Interactive TV News Round-Up (IV): Imagine, Microsoft Mediaroom, BT Vision, iThentic, 3 O'Clock TV

GUIDESTONES Conspiracy Series Trailer

--Imagine's ICE Video Platform Certified for Microsoft Mediaroom
--Report: BT Vision to Drop Microsoft Mediaroom
--iThentic, 3 O'Clock TV Launch Interactive Web Thriller, "Guidestones"

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.

  • Digital video solutions provider, Imagine Communications, said Tuesday that its ICE Video Platform IPTV transcoder has successfully completed qualification testing for the Microsoft Mediaroom IPTV middleware and applications platform. The testing was administered by Tech Mahindra, as part of the Microsoft Mediaroom Interoperability and Qualification Lab (IQ Lab program). "Available in a dense 1RU package or as a NEBS-compliant blade system, the Imagine ICE Video Platform is the ideal solution for IPTV service providers who need to deploy more channels with higher picture quality, and then rapidly and seamlessly add support for multiple devices such as tablets, PC's and smartphones," the company states in its press materials. "By integrating audio and video transcoding in the same platform as PIP (picture-in-picture) creation, multiscreen transcoding and multi-format media streaming, the ICE Video Platform provides an all-in-one solution for quality, scalability and reliability...Imagine's ICE Video Platform is a widely deployed, prevailing video-processing solution that gives service providers the ability to deliver an unparalleled viewing experience for linear IPTV broadcasting, while realizing the most efficient network resource consumption. This powerful, multi-codec, multi-rate, multi-resolution video-processing platform currently serves thousands of live streams to over 20 million North American households."
  • In related news: UK incumbent telco BT's hybrid DTT/IPTV service, BT Vision, is set to drop Microsoft Mediaroom, according to a report in the UK tech trade publication, The Register. The service will replace Windows CE with a Linux variant, and use a browser and middleware stack from Oregan Networks, and a new cataloging system and user interface from Massive Interactive (which provides a similar offering for Australian telco Telstra's Big Pond service), the report claims.
  • Canadian production companies, iThentic and 3 O'Clock TV, have announced the launch of their interactive Web series, "Guidestones." The show, which was originally slated to launch last spring (see the article published on, January 11th, 2011) "delves into the mysterious Guidestones monument in Elbert County, Georgia," which may "hold the key to humanity's future," the companies explain in their press materials. "The 50-episode (total running time: 120 minutes) 'Guidestones' was created and directed by Jay Ferguson and produced with iThentic," the companies continue. "The series takes viewers deep inside the mystery of The Georgia Guidestones, an enigmatic monument nestled in a farmer's field in rural Georgia, and inscribed with directions for rebuilding civilization after the apocalypse. By following clues hidden in each episode, viewers can solve the mystery of The Guidestones, along with the main characters, in a race against time that crosses two continents and three countries. Shot verite-style in Canada, the US and India, 'Guidestones' combines scripted drama and documentary-style narrative. Sandy Rai (Supinder Wraich), an exchange student from India studying journalism in Canada, stumbles upon an unsolved murder while working on assignment with fellow student Trevor Shale (Dan Fox). She learns that the murdered man, a scientist named Harold Glenndenning (David Fox), may have a connection to the builders of The Georgia Guidestones. Following clues hidden within The Guidestones she discovers that Harold's death was no random act, and is instead part of a cover-up hiding a global conspiracy of apocalyptic proportions. Using his skills as both a dramatic and documentary filmmaker, director/writer Jay Ferguson has created a high-speed international chase full of fictitious events blended seamlessly with reality-based facts. The gripping narrative includes both fictitious and real characters and events, as well as real and 'seeded' Web and multimedia content. Viewers can search online to discover hidden video, audio files, apps and other media--some of which are real, and some not. 'Guidestones' is presented in two versions: a 50-episode 'push' version, which launches Tuesday, February 14, 2012 at, and a 34-episode 'linear' version, which will debut later in the spring. The 'push' version allows viewers to sign up for an email notification, which delivers episodes in 'real time' as the story unfolds. Viewers get to solve the mystery along with the main characters, thereby deepening the narrative experience...The series was produced by 3 O'Clock TV and iThentic in association with the Independent Production Fund (IPF) and the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC), and with help from corporate and organizational sponsors: Pizza Pizza, Coca-Cola, Samsung, Major League Baseball, Karbon, William F. White Intl. and ACTRA." According to iThentic and 3 O'Clock TV, "Guidestones" is experienced as follows: "Step #1--Sign up at Starting February 14, 2012, you'll receive an email message that leads you to the first video episode of the series. Watch the video to find the clue hidden within. Follow the clue and find out where it leads by searching for or discovering links to other Web sites and media. Step #2--Watch your inbox. The 'push' email system delivers the next episodes in 'real time' as the narrative unfolds. Your email notification could arrive at any time, day or night, as our two main characters travel from Toronto, Canada to Elbert County, Georgia and then to India. Step #3--Like, share and +1 the episode you have just watched. Visit the 'Guidestones' YouTube channel for behind-the-scenes content and interviews with the actors and director; or follow director Jay Ferguson and the 'Guidestones' team on Twitter @guidestonestv. Share what you've discovered with your friends. Just remember that the experience starts for each person only after they have signed up for the 'push' notification so don't give too much away!"
North America