Interactive TV News Round-Up (II): BeeSmart, Amino, BrightLine, FiOS TV, EchoStar, HbbTV

--BeeSmart Announces Middleware Compliance with Amino Set-Top Boxes
--BrightLine Creates Branded VOD Channel for Hellmann's Ad Campaign on Verizon FiOS TV
--EchoStar Abandons Efforts to Penetrate US Cable Set-Top Box Market
--Finland's HDTV Forum Adopts NorDig's HbbTV-Based Connected-TV Standard

Because the [itvt] editorial team has been working on The TV of Tomorrow Show 2012 (discount registration ends midnight next Monday!), we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format. Due to the volume of news generated by the NAB Show last week, we anticipate that it will take us a few more days to catch up: so if your company has sent us a press release or briefed us on an announcement, and you don't yet see your news covered in this issue, please bear with us.

  • Slovenian interactive TV middleware provider, BeeSmart, has announced that its middleware is compliant with Amino's IPTV/OTT set-top boxes. According to the company, the newly compliant middleware offers: "1) Blended IPTV/OTT capability bringing together content from managed and unmanaged networks. 2) A fast and responsive graphical user interface based on SVG technology. 3) Advanced TV shopping experience with fast and simple prepaid and credit card payments. 4) Targeted advertising. 5) Open API for support on a wide range of client devices."
  • Interactive TV advertising agency, BrightLine, has been tapped by mayonnaise brand, Hellmann's, to develop a campaign on the Verizon FiOS TV platform that allows viewers to "telescope" from commercials to a branded VOD channel (322). In addition to promotional content for Hellmann's, the channel features celebrity chef, Tim Love.
  • EchoStar Technologies is abandoning its efforts to sell set-top boxes to US cable operators and is ceasing development of its Aria platform due to lack of sales, Multichannel News's Todd Spangler reported Monday. "EchoStar recognizes that the highly demanding and competitive nature of the US set-top market is very cost-competitive," the company said in a statement. "After considerable review of the market and EchoStar's sales/product development efforts, EchoStar has concluded the US cable market offers insufficient revenue return opportunities to the company and our investors." Nevertheless, the company says that it "remains firmly committed to supplying advanced hardware, software, and system solutions to its global cable, satellite, and telecom customers outside of the US cable set-top box market."
  • Finland's HDTV Forum has announced that it plans to adopt the HbbTV-based standard for connected TV's that has been defined by TV standards body, NorDig (see the article published on, April 11th). "Members of the Finnish HDTV Forum see the HbbTV specification having a wide market acceptance supporting a wide range of TV applications and new hybrid services," the organization states in its press materials. "Supporting HbbTV as part of the NorDig Unified specification is a natural selection for Finnish market to harmonize the receiver market in all TV networks--which are already following NorDig specifications. European TV markets including the Nordic region have been waiting for a standard for connected-TV services and HbbTV specification is enjoying a strong position, for example in Germany, France and Spain. Now also Finnish television industry see HbbTV as an interesting platform to offer new hybrid-TV services. Most of the 400.000 annually sold TV receivers in Finland are equipped with Internet connection and all the main broadcasters have their services available over the Internet."
North America