Interactive TV News Round-Up (IV): OIPF, Panasonic, Acetrax

--OIPF Publishes Update to Release 2 of its End-to-End Specs for IPTV
--Panasonic Launches Developer Portal for its Viera Connect Connected-TV Platform
--Panasonic in Connected-TV Partnership with Digital Movie Retailer, Acetrax

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 publication of an update (Release 2 v2.1) to Release 2 of its global end-to-end Specifications for IPTV. "Release 2 of the OIPF Specifications includes an evolution of functionality across many areas of the Release 1 Solution specifications, with notable enhancements of major functional areas," the organization states in its press materials. "Some noteworthy services and features that are specified in Release 2 include: 1) HTTP Adaptive Streaming of live and on-demand content, derived from 3GPP's Adaptive HTTP Streaming specification. 2) Metadata and signaling procedures for emergency alert services. 3) SIP support for Multimedia Communication Services. 4) Support for retransmission and fast channel change, based on the DVB specifications. 5) Network-based time-shift and PVR. 6) Personalized content channel service. 7) Content bookmarking. 8) Session/service continuity through transfer or handover. 9) Trickplay and playout controls/restrictions. 10) Sharing of content between users. 11) Digital media purchase. 12). Support of widgets for declarative/browser applications. 13) Use of mobile devices for remote control, based on the support of DLNA remote control remote user interface. 14) Better integration with CI+-based conditional access systems. 15) SAML-based single sign-on." More information on v2.1 can be found here. "Following the development and publication of these specifications (v2.1), the OIPF is defining usage profiles and interoperability testing specifications," the organization continues. "It is currently also completing the definition of a certification program which will provide a basis for further confidence to service providers when architecting their IPTV solutions."
  • Panasonic has announced the launch of Viera Connect Developers, a public developer portal for its Viera Connect connected-TV platform. "The new portal allows developers to take advantage of quick response and rich multimedia HD expression capabilities of [the] Viera Connect platform," Panasonic states in its press materials. "Applications built for the platform can be deployed in Viera Connect, which has become available worldwide from this spring. Viera Connect provides viewers with a wide line-up of applications which run on Panasonic's cutting-edge Application Execution Engine developed with following features which enhance TV viewing experience: 1) Cloud-based IPTV service--where applications exists in the cloud, no need to download them on the TV. 2) Fast start-up and ultra-quick response, which provides seamless screen transitions on full HDTV. 3) Rich multimedia expression using three-dimensional graphic technology. The newly launched Viera Connect Developers will use market-leading streamlined processes to improve time-to-market for application developers and media companies. The portal site, hosted by Accedo Partner Programs on behalf of Panasonic, will further expand the number of attractive applications for Viera Connect by providing access to Viera Connect's application program interface (API), technical information, reference code and other assistance required to develop Viera Connect applications. As a result, Viera Connect will provide TV viewers attractive content and experiences that fully utilize the large-screen Viera HDTV. Viera Connect, which is available in approximately 100 countries around the world since spring this year, offers a wide range of applications, such as video-on-demand services, music, sports, games, health and fitness, to meet the needs unique to each market. By launching this site, Panasonic will significantly expand its line-up of innovative applications and will provide new TV viewing experiences and entertainment in their living rooms."
  • In other Panasonic news: The company has teamed with digital movie retailer, Acetrax, to launch a movie store for European customers of its Viera Cast-enabled connected-TV devices. "The pioneering solution puts consumers a remote control click away from renting or owning a catalog of over 2,000 titles including Hollywood blockbusters such as Paramount Pictures' 'Star Trek,' 'Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen' and 'Up In The Air'--without the need for monthly subscription charges--directly from their TV's," the companies state in their press materials. "Uniquely, users can also store and access their purchases from any combination of four registered devices such as TV's, Blu-ray players, home audio systems, laptops and Mac's. The independent service requires just a broadband connection, removing the need for pre-provisioned movie bundles such as Sky, BT or Virgin in the UK--opening the doors to on-demand movies from the likes of Disney, Paramount, Warner Bros, Universal and Momentum."
North America