Interactive TV News Round-Up (I): ADB, mPortal, SeaChange, CableLabs, Aereo, BBC Red Button

-- ADB, mPortal, SeaChange at CableLabs Winter Conference

-- Aereo Files Countersuit against Broadcasters

-- BBC Releases Red-Button Programming Schedule through March 17th

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.

  • A number of companies have contacted [itvt] to let us know about their activities at the CableLabs Winter Conference, taking in place in Philadelphia this week (March 11th-13th): 1) Advanced Digital Broadcast (ADB) is demo'ing: a) Its Commercial Video Solution, which it says has been launched by two major North American MSO's and has just added the following new features: "A la carte channel line-up for easy configuration of channel line-ups to meet hotelier needs; seamless inclusion of IP video streams thus offering a hybrid broadcast broadband solution, which includes targeted local content insertion; 'Channelizer' navigation providing a very simple and intuitive interface; real-time monitoring of each individual device in the network thus reducing considerably customer support and operational costs. CVS enables operators to provide an easy-to-implement video service platform for hotels and other businesses using their existing residential networks," the company's press materials continue. "CVS offers a full high-definition channel line-up, video-on-demand, and a range of concierge services in a hotel environment. Furthermore, CVS adheres to tru2way standards while still able to function in both legacy and OCAP networks with or without DOCSIS DSG. Running on ADB's award-winning family of set-top and set-back boxes, CVS does not require headend infrastructure on hotel premises and interacts seamlessly with both MSO and hotel billing and VOD systems." b) Its Phantom set-back box. "Phantom is an all-digital OpenCable platform that includes 3D video capabilities and ADB's patent-pending DVR-Lite technology," the company states in its press materials. "It is perfectly suited for both residential and commercial markets...It is cleverly designed to fit on the back of any flat panel TV. With the advent of expensive smart TV's that quickly become outdated, Phantom is a unique and cost-effective choice for advanced features, connected services, and applications that does not obsolete the consumer's TV investment." c) Its Spirit interactive HD set-top. "Spirit is a much anticipated answer to service providers' never-ending pressure to offer advanced services with minimal capital expense," the company states in its press materials. "It packs ADB's latest tru2way implementation in a small, cost-effective box while delivering stunning performance. This product replaces older legacy set-tops that have lived beyond their time. It is also an ideal device to cost-effectively service multi-dwelling markets where truck-rolls are shunned and self-installs are the norm. Spirit is the perfect high-definition replacement to keep current subscribers satisfied with a rich interactive TV experience." 2) mPortal is demo'ing its Springboard platform, which it bills as "a product suite that enables cable companies to add value to their core video, data and voice services by establishing a more prominent presence on mobile and connected devices, ultimately increasing customer satisfaction and improving customer retention (note: for more on the platform's recently launched TV Everywhere solution, see the article published on, March 9th). 3) SeaChange is demo'ing its Nucleus "soft box" gateway, its Nitro multiscreen user interface and its Infusion advanced advertising platform. "SeaChange's Nucleus soft box is the next-generation software solution for supporting cable operators' transition from QAM to IP video so they can offer consumers multiscreen media sharing, whole-home DVR, access to apps and OTT content, using smartphones as remotes and much more," the company states in its press materials. "Integrating the SeaChange Nitro User Interface software and leveraging its open, standards-based approach, SeaChange produced the Nucleus soft box solution to blend the proven tru2way interoperability with Internet functionality through HTML5. The SeaChange Infusion Advanced Advertising Solution manages centralized ad operations and scales to 150,000 insertable channels and millions of ad assets as service providers migrate to consolidated regional and national advertising systems managed from increasingly Web-centric and virtualized datacenters. Leveraging SCTE-130 and IAB VAST specifications, Infusion empowers service providers to determine which external ad-servicing systems are sourced for dynamic placement decisions, while creating opportunities for cross-platform campaigns and leveraging Internet campaign management pricing for TV content."
  • Aereo, the company which recently announced plans to offer a $12-per-month Internet-TV service that will deliver network and local television to Web-enabled devices, and which shortly thereafter became the target of two federal copyright lawsuits brought by various broadcasters and station groups (note: the company, which was founded by interactive TV industry veteran, Chet Kanojia, has secured $20.5 million in a Series-A funding round led by Barry Diller's IAC--for background on the company and the lawsuits it faces, see the articles published on, February 15th and March 2nd), has filed a countersuit, Reuters reported Monday. "Consumers use the Aereo technology to do no more than what they are entitled to do: access local television broadcasts on the public airwaves using an individual antenna; create unique copies of that broadcast content for their own personal use; and play back their unique recordings to their televisions or other viewing devices for their personal use," the company states in its filing.
  • The BBC has released the schedule of programming and interactive content that will be available via the BBC Red Button service through March 17th.
North America