Interactive TV News Round-Up (III): Coincident, Comcast,, DTG, HbbTV

--Coincident's "Music Explorer" App Wins First Place in Two Categories at Video Hack Day SF
--Comcast Launches Multiplatform TV Campaign to Support's Pink Ribbon Campaign
--Digital Television Group Approves HbbTV-Based Connected-TV Spec for UK

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.

  • Interactive video company, Coincident, contacted [itvt] earlier this week to let us know that it won first place in two categories at the Video Hack Day SF event that took place in San Francisco last Saturday (note: the event's sponsors included YouTube, Netflix, Rovi, Mashery and Rotten Tomatoes): the categories were "Best Use of YouTube API" and "Best Use of Rovi API." "Coincident developers Alex Kalinin and Carl Rosenberg beat out a crowded field of top-flight video software developers by whipping out an experience dubbed 'Music Explorer,' in which a user could easily navigate related musicians' videos on YouTube using deep metadata about how musicians are influenced by, or influential to, another artist," a Coincident spokesperson stated in an email to [itvt]. "The result was the music-video equivalent of the '6 Degrees of Separation,' all represented by YouTube videos and driven by Rovi-owned metadata...Given the positive reaction for the app at Video Hack Day SF, Coincident intends to enhance this prototype and give it a more consumer-friendly UI...and believes this could open up an entirely new category of music partners." Coincident's winning Video Hack Day SF entry can be seen here.
  • Comcast is using its Xfinity On Demand VOD service, its online programming service and its Xfinity TV app to support's annual Pink Ribbon Campaign for breast cancer awareness. "Throughout October, Xfinity TV customers can watch more than 65 educational videos on Xfinity On Demand, and through the Xfinity TV app, focused on breast cancer awareness, detection and prevention, along with entertaining films and TV series that explore the impact of the illness," the company states in its press materials. "Xfinity TV's Pink Ribbon Campaign programming is currently available on Xfinity On Demand and and starting October 10 will be available through the Xfinity TV app on the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. Programming highlights include: 1) Dozens of videos promoting breast cancer awareness including topics such as early detection methods, warning signs, how to reduce your chances and how to best perform breast self-exams. 2) 'Cancer & Cures': Learn what you need to know from the University of Pennsylvania's Abramson Cancer Center scientists who are at the forefront of breast cancer research. 3) In-depth information about the illness including the different stages of breast cancer, breast cancer symptoms and risk factors, and breast cancer myths debunked. 4) 'Breast Cancer: The Path of Wellness & Healing': an educational and inspirational documentary featuring notable breast cancer survivors and America's premier cancer doctors. 5) Lifetime original films such as 'Five' directed by Jennifer Aniston, Alicia Keys, Demi Moore and others, 'Matters of Life & Dating,' 'Living Proof,' and more. 6) Special breast cancer-themed episodes of HBO's 'Sex and the City' and Showtime's 'The L Word.' 7) Music Choice--featuring songs by award-winning musicians and breast cancer survivors such as Melissa Etheridge, Sheryl Crow, Kylie Minogue and Anastacia. 8) 'Pink Trivia'--this series tests viewers' knowledge on important breast health issues and ways in which celebrity survivors have faced the disease. 9) Exercise TV--stretching and strengthening techniques."
  • UK DTV-industry body, the Digital Television Group (DTG), has announced that the 7th edition of its "D-Book," which it bills as "the detailed interoperability specification for UK Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) and HbbTV-based 'connected-TV' hybrid products and services," has been formally approved by the DTG Council and the DTG Technical Council. "Version 1 of part B of the specification (for connected-TV products and services) has now been published to DTG members," the organization states in its press materials. "Published in draft earlier this year, D-Book 7 defines the critical interoperable co-existence of broadcast and broadband services and devices. Compiled by manufacturers, service providers and the technology community, D-Book 7 is the product of two years of intense collaboration, resulting in a specification that maximizes the use of international standards while maintaining proven interoperability with the UK broadcast systems. Part B of D-Book 7 will be referenced by manufacturers, service providers and platforms for the delivery of connected-TV products and services in the UK market. To enable early adoption of D-Book 7 Part B by UK platforms the DTG has worked closely with its members to meet the requirements of the BBC's HTML applications, including the latest version of the BBC iPlayer, and other broadcasters' catch-up TV players. To ensure international harmonization of standards, the DTG is in liaison with HbbTV, ETSI, the Open IPTV Forum (OIPF) and DECE (UltraViolet). D-Book 7 also enhances the current UK DTT broadcast specification which was published as D-Book 6 by the DTG in 2009. D-Book 6 introduced DVB-T2 MPEG-4 services enabling the launch of the Freeview HD service."
North America