Interactive TV News Round-Up (III): iPowow, Nine Network, itaas, Liberty Global, SeaChange

--iPowow to Power Second Screen Interactive TV for Australia's Nine Network
--New Release of itaas's ECS VOD Monitoring Tool Offers Motorola Support
--Liberty Selects SeaChange Adrenalin to Support Horizon Roll-Out

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 a couple of 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.

  • Australian broadcaster, the Nine Network, and sponsor, Vodafone, have tapped second-screen interactive TV specialist, iPowow, to power an interactive feature called "Vodafone Viewers' Verdict" that will initially be available on the show, "Wide World of Sports." "For the first time on Australian television, viewers will be able to interact live with broadcasts and share their opinion on all sporting issues and controversies, news stories and talking points, as well as weighing in on debates with the 'Wide World of Sports Sunday Serve' panel in real time," the companies state in their press materials. "Made possible by iPowow's state-of-the-art voting platform, the technology gives viewers at home the ability to respond instantly to questions in-program via the Vodafone Viewers' Verdict, with results displayed on air via a special graphic...To take part in on-air discussions during 'Wide World of Sports' this Sunday, viewers simply go to on their iPhone, Android, tablet or PC to access the free personal voting tool. The cutting-edge technology of iPowow has been used with marquee clients in the United States, including the recent Miss Universe pageant in Brazil when viewers polled 23.6 million votes over a nine-minute period, plus 1.62 million page views. 'Vodafone Viewers' Verdict' will run from Sunday, September 25, on 'Wide World of Sports' in limited form. It will launch in full during Nine's International Summer of Cricket from December 1 and also integrated into Vodafone's Cricket Live app." A video of iPowow's voting system in action on "Wide World of Sports" can be seen here.
  • Interactive TV technology services company, itaas, has announced a new release of its itaas Event Collection System (ECS) VOD monitoring tool that it says offers various enhancements, including support for Motorola networks, an updated user interface and improved reporting capabilities. "Initially designed for systems using Cisco headends, ECS has been deployed in over 30 systems in North America," itaas states in its press materials. "Cable operators can now use the same monitoring tool across multiple headend types and with VOD equipment from major VOD vendors. ECS is designed to monitor operational performance of the VOD system components and capture detailed information that operators need to ensure customer satisfaction with the on-demand experience. Session analytics allow service providers to identify and resolve problems in near-real time--whether it is a backoffice configuration issue, equipment failure or a bandwidth issue. The system also saves time and money by identifying bottlenecks and improving efficiency in capacity planning." Said itaas president and CEO, Vibha Rustagi: "VOD performance is critical in light of the increasing pressure from OTT content providers and the potential of increased VOD usage through the enhanced search and discovery capability of tablets. Knowing what is happening within the network is imperative to system reliability and customer satisfaction, and ECS ensures that a consumer gets the highest-quality VOD video delivery consistently and reliably."
  • Multiscreen video solutions provider, SeaChange International, says that international cable operator, Liberty Global, has selected its Adrenalin multiscreen video backoffice and client publishing solutions for its new Horizon platform (note: for more on the latter, see the article published on, September 11th), which is initially slated to be launched by Liberty's UPC subsidiary in the Netherlands, with launches by UPC Cablecom in Switzerland and Unitymedia in Germany expected to follow shortly thereafter. "The Horizon platform, unveiled on Sept. 8 at IBC 2011 in Amsterdam, is a next-generation TV platform, providing not only video to TV screens but also to other devices, from PC's to tablets and smartphones," SeaChange states in its press materials. "Using a simple and intuitive interface and a powerful recommendation engine, subscribers will be able to view and share the television experience and any content on multiple screens wirelessly throughout the home and on the go through device applications and Web browsers. SeaChange's Adrenalin video backoffice, the on-demand foundation for several Liberty Global operations worldwide, is being deployed to automate Horizon's on-demand television offering. SeaChange provides a range of video backoffice and multiscreen software solutions for Liberty Global systems in Europe including UPC Netherlands, UPC Cablecom (Switzerland) and UPC Poland and, in Latin America, for Liberty Cablevision of Puerto Rico and VTR in Chile. Liberty Global's systems also leverage SeaChange Professional Services for systems planning, integration and deployment...SeaChange's Adrenalin multiscreen video backoffice solution has been deployed by seven operators worldwide since its launch last October, in addition to hundreds of SeaChange Axiom and eventIS backoffice deployments."
North America