Interactive TV News Round-Up (IV): Hulu, Panasonic, LXD, icueTV, Strategy & Technology

--Hulu Plus Launches on Select Panasonic Connected TV's and Blu-ray Players
--Third Season of "Legion of Extraordinary Dancers" Debuts on Hulu This Week
--icueTV in Integration Partnership with Strategy & Technology

Because the [itvt] editorial team has been on the road the past few weeks, we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format. We anticipate that it will take us several days to catch up with all the recent news: so if your company has sent us a press release or briefed us on an announcement, and you don't yet see your news covered in this issue, please bear with us.

  • Hulu has announced the availability of its $7.99-per-month subscription service, Hulu Plus, on certain connected-TV sets and Blu-ray players from Panasonic. More information on the various devices through which subscribers can now access Hulu Plus is available here.
  • In other Hulu news: The third season of the high-profile multiplatform interactive series, "The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers" ("LXD"), will debut on the online programming service August 11th, with new episodes being made available every Thursday throughout the summer. "The 'LXD,' created by Jon M. Chu...and produced by Chu and Hieu Ho [note: for a recent interview with Hieu Ho, see Brian Seth Hurst's StoryCentric columns published on, June 22nd and 29th] in partnership with Agility Studios with Paramount Digital Entertainment distributing, chronicles the journey of seemingly ordinary people who discover they have extraordinary powers and must choose their place in an epic conflict between good and evil," Hulu explains in its press materials. "The characters are called to join The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers to fulfill their destiny using a powerful force called the RA. The critically acclaimed series continues in its third installment, 'Rise of the Drifts,' where the young LXD heroes begin to rebuild their confidence and confront their past to face two enemies who have forged a deadly alliance that seeks to destroy them once and for all. In 'Rise of the Drifts' secrets will be revealed, promises will be broken and armies will rise as heroes and villains fight for the future."
  • icueTV and Strategy & Technology (S&T) contacted [itvt] earlier this week to let us know that they have integrated icueTV's Campaign Manager with S&T's TSBroadcaster carousel, and that they are demo'ing how "TSBroadcaster enables the icueTV fulfillment platform to seamlessly create, manage and schedule the delivery of interactive applications" at the CableLabs Summer Conference in Keystone, Colorado this week. "The partnership enables both icueTV and S&T the ability to deliver a complete, end-to-end solution for interactive television applications," the companies state in their press materials. "The S&T TSBroadcaster carousel is the gateway that transmits the scheduled icueTV EBIF application to the set-top box. icueTV will demonstrate a scheduled delivery of a national advertiser's promotion from a set-top box to a smartphone using its click-to-text application. The click-to-text application will appear as an overlay on the advertiser's television commercial, prompting interaction with the set-top box remote control. A cell phone number will be entered on the screen, then once confirmed, a text message will be electronically delivered to the smartphone with the link to the advertiser promotion and Web site...icueTV interactive applications include tcommerce, click-to-call, request for information and voting and polling. All viewer interactivity stays within the program the viewer is watching and does not take the viewer away from the program. icueTV's proprietary Enhanced Television System (ETS) is EBIF-compliant and is built in an open architecture format that is fully compatible with all set-top boxes and over-the-top applications. S&T's TSBroadcaster is an advanced delivery system for interactive applications for digital television, providing continuous control of application insertion and playout, data updates and stream event generation. TSBroadcaster is designed for deployment in all markets utilizing data object carousels for transmission and is widely deployed throughout with MSO's and broadcasters across the USA, delivering tru2way and ETV/EBIF content to millions of homes."
North America