Interactive TV News Round-Up (III): Espial, OTE, Joost, Neulion, MLS, Panasonic, Roku

--Espial MediaBase Powering VOD for Greek Telco, OTE
--Joost Launches j-Roll Interactive Pre-Roll Video Ad Product
--Neulion Powers MLS MatchDay Live on Panasonic Viera Connect Connected TV's and Roku STB's

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.

  • VOD software provider, Espial, said Wednesday that Greek telco, OTE (has 3.5 million fixed-line subscribers), is using its MediaBase platform to power its VOD services. Espial enumerates the key features of the deployment as follows: "1) For its FilmExpress video-on-demand (VOD) service and FilmClub subscription-VOD services, OTE offers recent-release films as well as famous television series, movies, music videoclips, documentaries and cartoon series. 2) The power of the Espial MediaBase content delivery networking is used to full advantage. OTE has deployed one central site with several edge sites. OTE benefits from the automated, multicast content distribution capability of Espial MediaBase which ensures the most efficient network utilization of any VOD platform in the market. 3) OTE also harnesses the multi-tiered video streaming architecture of Espial MediaBase that allows it to store long tail content centrally and popular assets locally. This provides the optimal capex formula for OTE as they can deploy edge sites with minimal hardware. 4) OTE benefits from the automated, multicast content distribution capability of Espial MediaBase which ensures the most efficient network utilization of any VOD platform in the market. This enables intelligent and automated transfer of popular assets from the central cluster to edge clusters based on popularity and demand for a particular video asset. 5) OTE leverages the commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware advantage of Espial MediaBase. Espial MediaBase is highly optimized for COTS hardware using patented technology developed over 10+ years and a design time relationship with Intel. This optimization provides significant CAPEX, manageability and OPEX savings. It also allows operators to separate their hardware and software investment unlike VOD servers based on proprietary hardware. 6) Espial MediaBase's solution was selected and implemented for OTE by a leading global system integrator."
  • Joost Media, which is now a wholly owned subsidiary of the Adconion Media Group, has launched an interactive pre-roll video ad format called j-Roll. "This new product provides all the functionalities of Joost's successful expandable banners within pre-rolls across its publishers," the company states in its press materials. "j-Roll aims to increase consumer interactivity and engagement by offering advertisers and marketers the opportunity to include all of the features and functionality of a Web site within the ad unit. It offers consumers an immersive interactive brand experience within the ad. j-Roll's multiple functionalities in a single ad include the ability to open ads over pre-roll, play games, print coupons, view image gallery, look up store locators and movie show times, just to name a few."
  • Neulion, a provider of technologies for delivering live and on-demand video to Internet-connected devices, and Major League Soccer (MLS), the US/Canadian professional soccer league, have announced the launch of the subscription-based MLS MatchDay Live programming service on Panasonic Viera Connect connected-TV sets and Roku set-top boxes. "Building upon the tremendous success of MLS MatchDay Live, the dedicated MLS video service available via the PC and iPad, the same interactive digital viewing experience is now available in a fully functional and integrated experience on two new connected devices," Neulion and the MLS state in their press materials. "Subscribers will be able to watch over 200 games live, as well as view on-demand video such as previously broadcast MLS games and highlights...The service provides unprecedented HD access to live and condensed matches, highlights, schedules, standings, league leaders and stats for each player in a seamless, easy-to-use interface. Fans will be able to easily navigate between live and on-demand matches, which are viewable on a large HD 'playing surface' on their TV's." Said Chris Schlosser, the MLS's director of digital strategy: "As a sports league and business it's important to remain cutting-edge when it comes to technology. Working with NeuLion and adding viewing access to these new connected devices, complements the MatchDay Live offering on the PC and iPad. Our fans are eager to engage in this 'big-screen' experience on Roku devices and Panasonic Viera Connect TV's. Allowing fans the ability to choose their preferred viewing device is expected to drive more subscriptions."
North America