Interactive TV News Round-Up (V): Netgem, HBO, Samsung, Voyo, KT

--Netgem and Partners Target Latin American Pay-TV Operators with Connected-TV Solutions
--HBO Go Now Available on Certain Samsung Connected TV's
--Samsung to Offer Voyo VOD Service on Connected TV's, May Face Punishment Following KT Dispute

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 TV technology specialist, Netgem, contacted [itvt] last week to let us know that it is partnering with "specialists from across the IPTV value chain" to develop connected-TV solutions that are specifically designed to cater to the needs of pay-TV operators in the Latin American market. "Netgem and its technology partners will be presenting their vision for next-generation television services in the region and hosting seminars on how to improve pay-TV services using over-the-top (OTT) content delivery in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro in early March," the company states in its press materials. "This covers content processing and compression (ATEME), end-to-end video content management (KIT digital), delivering content to any screen (Broadpeak), and optimizing and enhancing the user experience across devices (Netgem). Built using hybrid technologies to make use of an operator's existing infrastructure, the joint solution has been developed to broaden IP-delivered TV services to new audiences. It is also designed to meet customers' quality expectations for value-added services, such as on-demand and multiscreen, whilst keeping costs under control...Netgem and its partners will be presenting their joint solution and holding connected-TV seminars at two events in Brazil, the first takes place at the Renaissance Hotel in Sao Paulo on March 5th and the second at the Sheraton Hotel in Rio de Janeiro on March 7th." Said Netgem CMO, Yann Courqueux: "We have brought together some of the broadcast industry's most respected names to combine their best-of-breed and fully complementary technologies to meet the specific needs of the Latin American pay-TV market. All are leaders in their particular fields and can draw on best practice from a broad range of international deployments. We are looking forward to introducing our joint solution to content owners and distributors in what is probably the most dynamic market in the world at the moment."
  • HBO has launched its "TV Everywhere" service, HBO Go, on a range of Samsung connected-TV sets, including all 2010 and 2011 connected TV's except the PN51D6450DF, PN59D6450DF, PN51D6500DF, PN59D6500DF, PN51D6900DF, PN59D6900DF, PN51D7000FF, PN59D7000FF, PN64D7000FF, UN32D5550RF, and the UN40D5550RF. It is slated to be available on certain Samsung Blu-ray players later this year. Pay-TV operators that currently make HBO Go available to authenticated customers who have Samsung TV sets include AT&T U-verse, Bend Broadband, Blue Ridge Communications, Charter, Cox, DirecTV, Dish Network, Massillon Cable/CPI, RCN, Suddenlink, Verizon FiOS and WOW! HBO Go on Samsung is expected to be available to Cablevision customers shortly; however, Comcast and Time Warner Cable have yet to reach an agreement with HBO on the conditions under which HBO Go is to be offered to their subscribers on third-party devices.
  • In other Samsung news: 1) The company has signed a deal with Central European Media Enterprises (CME) to bring the latter's Voyo subscription and transactional VOD services to its connected TV's. "Viewers will be able to select from hundreds of titles including blockbuster movies and series, to catch up on their favorite local shows immediately after broadcast, to view TV episodes ahead of public transmission and to even choose from a selection of live-streamed events as featured on Voyo," the companies state in their press materials. "In 2011, CME launched Voyo, a subscription- and transaction-based video-on-demand portal, in the Czech Republic, and has since rolled out the service across Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. In 2012, viewers from each of these markets will be able to enjoy CME channels broadcast in their territory on Samsung Smart Hub. By delivering content via the Internet, this partnership will offer the most convenient access for viewers to enjoy must-see programming and hit films...The Voyo application is expected to launch during Q2 2012 and roll out across CME territories. It will utilize a subscription-based video-on-demand service that carries premium locally produced productions including CME's top-rated TV series as well as hundreds of local and foreign feature films. Voyo also offers an embedded transactional VOD element devoted to movie content from major Hollywood and independent studios." 2) Korean telco, KT, may be punished by the Korea Communications Commission for limiting Internet access from Samsung connected TV's for five days, during a dispute between the companies which has since been resolved (at least for the time being). The communications regulator is also considering punishing Samsung for initially refusing to enter into talks with KT about the latter's claim that connected TV's are becoming an excessive burden on its Internet infrastructure. The Korea Herald has more.
North America