Interactive TV News Round-Up (VI): ViXS, Walmart, Vudu, Zhone, SRT, Microsoft Mediaroom

--ViXS Launches Blu-ray PVR Hardware Reference Design
--Walmart-Owned Vudu Launches iPad-Optimized Version of its Broadband VOD Service
--Walmart Integrates Vudu into its Web Site
--Zhone MSAN, Microsoft Mediaroom Powering SRT Communications' New IPTV Services

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.

  • Toronto-based ViXS Systems has announced the availability of a Blu-ray PVR hardware reference design for consumer electronics OEM's, ODM's and set-top box manufacturers. "This unique reference design offers our customers a powerful Blu-ray PVR solution with the ability to add other features such as multiple HD transcoding, 3D graphical user interfaces, live video streaming to iPAD and tablets, together with 3D TV support all on a single XCode 4210 System on Chip (SoC)," the company states in its press materials. "The reference design combines the following functions of Blu-ray, DVD, digital recording, broadcast playback, DLNA streaming and advanced transcoding applications into a single end-consumer product. In most cases to enable all these features and to do them concurrently requires several silicon devices, but due to the high level of integration and concurrency found in the ViXS XCode 4210, these features are all performed by a single silicon device. The ViXS Blu-ray PVR hardware reference design includes the following: Single- or dual-tuner support (ATSC, ISDB-T, DVB-T/T2 options); single 10/100 Ethernet port; HDMI 1.4a w/HDCP output; Blu-ray 3D support; composite out; analog L/R out; SPDIF out; BD/DVD recordable drive; SD card slot; support for external or integrated HDD; built-in WiFi--802.11n."
  • Walmart-owned transactional broadband VOD service, Vudu, has launched a service for the iPad: rather than a standalone app, the service is an iPad-optimized version of Vudu.com. "Beginning today, iPad users can go to Vudu.com and browse through Vudu's entertainment content library, which includes more than 20,000 blockbusters, Hollywood classics, independent films and TV episodes, then rent or purchase and watch them instantly," Vudu states in its press materials. "For one-touch access to Vudu, customers can add a Vudu icon to their iPad desktops by clicking the 'Add to Home Screen' button when on Vudu.com...Movies purchased and/or rented on the iPad can also be viewed on Walmart.com/Vudu, Vudu.com, or on any Vudu-enabled consumer electronics device. Vudu is currently available on more than 300 consumer electronics devices including Internet-capable HDTV's, Blu-ray Disc players and the PlayStation 3--more than any other pay-per-view service." Said Vudu general manager, Edward Lichty: "At Walmart, one of our key priorities is to provide one continuous experience for our customers to interact with our brand--whether that is in stores, online or from their mobile devices. Vudu's launch on the iPad plays into that vision as we're committed to offering the Vudu experience on as many devices as possible so customers can shop for and access their favorite movies and TV shows however they want, whenever they want."
  • In other Vudu news: Last month, Walmart announced that it was integrating the service onto its Walmart.com Web site. "Customers can now shop for thousands of digital Vudu titles, including the hottest new releases, and purchase and/or rent them directly on Walmart.com at www.walmart.com/vudu," the company stated in its press materials. "As customers shop for movies at Walmart.com, they now have the option to select the digital Vudu title and/or the physical title (DVD or Blu-ray Disc). Those who select the digital title complete their transaction through Walmart.com's checkout, and then can easily stream the movie directly from Walmart.com, Vudu.com, or from one of more than 300 Vudu-enabled devices, including select HDTV's, Blu-ray Disc players and the PlayStation3." Said Vudu's Lichty: "This integration allows us to introduce more Walmart.com customers to digital entertainment and give them access to thousands of new-release and popular movie titles immediately through Vudu's high-quality streaming service. By incorporating digital movie content into the Walmart.com entertainment shopping experience, we're enabling customers to easily choose how they want to enjoy their entertainment content--whether that be through a physical DVD, digital streaming or both."
  • North Dakota-based telephone cooperative, SRT Communications, is using Zhone Technologies' MXK multi-service access node (MSAN) and Microsoft's Mediaroom platform to power new IPTV services that will be delivered over ADSL2+ and FTTH networks. "After a year-long trial with Zhone, SRT chose to fully utilize the MXK for its new Microsoft Mediaroom-based video offering (SRTVision) to achieve its expansion plans to reach the 5,800 unserved subscribers in its coverage area," Zhone states in its press materials. "SRT is also one of Zhone's first customers, having deployed the MALC MSAN solution almost a decade ago when SRT was seeking an extendable and cost-effective solution to deliver broadband services to its customers."
Region: 
North America