Interactive TV News Round-Up (III): Capablue, Digital TV Labs, DISH Network

--Capablue Launches Suite of Connected-TV Solutions
--Digital TV Labs Launches Interoperability-Testing Solution for OTT, Hybrid-TV, HbbTV
--Dish Whole-Home HD DVR Service, Offering 2,000 Hours of Storage, Now Commercially Available

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.

  • Capablue, a provider of content and commerce solutions for connected-TV devices, on Thursday unveiled its "Connected" suite of connected-TV products. "Connected Plus, Connected Lite, Connected Commerce and Connected Companion will enable brands and broadcasters to connect with consumers by removing the complexity of today's TV ecosystem," the company states in its press materials. "Based on its unique cloud-based platform, Capablue Connected, the products will enable content owners to reach new audiences worldwide across multiple connected devices without the risk and cost of developing their own platforms...The Connected suite includes: 1) Plus--A full-service VOD platform for film and TV content owners to distribute and monetize content across multiple devices. It combines content, social media and commerce to develop new revenue opportunities for broadcasters. 2) Lite--A self-contained, white-labeled solution that enables clients to quickly launch interactive content and service apps for the connected TV. 3) Companion--An application framework that enables broadcasters and producers to implement second-screen solutions with richer content interaction, social media, user account management and enhanced advertising to support and monetize the connected-TV experience. 4) Commerce--A retail and ecommerce TV app that helps brands and retailers become broadcasters by creating engaging TV experiences that integrate product promotion and ecommerce. The white-labeled, multi-device app solution enables brands and retailers to harness the power of the connected TV ecosystem." Said Capablue CEO, Tom Cape: "Over the last few weeks, we've seen broadcasters and operators call for technology providers to step up and simplify the process of connected TV. Only when we do that will consumers embrace it. Having been involved in the development of apps and connected-TV services for six years, this is something we've known for a long time and that is why we've been developing the connected platform and this new suite of products."
  • Digital TV Labs, a provider of specialized receiver-conformance products and services, has launched what it bills as a "turnkey" interoperability-testing solution that will enable OTT, hybrid-TV and HbbTV operators to ensure "seamless" delivery of services. The solution is based on the company's Ligada iSuite test server and test solution. "Ligada iSuite consists of a highly automated test harness and test suite covering HbbTV, OIPF, DRM and DASH adaptive streaming," the company states in its press materials. "The company is engaging with a number of hybrid platform operators to provide interoperability, functional and security tests...Building on its long experience of specifying and testing interactive apps on retail receivers, Digital TV Labs provides a range of services centered on Ligada iSuite that can be tailored and augmented to each operator's requirements to provide the optimum interoperability solution. Digital TV Labs can offer existing extensive HbbTV 1.1 and 1.5 test suites including DASH adaptive streaming, as well as specific operator test case authoring, allowing users to build their own test suites. The company offers an outsourced test service in the UK and Hong Kong for receiver manufacturers, and in addition provides test servers covering prevalent DRM systems." Said Digital TV Labs CEO, Keith Potter: "In a traditional pay-TV environment, the operator normally tightly specifies, procures and tests a small number of bespoke set-top boxes, thus guaranteeing interoperability. In the fast-emerging OTT arena, the operator delivers applications and services to a mixed array of retail receivers. Ensuring a quality consumer experience to protect a brand, minimize churn and to keep support costs low is a major challenge for these connected-TV operators...Our Ligada iSuite for HbbTV will enable interoperability by supporting country-specific HbbTV profiles, such as the French TNT2.0 platform, as they emerge. Operators need to have a test regime with either an approved receiver list, trusted certificate authentication or logo approval system in place, otherwise apps simply won't work."
  • At CES in January (see the article published on, January 17th), Dish Network unveiled a whole-home HD DVR system consisting of two devices--the Hopper and the Joey. The company billed the solution as providing the ability to store up to 2,000 hours of programming, thus enabling it to function as a catch-up service for primetime programming. On Thursday, the satellite-TV provider announced that the system is now available to its customers. "The Hopper system lets viewers share DVR content on TV's throughout the home," the company states in its press materials. "Customers can pause, play and rewind both live and recorded HD programs in up to four rooms using a Hopper and small units called 'Joeys' that work in tandem with the main Hopper unit. Other Hopper highlights include the following: 1) Two-terabyte hard drive for up to 2,000 hours of entertainment. 2) PrimeTime Anytime--customers, with a single click, can enable recordings of four primetime HD network channels, where available, and store them for up to eight days. 3) Record up to six HD shows at once during primetime hours. 4) Ability to watch HD programs and control the DVR in up to four rooms. The Hopper system is available through the Dish lease program. New Dish customers who subscribe to Dish's America's Top 200 or DishLatino Dos programming packages or greater can receive one Hopper and up to three Joey units for free, including a standard professional installation. The Hopper system requires a whole-home DVR fee of $10 per month and $7 per month for each Joey...The Hopper's unparalleled feature, called PrimeTime Anytime, allows customers, with a single click, to enable recordings--using a single tuner--of all primetime TV shows on ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC. PrimeTime Anytime records three hours of network programming in high definition, where available, every night from 8:00PM to 11:00PM ET Monday through Saturday and from 7:00PM to 11:00PM ET on Sunday. The Hopper stores the primetime programs for eight days after they have aired. This creates an on-demand library of approximately 100 hours of primetime TV shows, making it easy to catch up on missed episodes. For Internet-connected customers, the Hopper's on-demand capabilities give access to Dish's Blockbuster @Home for $10 per month, providing thousands of movies and TV shows streaming to the TV...The Hopper offers the ultimate TV Everywhere experience. Customers can manage their Hopper's DVR and timers via the Internet or from the Dish Remote Access app available for tablets, smartphones and computers. Connecting the Hopper with the Dish Sling Adapter provides customers the ability to watch and control all live TV channels and their DVR from their tablet, smartphone and computer wherever they go." Dish has launched a national advertising campaign to promote the Hopper: a spot from the campaign is embedded above.
North America