Interactive TV News Round-Up (III): Boxee, Charter, itaas, EchoStar, Dish Network, NDS

Boxee Live TV Walkthrough

--Boxee Launches Live TV Device, Incorporating Social, Sharing and Personalization Features
--Charter Taps itaas for EBIF Roll-Out on its 24 Motorola Systems
--Supreme Court Denies EchoStar/Dish Network Petition in NDS Litigation

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.

  • Boxee said Tuesday that it has begun shipping its $49.99 Live TV tuner for its Boxee Box connected-TV platform. According to the company, key features of the device--which plugs into the Boxee Box to allow users to access digital terrestrial channels, as well as basic cable channels--include: "1) Social Channel Listings--We'll show you what's on, what your friends are watching, and how many people total are watching a show as you flip through channels. 2) Sharing--Share the traditional Boxee way on Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr AND you can now passively share to Facebook using our Live TV Timeline App [see the article published on, January 19th]--turn sharing on and whatever you're tuned into will post to your Facebook ticker automatically. It's easy to switch off too so your friends don't need to know about your addiction to HSN. 3) Edit Channels--Quickly hide channels from your line-up that don't speak your language or have pissed you off with bad programming decisions like taking 'Arrested Development' off the air. Easily rename WNDHCTA 7.2 to NBC. 4) All-In-One Interface--Done watching a show on broadcast, easily jump into more episodes from the Web. It's the best of both worlds all on the same remote. While Live TV does not currently have DVR functionality, we've heard your feedback and are examining if we could provide it. We'll make an announcement later this year about DVR support if we can make it happen."
  • Interactive TV software and services company, itaas (note: the company recently won Samsung's "Free the TV Challenge" developer contest--see the article published on, January 10th), said Monday that it is working with Charter Communications to deploy approximately 3.5 million EBIF-enabled set-tops in the MSO's 24 Motorola systems. "itaas developed the initial network architecture design and customized the EBIF platform software to meet the needs for the Charter networks," the company states in its press materials. "Currently, itaas is executing on the integration, certification testing, deployment and support for the platform and applications within each system. Currently itaas has deployed the EBIF platform in approximately 1.6 million Motorola set-tops in nine Charter systems." Said Charter's VP of advanced video and applications engineering, Doug Ike: "itaas knows the 'ins and outs' of networks and has experience deploying the comprehensive EBIF platform, which includes the EBIF user agent, EBIF backend as well as interactive applications throughout cable systems. With the EBIF platform in place, we will be able to provide interactive applications that enhance advertising capabilities. It also provides the foundation for an interactive TV experience for consumers."
  • The US Supreme Court has denied a petition by EchoStar and Dish Network to review a decision in a 2003 lawsuit in which the companies alleged that interactive TV and content-security technology provider, NDS, hacked Dish Network's video-encryption system. Multichannel News's Todd Spangler has more on the case.
North America