Interactive TV News Round-Up (II): Amino, Vidiactive, ATSC, Concurrent, Kabel Deutschland

--Amino Integrates Vidiactive's VideoBee into its Freedom Media Center
--New ATSC Group to Develop Standards for "Next-Generation DTT Broadcast System"
--Concurrent's MediaHawk VX Powers Multiscreen Video Delivery for Kabel Deutschland

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.

  • UK set-top company, Amino Communications, has announced that it is embedding Vidiactive's VideoBee service into its Freedom Media Center, in order to add new "social-sharing, multiscreen, anytime Web viewing functionality to the platform. VideoBee provides a single, centralized platform for users to manage, watch and share their favorite Web videos across multiple screens and devices from one central place," Amino's press materials continue. "They can then manage them into playlists, which can be accessed and watched on any device at any time. Embedding the VideoBee client into the Freedom platform, will enable users to watch Web videos found on any device--such as a smartphone, tablet, laptop--on their TV screen as a full-screen experience using a simple remote control. VideoBee's 'PlaySpot' facility also allows users to continue to watch a video from a paused point on a different device, in a different room or on a different screen. So a user can begin to watch a movie on one device, 'PlaySpot' it, and then continue view from where they paused on another device. Visitors to IBC 2011 can see the VideoBee service running on Amino's Freedom Jump OTT Companion Media Center at Amino's stand 5.B40." Said Amino CEO, Andrew Burke: "VideoBee is truly 'social' media--allowing users to bring together their favorite content from a variety of sources, create playlists and share with friends and family. This innovative functionality aligns perfectly with our vision for the Freedom platform of enabling our customers to deliver the very best entertainment experience. By effectively transforming any Web video page into a TV viewing experience [it] also plays very well to the nscreen experience that the industry is moving towards."
  • The Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) has formed a new technology group that is tasked with developing ATSC 3.0, a series of voluntary technical standards and recommended practices for "the next-generation digital terrestrial television broadcast system that would serve viewers and TV stations for decades to come... Because ATSC 3.0 is likely to be incompatible with current broadcast systems, it must provide improvements in performance, functionality and efficiency significant enough to warrant implementation of a non-backwards-compatible system," the organization's press materials continue. "Interoperability with production systems and non-broadcast distribution systems should be considered by the new technology group...Formation of the new ATSC 3.0 Technology Group, called 'TG3,' will allow the ATSC Technology & Standards Group (now called 'TG1'), chaired by Dr. Richard Chernock of Triveni Digital, to accelerate its current activities including development of ATSC 2.0, NRT, 3D and mobile DTV. TG3 was recommended by the ATSC board of directors in July and adopted by the membership on Sept 2, 2011. ATSC board chairman, Samsung vice president John Godfrey, has appointed James Kutzner as TG3 chairman. Kutzner, senior director of advanced technology for the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), chaired the ATSC 3.0 Planning Team for the past year. At PBS, Kutzner manages engineering and technology projects. An ATSC board member, SMPTE fellow and IEEE member, he also is vice chairman of the Open Mobile Video Coalition's Technical Advisory Group." Said ATSC president, Mark Richer: "ATSC 3.0 is a crucial long-term project that paves the way for futuristic terrestrial television broadcasting technologies. As we look to the horizon, the ATSC will be exploring technologies that perhaps haven't even been invented yet."
  • Concurrent (IBC Stand 4.B78) said Tuesday that it has secured a deal with Kabel Deutschland (KD) that sees the latter implementing the Concurrent MediaHawk VX multiscreen video delivery platform for its 8.7 million subscribers. "Concurrent's MediaHawk VX enables KD to deliver high-quality video content to multiple screens from a unified video delivery solution," Concurrent states in its press materials. "MediaHawk VX software is paired with 100% commercially available hardware to create the world's most advanced turnkey video content delivery system...In merging TV-VOD and HTTP CDN functionality into a unified solution architecture, MediaHawk represents a unique solution for operators who are interested in supporting both traditional set-top box terminals as well as new IP-enabled consumer devices, such as tablet computers, smartphones, IP set-top boxes, and gaming consoles. As a modular software solution, MediaHawk VX can be easily scaled to address future growth requirements and updated to meet the changing demands of a dynamic multiscreen market. Concurrent's solution will be integrated and deployed at KD in conjunction with Seachange's EventIS back office system and NDS' client solution." Said Kabel Deutschland CTO, Lorenz Glatz: "KD's goal is to provide our customers with new and innovative video services that span an increasing array of consumer devices. We tested several platforms and decided on Concurrent's solution based on its performance and unique multiscreen features. We believe Concurrent's ability to support both Internet video delivery and traditional TV delivery on the same platform provides us with the flexibility to expand our business to new screens and to take advantage of more efficient content delivery models."

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