Interactive TV News Round-Up (II): Channel 5, "Big Brother," Entone, TCT, ACA

--UK's Channel 5 Launches iPad/iPhone App for "Big Brother" Shows
--Entone's FusionTV Hybrid-TV Solution Deployed by Wyoming Triple-Play Provider, TCT
--Entone Seeks to Capitalize on Smaller Operators' Concerns about Google's Motorola Acquisition

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 commercial terrestrial broadcaster, Channel 5, has launched a free iPad/iPhone that will initially feature catch-up episodes from "Celebrity Big Brother," from the upcoming new season of the regular "Big Brother" show and from the "Big Brother" spin-off, "Big Brother's Bit on the Side." The app is slated to subsequently feature catch-up episodes from a range of Channel 5 programs, including programs from its digital channels--thus serving as the iOS implementation of its Demand 5 catch-up service. In addition, Channel 5 is set to launch "Big Brother" apps on Facebook and Android, which will allow viewers to vote on the show via Facebook Credits. New Media Age's Jessica Davies has more.
  • Entone said Wednesday that Wyoming-based triple-play provider, Tri-County Telephone Association, Inc. (TCT), has selected its FusionTV solution to enable the delivery of hybrid-TV services. "By deploying the IPTV Edition of Entone's FusionTV solution, TCT can now offer their subscribers a unified experience that combines linear-TV service, digital video recording (DVR), and Web-based media services such as Vudu Movies and hundreds of popular Web destinations, delivered to the TV via a seamless user interface," Entone states in its press materials. "Entone's FusionTV solution offers pay-TV subscribers the best of live HDTV, DVR and cloud-based services via a single TV input, remote control, and user interface. The IPTV Edition of FusionTV is optimized for Entone's Amulet IPTV DVR and Janus Media Hub. When combined with FusionTV, these devices provide access to a vast library of content and cloud-based services, such as video-on-demand (VOD) content from Vudu, Internet radio from Pandora, photo sharing from Flickr and Picasa, and social media via Facebook and Twitter." Said TCT network manager, Richard Wardell: "By integrating the best of live HDTV and online services, Entone allows us to more effectively utilize our broadband infrastructure to deliver what has been promised in an IPTV solution and to offer differentiated services in a competitive market environment."
  • In other Entone news: 1) CableLabs has "verified" a new line of hybrid QAM/IP set-top boxes and video gateways from the company, that are equipped with CableCARD slots, Jeff Baumgartner reports in Light Reading Cable. 2) The company is attempting to reach out to small and mid-sized operators that are concerned about Google's planned acquisition of Motorola Mobility (note: the American Cable Association, an organization representing smaller operators, recently issued a public statement on the acquisition, seeking "assurances from Google that it is both committed to the cable business model and won't use its market power to run roughshod over smaller cable operators"): "Google's proposed acquisition of Motorola Mobility has created concern and uncertainty among cable operators, especially the hundreds of smaller and mid-sized operators that have traditionally had limited set-top box options," Entone CEO, Steve McKay writes in an open letter published on the company's Web site. "Entone would like to assure independent cable operators that you have other options and we are here to support you. In fact, serving small and mid-sized operators has always been the core of our business with over 100 rural TV operators in the US deploying Entone's set-top boxes and media hubs. We don't know what Google plans to do with the Motorola set-top box business but it's hard to see how this deal benefits the operators. Whether your outside plant is entirely analog, digital or a combination thereof, we encourage you to explore set-top box alternatives and use this as an opportunity for innovation. For example, our CableLabs-certified set-top boxes and media hubs will support your traditional linear-TV services while also integrating emerging cloud-based media services such as Internet VOD, Internet radio, photo sharing, and social media. You have other options. We invite you to contact Entone about partnering together on this opportunity."
North America