Interactive TV News Round-Up (V): Touchtv, iPad, LG, Time Warner Cable

--SkyGrid Launches Touchtv Multichannel App for iPad, Says Will Launch on LG Connected TV's in Q1
--Time Warner Cable Launches iPhone/iPod touch Version of its TWC TV Streaming App

Due to the large volume of news generated by the recent 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format. We anticipate that it will take us several more days to process all the news from the show: 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.

  • App developer, SkyGrid, on Friday announced that a free Internet-TV app it has developed, called Touchtv, is available immediately for the iPad and will be available later this quarter on connected TV's from LG Electronics. The company says it has raised $15 million for Touchtv in Series-A and B funding rounds that saw the participation of RRE Ventures, Jeff Bezos' Bezos Expeditions, BlackRock, Draper Fisher Jurveston, and DFJ Frontier, as well as Esther Dyson, Michael F. Price, Rakesh Mathur, and others. According to the company, the iPad version of the app is custom-designed for that platform, allows users to "watch their favorite sports, entertainment, politics and news channels," and "gives viewers their own personal TV...Simply launch Touchtv and 'touch' any channel to start watching," the company's press materials continue. "From the Home Screen viewers can add more channels and personalize their TV...It updates automatically and seamlessly delivers the latest programs from the exact channels viewers want." While SkyGrid is not providing much information about the version of Touchtv it has developed for LG, it says it will "offer viewers innovative capabilities such as watching the biggest trending events at any time." Said SkyGrid CEO, Kevin Pomplun: "With over 1.7 billion people watching TV every day, TV is the biggest media there's ever been, and now it's available on the fastest-growing device in history, the iPad. Touchtv not only gives you the most captivating programs anywhere, it actually makes TV light enough that you can hold it in your hands."
  • Time Warner Cable has launched an iPhone/iPod touch version of its TWC TV streaming app. The iPad version of the app launched last March, and a version for Android smartphones and tablets launched last month. According to the company, TWC TV, which is available free of charge to broadband-equipped subscribers, includes the following features: "1) Interactive program guide (IPG)--up to 7 days of listings. View detailed show descriptions including box art. Option to display 'HD only' or 'favorites only' by creating a favorite channel list. 2) Search--search for programming by title or episode name and filter results by genre. 3) Set-top box tuning--tap on a network logo or 'watch on TV' button within the program description to tune compatible set-top boxes directly to the channel. 4) DVR management--schedule one-time and series recordings on compatible DVR's directly from the IPG. Tap on the 'DVR' button to see a list of all upcoming recordings and make changes or cancel recordings." A full listing of the channels currently available on the TWC TV app is available here.
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