Interactive TV News Roundup

-- iTunes Creator Helping to Develop TV for Apple

-- Builds Apps for iPhone, iPad

-- DirecTV Adds Recommendation Engine to Interactive Program Guide

-- NCTC Expands into TV Everywhere Authentication 

-- Nintendo Lands Hulu Plus for 3DS, Wii

-- Alticast Partners with Icareus

  • iTunes creator Jeff Robbin is leading a project at Apple focused on developing an "integrated TV" that will allow users to access content from iTunes and other videos stored on cloud-based servers, Bloomberg reported Monday. There has been increased speculation about Apple building a TV following the death of Apple founder Steve Jobs and the  release Monday a biography on Jobs by former CNN president and Time managing editor Walter Isaacson. Jobs told Isaacson that he had "finally cracked" how to build an integrated TV. "It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine," Jobs told Isaacson. More
  • launched apps for Apple's iPhone and iPad that allow users to easily check out videos that friends share via FacebookTwitter and Tumblr. "With this announcement, we are also taking Shelby out of private alpha and releasing a public beta," Shelby wrote in a blog post announcing the apps Monday. The app creates a personalized channel for users that curates videos saved by users, in addition to videos shared by friends on social networks. 
  • A new interactive program guide that DirecTV is expected to deliver soon to customers with HD set-tops will recommend TV series and movies to subscribers based on their viewing habits. Subscribers will be able to access a "My DirecTV" page through its new user interface to see thumbnail images of movies and TV series recommended by DirecTV. The top U.S. DBS provider is promoting the new guide in a video on its Website, but hasn't offered more details on the recommendation engine that it is relying on for its new user interface and IPG. More
  • The National Cable Television Cooperative is adding TV Everywhere authentication to the portfolio of products it supplies to small and mid-sized cable operators. According to a report in Light Reading Cable, NCTC retained Pepe Digital, which is run by former executives from Ascent Media, to consult on the project. Pepe is helping NCTC build a TV Everywhere matrix that could be filled by technology vendors looking to make a business out of TVE distribution such as Avail-TVN, Clearleap, NeuLion Inc. and EchoStar Corp. Only a handful of major distributors such as Comcast, Verizon, Cox Communications and Charter Communications have launched TVE sites such as Comcast's Fancast Xfinity TV portal. The move by NCTC, which makes a business out of striking licensing deals with cable networks that want to reach cable systems owned by NCTC members – could help smaller cable operators launch TVE sites. More
  • Nintendo struck a deal with Hulu which will allow gamers that buy its Nintendo 3DS and Wii consoles to access the subscription online video service. Nintendo announced several new features for the 3DS system, including the ability for users to record 3D videos. It's also offering 3DS users animated video from DreamWorks Animation. The Hulu agreement will allow Nintendo users that pay $7.99 monthly to access dozens of hit TV series from broadcast and cable networks, including ABC's Modern Family and Fox's Glee. The agreement could also help Nintendo compete against Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PS3, which already offer access to Hulu Plus.
  • Following a recent joint deployment on cable systems owned by Taiwan cable operator KBRO, interactive TV firms Alticast and Icareus said they are teaming up to pitch  broadcasters and operators an integrated product offering. The companies said they are partnering to integrate Alticast's middleware solutions with interactive TV applications from Icareus, in addition to application management and digital headend solutions. The companies recently delivered a variety of DVB-GEM applications to KBRO.
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