Interactive TV News Round-Up (V): Netflix, Starz,, CBC/Radio-Canada, Ocean Blue

Power & Politics Social TV Launch

--Netflix's Contract with Starz Expires Powers Interactive and Social TV for CBC/Radio-Canada
--DTV Software Provider, Ocean Blue, Set to Launch New User Interface

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.

  • Netflix's contract with premium content provider, Starz, expired earlier this week (note: contract-renewal negotiations broke down last August--see the article published on, September 1st), resulting in a significant reduction (approximately 1,000 titles) in the amount of instant-streaming content on the online video service. CNNMoney's Julianne Pepitone has more.
  • Norwegian interactive TV company,, said Wednesday that Canadian public broadcaster, CBC/Radio-Canada, is using its flagship Interactivity Suite (IS) to display Facebook and Twitter comments, conduct real-time polling, and provide other ways for viewers to interact, during its news show, "Power & Politics." According to the company, the show is the first of many CBC shows that will offer IS-powered interactivity. "The real-time interaction enables the show's producers and on-air talent to hear and react to input from their viewers, and changes the flow of the program accordingly," states in its press materials. "Since deploying IS, 'Power & Politics' has already tripled its Facebook page likes...The show's producers use IS in the control room to ingest social media and user-generated content in real time, moderate that content, and then put it on the air. IS supports many live production systems and protocols, and it gives day-to-day operators a single place in which to view incoming comments and interactions rather than monitor different services and social networks individually. Likewise, operators can control the on-air graphics from within the same interface...The IS is a toolkit for creating the technical backbone of social and participation television. IS supports true social TV by enabling viewers to influence a broadcast in real time, and by allowing them to interact with one another and the rest of the world. With IS, a broadcaster can effortlessly aggregate user-generated content from social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook into programming, and even build synchronized companion apps that enable viewers to interact with their televisions using an iPad (or tablet), PC, or smartphone."
  • UK-based digital TV software company, Ocean Blue, says that it will launch its new "Spinnaker" user interface at the IP&TV World Forum later this month. "The new Ocean Blue UI will add a fresh dimension to the user experience," the company states in its press materials. "Graphically based with stylish animations, Spinnaker will provide a unique, rich user experience, with advanced design and features that move away from the standard UI offering. Spinnaker has been developed using QML and will enable customers to efficiently re-skin the UI using the same layout but with their own corporate identity, or build their own UI from scratch. Either of these options can be achieved successfully using Qt tools. QML is a well-documented, well-maintained technology that is already used on many devices. It means that the amount of time and effort required for creating a new user interface is significantly reduced...As part of Ocean Blue's major DVB development to abstract the UI and add multi-process capability, Spinnaker will combine both broadcast and IP functionality aimed at ensuring a single user environment, irrespective of the origin of the content. This will give the user seamless control over all content and functions."
North America