Interactive TV News Round-Up (IV): Oregan Networks, thePlatform, ThinkOptics

--Oregan Launches Hybrid DTT/IP Browser
--thePlatform Updates its Player Dev Kit
--ThinkOptics Launches iOS App Combining Universal Remote Control with EPG Functionality

Because the [itvt] editorial team is catching up with a backlog of news--and has also been working on TVOT NYC Intensive 2011--we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format.

  • UK-based media browser company, Oregan Networks, has launched version 4.2 of its software--a hybrid digital terrestrial (DTT)/IP browser that is available in variants for Latin American, European and Asian markets that have adopted the DVB-T or ISDB-T digital broadcast standards. "As part of its multi-regional hybrid solution for telecom and broadcast operators, Oregan has emphasizOed the specific requirements of the emerging broadband and pay-TV markets in Latin America, based on the trend for the ISDB-T standard, adopted by the majority of countries in the region, including Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Peru, to become the second most widely spread digital-TV standard," the company states in its press materials. "The Latin American version of Oregan Media Browser provides a blueprint of essential building blocks for delivery of content over broadband and broadcast networks in the region, namely: 1) Adaptive bitrate Internet streaming capability, allowing network operators to address bandwidth-constrained and peak usage network conditions. 2) Broadcast receiver module, supporting ISDB-T International, also known as SBTVD, for either free-to-air (FTA) or conditional access system (CAS)-protected broadcast video. 3) TR-069 and TR-135 module, enabling bidirectional monitoring and control of the set-top box, providing essential QoS information related to the performance of the STB as well as monitoring WAN, LAN and broadcast network status. 4) Home media networking functions, enabling DLNA 1.5-based photo, music and video sharing. 5) End-to-end server and client solution for remote upgrade and management of STB's in the field, featuring security and group management capabilities. 6) Digital rights management (DRM) and conditional access system (CAS) implementations, facilitating studio-approved levels of content protection. Oregan's ISDB-T stack is designed to the SBTVD specifications, also known as ISDB-T International, and has been field-proven with broadcasts across countries in Latin America, including Argentina, Chile, and Brazil where it has also successfully passed the certification by ANATEL (Agencia Nacional de Telecomunicacoes), the Brazilian telecoms regulator...The DVB-T version for European and Asian markets, as well as Colombia and Panama, is designed to meet D-Book and E-book certification requirements."
  • Comcast-owned white-label video publishing company, thePlatform, has released version 4.4.3 of its Player Dev Kit. New features, according to a posting on the company's blog, include: "1) Custom controls during ads--Customers can now change the control rack during advertisements via advertisement controls in the layout XML. This gives you more control over the playback experience while your ads are playing. 2) VPAID interactive ad support--We now support the use of Video Player-Ad Interface Definition (VPAID) files referenced from VAST ad payloads. The introduction of VPAID is intended to reduce the need for custom plug-ins for different advertising providers. A VPAID ad uses a standard interface that allows it to control the player software that hosts it. 3) Akamai HD support--We upgraded to the latest Akamai HDNetwork, version 2.2. This enables delivering of a single set of files from MPX as either Adobe HDS (Zeri) or Apple HLS without doing multiple encodes for each platform, and using a single public URL. 4) comScore and authentication plug-ins in HTML5--We added a comScore plug-in and an authentication token plug-in to the HTML5 player. 5) Metadata URL plug-in support in HTML5--We added support for Metadata URL plug-ins in the HTML components. This now allows the plug-ins to modify release URL's as they come into the HTML5 player. 6) Changes to pause events--We added smarter logic to determine where the pause call came from, was it automatic from an ad or other event, or manual from the user clicking pause? This gives you more control over your decision path on what to do when the video is paused."
  • ThinkOptics has launched an iPhone/iPad/iPod touch app, called the iWavit TVAid, that combines universal remote-control functionality with an EPG and that is designed to work with the company's $99 remote-control hardware accessory. "The TVAid app includes a universal IR learning remote and comes preinstalled with an intuitive set-up wizard for easy construction and customization," ThinkOptics states in its press materials. "To help successfully create the iWavit TVAid app, ThinkOptics partnered with BIM and Remotec. A veteran data-services provider for the broadcast and media industry, BIM employs their TitanTV data service to deliver geographically accurate TV program and episodic information that is then rendered into a sleek and clickable listing guide. When a user finds a TV show they want to watch, the TVAid sends a command to the iWavit hardware attached to the iPad, iPhone or iPod touch and blasts a series of IR commands. The exact IR codes are taken from an extensive IR library provided by Remotec. This ultimately allows the iWavit system to communicate and control any brand of TV or cable-box provider...ThinkOptics initially introduced the iWavit plug-in attachment at MacWorld in January 2011. Since then, the company has expanded their offerings to include over 30 free apps that make use of the iWavit hardware accessory. These apps neatly complement ThinkOptics' flagship app, iWavit Tabula Rasa, which allows users to build their own virtual remote controls and to share them online with the rest of the world."
North America