Interactive TV News Round-Up (III): Digital TV Labs, httv, Metalligence, Massive

--Digital TV Labs Automates HbbTV Consortium Test Suite
--httv Integrates its New httvBOX Solution with Metalligence Set-Top
--Massive Launches Cross-Platform UI Development Toolkit for IPTV, Online Video and Mobile TV

Due to the large volume of news generated by the IFA and IBC trade shows--and 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.

  • Digital TV Labs, a provider of specialized receiver-conformance products and services, contacted [itvt] Tuesday to let us know that it has "further advanced the world of HbbTV conformance testing by announcing a reduction in test time via automating key functionality within its pioneering Ligada iSuite [note: HbbTV is a pan-European initiative that aims to harmonize the delivery of broadcast and broadband content through connected-TV devices]. The tool will be fully compliant with the official HbbTV Test Suite and already allows receiver manufacturers to bring HbbTV-ready products to market quickly and cost-effectively," the company's press materials continue. "The Ligada iSuite HbbTV Test Tool--a test harness consisting of test suites and server upon which to run them--fully supports the preliminary HbbTV Test Suite, slated for release in October this year. The latest version of Ligada automates many processes via its integrated JavaScript API support, IR blaster control, power cycle control and video screen capture interface. With its intuitive UI and the inclusion of HbbTV test cases linked to the HbbTV test assertions, Ligada significantly increases development productivity...Ligada fully supports DVB-T/C/S HbbTV receivers. Digital TV Labs is a very active member of the HbbTV Consortium and is the single highest contributor of test cases, having so far authored nearly half of the official test suite. Digital TV Labs is also announcing a range of additional key HbbTV test tools and facilities at IBC 2011 including an HbbTV Application Lab. This allows apps to be tested and verified in the company's test lab with the company also providing development advice. In addition, app developers can hire the company's HbbTV receiver 'zoo' for debugging across multiple receivers in one place, enhancing the speed and accuracy of development. The company can also offer more structured testing and reporting via its Application Testing Service, helping to evolve the HbbTV consumer experience."
  • French interactive TV technology provider, httv, contacted [itvt] Monday to let us know that it has integrated httvBOX--its recently launched HbbTV-compliant software solution for connected TV's and set-top boxes (for more on the solution, see the article published on itvt.com, August 23rd)--on Metalligence's MT2300 set-top box (HD/IP/PVR-ready). "This joint solution is ideal for living rooms or multi-room sharing," httv states in its press materials. "The new box allows access to live video streaming and supports Apple HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) adaptive streaming. It offers advanced UI, fast zapping, video-on-demand and catch-up TV, as well as PVR features including time-shifting and trick mode, [and] video mosaic. It also offers value-added services like social networking and other interactive TV applications. The STB is an advanced media center supporting most formats and codecs for video, pictures and music. The joint solution is a very competitive and cost-effective response to the growing demand of OTT services or content providers but also from hybrid networks. It targets operators and broadcasters looking to extend their content offering by providing a rich combination of linear, non-linear, and over-the-top services to their customers."
  • IPTV software company, Massive Interactive, has launched the "Massivision Framework," which it bills as a "universal, cross-platform user interface development toolkit for IPTV, online video and mobile TV services. The Framework fulfils the 'write once, deploy everywhere' promise, reducing the cost of development and time-to-market for telcos, broadcasters and other content providers offering movies-on-demand, catch-up TV, live channels and other applications in the rapidly growing IPTV sector," the company's press materials continue. "Most video entertainment providers have plans to make their TV and video storefronts and content available on as many unmanaged and managed connected consumer devices as is financially, technologically and operationally feasible. For a typical service operator, this may include a user interface for their video-on-demand services over a TV set-top box as well as several smart TV's, tablets and mobile phones. Ubiquitous access translates into more paid views, downloads and advertising revenue, as well as serving as a means of reducing the acquisition cost of new subscribers and lowering churn. The cost of developing and maintaining individual applications for each of these target devices is becoming prohibitive--even for the largest telcos, cable TV operators and broadcasters in the world. The Massivision Framework and software development kit (SDK) enables the 'TV Everywhere' vision through a single storefront core application which translates and cross-compiles to Flash, HTML/Javascript, C++ and other technologies [and] enables client applications on a diverse range of devices including PC's, set-top boxes, IP-connected TV's, game consoles, tablets and mobile phones. As well as facilitating user interfaces across multiple devices, the Framework also enables 'second-screen' two-way, point-to-point communication functionality where, for example, an iPad can be used as a remote control for a television providing a richer range of interactions--including the integration of social media into the viewing experience." Massive claims that the Massivision Framework is currently being integrated into the IPTV platforms of several large global technology and infrastructure providers. Said Massive CEO, Ron Downey: "We are very encouraged by the global prospects of the Massivision Framework, having already sold our first licenses to top-tier telcos, broadcasters and other service providers in both the UK and Australia. The product solves several key problems that TV and video content providers currently face as they push to make their IPTV services available on a growing list of video-capable devices. The problem we have set out to address is that the number of connected consumer devices is exploding, and manufacturers haven't agreed to a single standard language or platform for the development of client applications. This means service providers must either develop ground-up applications in the target language for each manufacturer's device--or use a framework and toolset that does a lot of this work for them. Using the Massivision Framework significantly reduces the total cost of ownership as well as streamlining platform support--from managing many applications to managing a single code base."


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