Interactive TV News Round-Up (IV): NDS, Pace, RVU Alliance, PayWizard, Samsung

PayWizard Samsung TV App

--NDS Expands its Presence in China
--Pace Set-Top Receives RVU Alliance Certification
--PayWizard Launches Payment App for Samsung Connected TV's

Because the [itvt] editorial team has been working on TVOT NYC Intensive 2011, we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format. We anticipate that it will take us several 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.

  • Interactive TV and conditional access technology provider, NDS, has announced that it is expanding its R&D, engineering and customer support capabilities in China by opening a new facility in Shenzhen. "As part of the move, a new, larger office will focus on the development of advanced set-top box software, enhanced UI's and customized electronic program guides (EPG's), innovative interactive solutions and end-to-end solutions tailored to meet the specific needs of the Chinese pay-TV market," the company states in its press materials. "To support the government's Next Generation Broadcasting (NGB) and three network convergence initiatives, the new Shenzhen facility will support development and integration projects dedicated to creating revenue-enhancing, services and applications such as customized interactive services, games and user interfaces, with a short time-to-market." Said NDS China chairman, Sue Taylor: "NDS first started working in China in 1998 and it is an increasingly important market for us. With ongoing investment in our Shenzhen facility, we are able to increase development, work with local vendors and provide our Chinese customers with solutions that are tailored for the market. In the last two years we have doubled the number of NDS employees in China and we plan to continue substantial recruitment in the region in the coming year. Our increased presence in China provides the opportunity for Chinese CE and STB manufacturers to work closely with NDS' global integration teams, providing further opportunities for international export."
  • UK set-top box company, Pace, says that its C30 RVU Client solution has been certified by the RVU Alliance (note: the latter is an industry group that seeks to encourage adoption of a client/server-based technology--dubbed "RVU"--that is designed to allow TV viewers to experience a consistent, pixel-accurate, server-generated user interface across various CE client devices). "The Pace C30 set-top box is the first device to go through the RVU Alliance certification program, which is run by the independent University of New Hampshire Interoperability Laboratory," the company states in its press materials. "The certification marks a major milestone in the development of whole-home client/server technology for the US pay-TV industry, and in the adoption of the RVU standard. The Pace C30 RVU Client is an optimized, small-footprint set-top box solution which works in conjunction with an RVU server to provide HD content and DVR capabilities to consumers via a consistent, feature-rich user interface. The publicly available RVU technology standard allows a single server in a household to serve multiple clients simultaneously, providing every TV in a household with the same user experience. Pace developed the C30 solution in cooperation with JetHead Development, to form part of the next-generation DirecTV whole-home platform, targeted for release at the end of this year."
  • PayWizard, a UK-based provider of payment solutions for digital platforms, has launched a payment app for Samsung connected TV's. According to the company, the app is the first payment service app to launch on Samsung connected TV's; allows simple and easy-to-use account management, top-ups, transaction views and self-service capabilities; and represents the "first step" towards launching PayWizard account management apps on other connected-TV, tablet and smartphone platforms. The company has previously implemented its payment platform for Racing UK (Android/iPhone apps) and Omnimotion (online gaming), and says that "a number of as-yet-unannounced customer contracts" are slated for deployment during the fourth quarter. "PayWizard supports transactions made on multiple devices--including tablets, connected TV's, smartphones, online and digital set-top boxes--and features a unique, Web-based management dashboard that provides detailed real-time activity reports as well as valuable, actionable marketing information on viewer behavior," the company states in its press materials. "This dashboard provides instant feedback on transactions, campaign effectiveness, consumption patterns and revenues generated and can be used to drive the development of personalized promotions and informed and creative cross-device marketing opportunities.
North America