Interactive TV News Round-Up (III): Sling Media, Kindle Fire, Teletext Holidays, Humax, Turner, iStreamPlanet

--Sling Media Brings TV Placeshifting to Amazon's Kindle Fire Tablet
--Teletext Holidays Launches Interactive TV App on Humax's Internet-Connected Freeview HD STB's
--Turner Broadcasting Invests in OTT Video Company, iStreamPlanet

Due to the large volume of news generated by the recent 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and other factors, 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.

  • EchoStar-owned TV placeshifting company, Sling Media (i.e. the company behind the Slingbox device), has launched a version of its SlingPlayer software for Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet. "SlingPlayer for Kindle Fire allows Slingbox owners to extend their living-room TV experience to their Kindle Fire tablets," the company states in its press materials. "When connected to a Slingbox Solo or Slingbox Pro-HD, SlingPlayer for Kindle Fire makes it easy to watch their favorite shows, change channels, [and] control their digital video recorder (DVR) anywhere their Kindle Fire can connect to the Internet. They never have to miss another show or game, no matter where they are. For $29.99, consumers can download the SlingPlayer for Kindle Fire application from the Amazon Appstore for Android."
  • Online and connected-TV travel-booking company, Teletext Holidays, said Wednesday that it is partnering with set-top box manufacturer, Humax, to offer a vacation-search application on all new Humax Freeview HD set-tops (note: Freeview is the UK's free-to-air digital terrestrial TV service; the Humax boxes also incorporate Internet connectivity). "The app will allow travelers to check-out great-value holiday packages by destination whilst relaxing on the sofa, with the best of the online deals and best sellers delivered via the television," the company states in its press materials. "The Teletext app can be accessed through the Humax TV Portal, available on the HD-FOX T2 and HDR-FOX T2 boxes, by clicking on the Teletext Holidays button or app, in a similar way to the smartphones format--but on the television. The app will sit alongside other on-demand and Internet services, including BBC iPlayer, YouTube and Internet radio. The move is a first for the travel industry and follows the successful launch of Teletext Holidays' app on the Samsung Smart televisions and Samsung Smart Blu-ray players last year. Teletext Holidays wants to grow its presence across all Internet-connected televisions as part of its strategy to keep its place as the travel industry's only television marketplace." Said Teletext Holidays' managing director, Victoria Sanders: "Searching for holidays on the television is what our brand is famous for, so the partnership with Humax is an exciting new direction for us. Like our deal with Samsung, this is a first for the travel industry and I believe it has the potential to transform the holiday search process. We've invested in creating an app which is simple, inspiring and practical to use. The joy for customers is being able to browse through available holidays, then see hotel images and destination video guides all from the comfort of their sofa."
  • iStreamPlanet--a Las Vegas-based company that bills itself as providing "live Internet managed broadcast services, in addition to on-premises and cloud-based automated video workflow solutions and applications"--said Tuesday that Turner Broadcasting System is making an investment in its Series-A funding round, which is being led by Intel Capital. "The investment stems from the work the two companies have completed on several live events, including bringing to life the world's first in-browser 3D stereoscopic experience, the 2010 NASCAR Coca-Cola 400 from Daytona International Speedway, and the discussions around automated video workflow, authentication and cross-platform ads insertion for much of their multiscreen strategy," iStreamPlanet states in its press materials. "iStreamPlanet has managed some of the world's largest sporting events, such as the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games, NBC Sports' Sunday Night Football and the Championships at Wimbledon, along with the US Open Golf, Notre Dame College Football, Ryder Cup and the Kentucky Derby. iStreamPlanet will look to continue their efforts with Turner's line-up of prestigious programming from CNN, Cartoon Network, TBS and TNT...iStreamPlanet expects to use the funds to further accelerate product development and move into the cloud to offer dynamic scaling, high reliability and elasticity based on customer demand. Additionally, to spearhead and manage its growing portfolio of strategic partners, iStreamPlanet has hired Chris Carper as senior vice president of strategy and business development. Prior to iStreamPlanet, Chris spent 16 years at Microsoft, where he was responsible for development and execution of the business development strategy within the media and entertainment industry on Windows Azure." Said iStreamPlanet CEO, Mio Babic: "Turner is one of the leaders in live broadcast and a true innovator in both the broadcast and digital space. We are looking forward to the opportunity to work with them in the future on their high-impact digital events and overall multiscreen strategy."

North America