Interactive TV News Round-Up (VII): Time Warner Cable, USA, Ustream, Zappware, Numericable

--Time Warner Cable Beta-Launches TWC TV Live-Streaming Service for PC
--USA Taps Ustream for Social-TV-Enabled Live-Streaming of Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show
--Zappware Designs New Multiplatform User Interface for Numericable

Because the [itvt] editorial team has been working on The TV of Tomorrow Show 2012, we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format.

  • Time Warner Cable has launched a beta version of its TWC TV in-home live-streaming service for PC and Mac (note: it has previously launched versions of the service for iPad, iPhone and Android). Key features of the new Silverlight-based Web version of TWC TV, according to the company, include: "1) Live TV--Users scroll the 'channel browser' to see a list of available channels with listings displaying network logo, show name, and episode name. 2) Guide--Up to 7 days of listings data. Option to filter guide display by 'favorites only,' 'HD only' or 'available to watch on PC.' You can also set channels as favorites from the Guide. 3) Set-top box tuning--'Watch on TV' button within the program description to tune an MDN/ODN set-top box directly to the channel. 4) PC tuning--'Watch on PC' button within the program description to tune PC directly to the channel. 5) DVR management--Schedule one-time and series recordings on MDN/ODN DVR's directly from the Guide's show pages. Click on the 'DVR' tab to see a list of all upcoming recordings and make changes or cancel recordings. 6) Search--Ability to search the Guide by show title, episode and/or by person. 7) Settings--Ability to manage Favorite channels, link to set Parental Controls, choose the Device (STB/DVR) to which you are connected for STB/DVR management, and turn on/off Closed Captioning on the Web site's video player." More information on browser, set-top box, and other requirements for the new service is available here.
  • USA Network has teamed with Ustream to provide social-TV-enabled live-streaming coverage of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. "The network is taking the most beloved dog show social with live video coverage during the day and social viewing experiences including community chatting, interviews, FB and Twitter integrations and real-time behind the scenes moments from the floor," USA Network states in its press materials. "USA is partnering with UStream for the video coverage, which will be accessible worldwide via online and mobile phones. The show will be telecast on USA Network from Madison Square Garden on Monday, Feb. 13 and Tues., Feb. 14, 2012, starting at 8/7c. USA will have a combination of fixed and roaming cameras showcasing all the in-the-ring and out-of-the-ring breed action as well as interviews with co-host David Frei and sneak-peeks of the primetime action. Each day starting at 8:30AM ET, fans can view up to four different channels showing the live judging of all 185 individual breeds directly from the floor. Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show's digital hub is found at where fans can access rich, interactive content, including videos, photos, trivia, and polls. Subaru of America is sponsoring a special Character Chatter with expert Chuck Bessant on Tuesday, February 14 at 10:00PM ET. Dog lovers will have the opportunity to ask questions and engage with other fans over the two days leading into Tuesday night's Best In Show judging."
  • Belgian interactive TV solutions provider, Zappware, contacted [itvt] Tuesday to let us know that it has delivered a "complete and cohesive design concept" to France's largest cable operator, Numericable. "The concept includes the design of the TV UI (user interface) as well as the conception of the set-top box casing and remote control, in order to create the same look-and-feel for all components and encourage optimal recognition of the Numericable brand," Zappware states in its press materials. "Zappware also enhanced the design of the UI used on Android and iOS devices. Zappware was chosen by Numericable based on its ability to design UI's that make content highly accessible as demonstrated in previous design solutions, such as the UI developed for Germany's second largest operator, Unitymedia. The Unitymedia solution scored the highest aggregate score in a recent independent HD PVR Benchmarking Study that looked at usability and functionality, richness of data provided, and visual design characteristics, carried out by thebrainbehind, a strategic consultancy based in Berlin and Munich. Highly intuitive, the unique UI design created for Numericable is both easy and fun to use, as well as being extremely attractive. Ultra-short click paths provide rapid access to content, and animation and acceleration allow Numericable to enter into direct dialog with viewers, thereby increasing customer intimacy. The UI offers a consistent, content-driven navigation pattern throughout the application that increases ease of use. It also provides direct access to promotions and TV applications which can be personalized and even shared via social networks. The UI's design is based on the principles of Zappware's pioneering Nexx solution. Nexx is Zappware's proprietary next-generation television user interface which surpasses all other UI experiences available in today's market. It even allows viewers to enjoy the same user experience across devices, including mobile phones and tablets. The solution for Numericable was designed by ZappDesign, the design business unit of Zappware. ZappDesign focuses on developing advanced design solutions to further enhance the look, feel and functionality of the television user interface. Its mission is to translate marketing requirements into designs. Its work complements Zappware's immense technical abilities and allows the company to offer complete solutions from idea to implementation."
North America