Interactive TV News Round-Up (III): ClipSync, RealNetworks, CTAM, Canoe, Digital TV Labs

--Social-TV Company, ClipSync, Receives Investment from RealNetworks
--Deadline for Entering CTAM/Canoe Ventures "ITV Idol" App Contest is This Friday
--Digital TV Labs to Highlight HbbTV Solutions at IBC 2011

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:

  • RealNetworks has made an undisclosed investment in San Francisco-based social-TV specialist, ClipSync, a company with which it has been working closely for some time now. "For the second consecutive year, ClipSync is the exclusive viewer engagement platform for SuperPass, the online video and VIP premium programming service from RealNetworks," RealNetworks states in its press materials. "The SuperPass subscription service offers reality TV show fans VIP access to live video, exclusive behind-the-scenes, uncut, unaired, unedited content and interactive community features. The foundation of this service is a partnership with CBS tied to the long-running television series 'Big Brother'...Premium users with a RealNetworks SuperPass membership have exclusive access to live streaming video from inside the 'Big Brother' house and access to hours of new content over the summer season. Fans also can participate in community viewing and conversation, audience voting, content sharing, trivia, and games, all seamlessly integrated through ClipSync. In 2010, RealNetworks began partnering with ClipSync--a venture-backed company whose social-TV platform has been adopted by a host of major media companies, publishers and producers--to bring an enhanced social media experience to its SuperPass subscribers. RealNetworks and ClipSync are actively working to extend this social-TV platform to other shows with passionate broadcast and online audiences who desire exclusive digital content and an entirely new social connection to the shows and characters they follow." Said ClipSync founder and CEO, Itzik Cohen: "SuperPass combined with our social TV platform provides an incredible foundation to generate incremental views to on-air programming, increased audience engagement and user retention--all while delivering new and incremental revenue streams for the content owners."
  • CTAM and Canoe Ventures have issued a call for entries for the 2011 "ITV Idol" interactive TV app competition (note: for videos of the finalists of last year's competition, see the October 21st issue of [itvt]'s regular column, The iTV Doctor Is In!). The deadline for submitting an entry is Noon Eastern, this Friday. An entry form is available here.
  • Digital TV Labs, a company which provides conformance products and services for DVB-based markets, and which was formed in 2005 by a group of former executives of Cabot Communications (see the article published on, December 20th, 2005), contacted [itvt] Monday to let us know about its exhibit plans (stand 2.A18) for IBC 2011. The show will see the company focusing on its HbbTV solutions (note: HbbTV is a pan-European initiative that aims to harmonize the delivery of broadcast and broadband content through connected-TV devices). "IBC 2011 sees Digital TV Labs expand its range of HbbTV test tools and facilities to help those wanting to bring products and services to market in advance of the official conformance regime," the company states in its press materials. "These include: 1) HbbTV Application Lab--Digital TV Labs' global experience of standards and test regimes shows that applications must be tested on the widest possible selection of HbbTV receivers to ensure a quality customer experience. The company is now offering support for application authors, allowing them to verify and test their applications in the company's test labs. They can also benefit from support and advice from the company's specialists as well as testing against real broadcast streams in their state-of-the-art facilities. 2) HbbTV Receiver 'Zoo'--Digital TV Labs has built up a large collection of HbbTV set-top boxes and iDTV's to form a receiver 'zoo.' Receivers have been categorized using the company's library of HbbTV applications, with specifications also able to be checked using its Ligada iSuite HbbTV test tool. App developers can hire daily access to the zoo for debugging across multiple receivers in one place, enhancing the speed and quality of app development. 3) Application Testing Service--Digital TV Labs can also offer more structured testing and comprehensive reporting via its Application Testing Service. With its experienced, methodical engineers ensuring compatibility against a range of receivers, the company can suggest workarounds where usability and conformance fall down, thus helping to evolve the HbbTV consumer experience. Digital TV Labs can also build transport streams for terrestrial, satellite or cable as appropriate as well as DSM-CC carousels."
North America