Interactive TV News Round-Up (IV): Pace, SeaChange International, Time Warner Cable, Slingbox

--Pace Launches HD Set-Tops that also Serve as IP Clients within Home Network
--SeaChange Reveals its IBC 2011 Exhibit Plans
--Time Warner Cable to Subsidize Slingbox Purchases for its Wideband Internet Customers

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 set-top box manufacturer, Pace, has launched a range of set-top boxes that it says can be used "as standalone HD set-top boxes or as IP clients within a home network," thus enabling operators "to supply a single set-top box now, but with the option to incorporate it into a wider home network as they develop their services. Pace's new set-top boxes offer full HD and 3D capabilities and are IP-ready, so able to receive OTT, on-demand and broadcast content," the company's press materials continue. "Whatever an operator's preferred home networking method, the clients seamlessly integrate into WiFi, powerline or coaxial networks. As standalone devices, they provide pay-TV subscribers with immediate access to a wide variety of high-quality content, while also offering operators a flexible platform that serves as a conventional HD set-top box today, or a home networking client tomorrow. This allows operators to deliver new services and move towards a converged home offering without the need to replace their deployed hardware...The new set-top boxes are WiFi-, powerline- and coaxial network-ready, and receive content via IP and traditional broadcast. The devices are available in various designs, according to customer requirements, all with the ability to deliver a converged broadband and broadcast big-screen experience. Options include an 802.11n wireless HD IP client, a powerline home networking HD IP client and an ethernet/MOCA HD IP client."
  • SeaChange International has revealed its exhibit plans for IBC 2011 (Stand 1.C27). According to the company, the multiscreen video solutions that it plans to showcase at IBC include: "1) SeaChange Nitro Multiscreen Subscriber Experience: Nitro software enables video operators to provide consumers with control over linear and on-demand content across mobile, PC, tablet and TV screens. Nitro leverages HTML5 to give subscribers intuitive features and functionality to navigate and manage video content on any screen they choose, including TV listings, bookmarking, search and recommendation, and handheld-as-a-remote capability. 2) SeaChange Adrenalin Multiscreen Video Backoffice: Built using an open service-oriented architecture, operators are using SeaChange Adrenalin to deliver a consistent video experience that avails millions of video assets to millions of devices across multiple networks. Adrenalin can establish new services or incrementally transform existing services to provide rich and seamless user experiences across mobile, tablet, PC and TV screens with extensive cross-promotional capabilities and fully integrated linear and non-linear advertising. 3) SeaChange Business Management Suite: Business Management Suite has comprehensive, Web-based offer-management capabilities that give marketers anytime, anywhere access to create and manage offers and video libraries that maximize subscriber engagement across devices. 4) SeaChange Affinity Social Media Capabilities: The Affinity application integrates with on-demand services running on Apple iPad to support content recommendation (browsing, sharing, liking and commenting within the app, as well as on Facebook and Twitter). Affinity also enables the sharing of a common VOD experience as part of a 'virtual party,' whereby users can organize a watching party among friends and communicate, share comments and invite others. 5) SeaChange Infusion Advanced Advertising Platform: Infusion is built to help video operators manage centralized ad operations and scale to 150,000 insertable channels and millions of ad assets as they migrate to consolidated regional and national advertising systems that are managed from increasingly Web-centric and virtualized datacenters. Infusion enables targeted advertisements to be dynamically inserted into linear and on-demand video streams across multiple screens. Leveraging SCTE-130 and IAB VAST standards, Infusion allows video operators to control which external ad servicing systems get called for dynamic placement decisions, create opportunities for cross-platform campaigns and leverage Internet campaign-management pricing for TV content." SeaChange also plans to showcase its eventIS line of linear broadcast solutions for operators providing HbbTV and DVB services. These include: 1) Stagis, a schedule management system that collects EPG data, parses the files, checks them for consistency and converts them into a standard format; 2) Spectris, which supports system and DVB metadata monitoring and verification; 3) Casis, which provides an MPEG-DVB-compliant table, access criteria generation and multiplexer profile scheduling; and 4) Captis, which records broadcast transport streams to safeguard QoS. In addition, the company plans to showcase various solutions designed to help broadcasters create, store and monetize media assets.
  • Time Warner Cable plans to provide subscribers to its $99-per-month Wideband Internet service with a rebate on the purchase of EchoStar's Slingbox TV place-shifting device, the New York Times' Brian Stelter reported Wednesday. The rebate will be for the entire $299 cost of the device, a Time Warner Cable spokesperson subsequently confirmed to Broadcasting & Cable's George Winslow. Stelter observes that the rebate offer "reflects the fact that Internet connectivity, not television, is becoming the core part of the business for companies like Time Warner Cable," and that it should be seen as "a shot across the bow to cable programmers who say that distributors should pay them more for the right to" allow place-shifting of their content.
North America