Interactive TV News Round-Up (IV): NDS, Netflix, Ooyala, ESPN

--NDS Unveils its IBC 2011 Exhibit Plans
--Netflix Launches Children's Version of its Service
--Ooyala Tapped to Power Online Video for ESPN

Because the [itvt] editorial team has been on the road the past few weeks--as well as working on our second annual TVOT NYC Intensive event--we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format. We anticipate that it will take us a few more 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.

  • NDS has announced its exhibit plans for IBC 2011, and says that it also plans to host a number of live events in its booth (stand 1.A71), a schedule for which can be viewed here. According to the company, its IBC exhibit will be organized into four categories: "1) Content on any device: With solutions to enable the viewing of content on any device, NDS will showcase how its technologies enrich the value of the multiplatform content experience. The NDS Unified Headend provides a single framework for the management of multiple platforms, including the ability to manage cross-platform offers and implement solutions for the development of third-party companion device applications with the NDS Service Delivery Platform (SDP). At IBC this year, following the product's launch in March, NDS will demonstrate a number of apps--developed independently--that showcase a sample of the functionality possible with the NDS SDP. In addition, NDS will be hosting a live walkthrough of an app being developed using the NDS SDP...NDS will also be showcasing the NDS Unified Gateway, an end-to-end solution that combines NDS experience in set-top box software, UI design and DRM with Jungo's experience in residential gateways to enable a whole-home experience with content and service across a wide range of IP enabled entertainment and communication devices. 2) Over-the-top: At IBC NDS will showcase how its solutions provide a unified approach to over-the-top (OTT) content delivery, with content securely delivered and integrated into the pay-TV experience. The NDS InfiniteTV suite of technologies enable an operator to introduce value-added content and services to their platform, with the tools to manage negotiations and OTT delivery of specialized content with multiple business models. Part of the InfiniteTV suite, NDS will demonstrate the InfiniteTV Exchange (ITXg), a business-to-business content marketplace that enables content owners to expand the reach of their content and operators to integrate special-interest OTT programming--in the form of channels--into their pay-TV offering. For a live demonstration of ITXg and the developments made since launch earlier this year, NDS will be hosting an ITXg product master class at the show. 3) Enhancing the user experience: At IBC, NDS will demonstrate its MediaHighway set-top box software and its ability to power the world's most advanced functionality, including next-generation advertising solutions, content portability and the award-winning user interface, NDS Snowflake. NDS Snowflake, now selected by a number of leading operators including Portuguese cable operator Zon and Liberty Global Inc. for deployment at UPC, provides intuitive and elegant navigation of content and services across devices with a minimalist look and feel. For an in-depth look at NDS Snowflake, the philosophy behind the UI and its evolution, NDS will be hosting a live NDS Snowflake product master class at IBC. 4) Content and service protection: NDS will demonstrate its next-generation solutions for the protection of not only an operator's content, but their service. With the rapid expansion and security demands placed on multiplatform services, market-leading solutions from NDS ensure that operators do not have to rely on 'good enough' security solutions to enable them to expand their service to CE platforms."
  • Netflix has launched "Just for Kids," a version of its service designed specifically for children, that the company says is guided in part by the fact that "kids identify with shows more by the characters than by the title...Click on the 'Just For Kids' tab on the Netflix Web site and you'll find a world of movies and TV shows suitable for children 12 and under," the company states on its corporate blog. "Scan through row after row of kid-friendly genres like girl power, talking animals, superheroes, dinosaurs, princesses and robots. And check out our new character area at the top and bottom of 'Just for Kids,' featuring everyone from 'SpongeBob SquarePants' and 'Dora the Explorer' to 'Jimmy Neutron,' 'iCarly' and 'Thomas the Tank Engine.' Kids can click on any one of more than one hundred of their favorite characters to find what they want to watch, when they want to watch. To prioritize these selections we've worked with Common Sense Media, a leading non-profit that provides trustworthy information and tools so that families can have a choice and a voice about the media they consume. 'Just for Kids' is available on the PC and Mac to Netflix members in the US and Canada today with similar functionality to come on the Wii, iPad and many other devices."
  • In a posting on online video platform provider Ooyala's corporate blog, Tuesday, the company's president and CEO, Jay Fulcher, announced that it is now powering video for The latter was previously using online video technology that was developed in-house by its parent company, Disney. "ESPN chose to partner with us for a number of reasons," Fulcher wrote. "First and foremost, our video technology helps ESPN deliver the best possible fan experience on the Web. Ooyala-powered videos load incredibly fast and have exceptional playback quality. As a result, ESPN can engage more fans and keep them watching longer. Second, ESPN was looking for an innovative partner--and a true extension to their team--to help them deliver high-quality video at scale, better utilize internal resources, and streamline the management of their videos and related data. Ooyala helps power the video, so ESPN can focus on the most important part of their business--the fan experience. Third, our video technology brings HD-quality video to all devices and platforms. Sports fans can watch on mobile devices, media tablets, browsers, set-top boxes, connected TV's--whatever device or platform they want."
North America