitra as its new president. Nitra, engineering director for systems at Ericsson, has been involved with the OIPF since its founding four years ago. The OIPF has also announced that Luca Pesando of Telecom Italia will join Mohammed Dadas of Orange France Telecom as joint vice president; and that it has appointed Darren Vogel as marketing director and co-chair of the OIPF marketing committee (alongside France Telecom's Arnaud Vilain).
  • Palo Alto-based start-up, Ryz Media, has launched blinQ, a free social-TV/programming-discovery/remote-control app for iOS devices. The app supersedes the company's previously launched app, My TV Remote. "blinQ lets viewers see live information about the most popular shows on TV by location, and provides updates on the programs their friends are watching in the moment--all through the screen of their mobile device," Ryz Media states in its press materials. "Powered by an array of servers in the cloud, blinQ provides a rich TV viewing experience regardless of the brand of the TV or the type of cable or satellite set-top box. Through blinQ, viewers are empowered to find and watch the shows they love, and to discover interesting TV programs based on their personal and peer preferences. TV programs are ordered by their popularity rather than by the traditional channel line-up. The new blinQ app also provides innovative social features that connect viewers to one another. Within the app, viewers can not only post and view posts from other viewers within and outside of their own networks, but can also invite friends to join virtual viewing parties to watch their favorite TV shows together...The blinQ announcement comes only days after Ryz Media released the latest version of its infra-red emitter, known as the 'Q,' which plugs into the headset jack of all generation iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad devices to transform the device into a universal remote. The blinQ app can be downloaded for free from the App Store, while the cool, orb-shaped infrared emitter costs only $9.99, including shipping and handling."
  • Virgin Media has launched the first advertising campaign for its TiVo-powered hybrid-TV service (integrates Virgin's linear TV channels with a DVR, catch-up TV, VOD, and Web-based applications). "Virgin Media's multi-million pound ad campaign is fronted by Marc Warren, star of 'Hustle' and 'Mad Dogs,'" Virgin states in its press materials. "Created by DDB UK, the campaign involves TV, digital, print, retail, experiential and social media, beginning today with three 10-second TV spots and a raft of print ads which highlight the hugely positive reception the Virgin Media: TiVo Service has enjoyed since it launched in December 2010. The campaign continues on Saturday with Marc Warren featuring in three 30-second TV spots, exploring the TiVo service's simple solutions to the increasingly complex choices facing viewers today. Set against a clean, white backdrop, Marc is faced with a carousel of spinning TV's, catapulted screens and falling TV's, before demonstrating the TiVo service's ability to search through a wide choice of programs to find your favorite shows quicker than ever; avoiding clashes by recording three shows whilst watching a fourth; and making sure you never miss the start of your favorite series by setting a WishList, providing the viewer with the ultimate control of their TV...From Saturday, Virgin Media's campaign will invite people to visit to explore an interactive video journey and discover more of the TiVo service's next-generation features for themselves. From a 1TB hard drive, able to record up to 500 hours of content, the ability to scroll back in time and through the past seven days on the EPG and the ability to rate shows with thumbs-up and thumbs-down buttons and receive recommendations based on a viewer's preferences, visitors to can interact with the site and give their favorite Virgin Media: TiVo Service feature a big thumbs up."
North America