Interactive TV News Round-Up (II): BBC Red Button, BBC Worldwide, BT, Pace, Humax, CableLabs, Cablevision, Death Grips, WeAre From LA, MTV

--BBC Releases Red-Button Programming Schedule through September 22nd
--BBC Worldwide Appoints Former Financial Times CTO/CIO as SVP of Consumer Digital Technology
--Report: BT Rejects Pace Set-Tops for YouView Launch, in Favor of Humax Boxes
--Report: CableLabs' Chief Strategy Officer to Exit at End of Month
--Cablevision Social-TV Patent Application Describes Voice- and Video-Driven "Virtual Viewing Parties"
--Death Grips Invite Viewers to Interactive Video Pool Party

Because the [itvt] editorial team is busy working on our upcoming TV of Tomorrow Show event, TVOT NYC Intensive (December 10th in New York City), we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format:

  • The BBC has published the schedule of programming and services that will be available via its red-button interactive TV service through September 1st.
  • In other BBC news: The corporation's commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, has appointed Michael Fleshman, former CTO and CIO of the Financial Times, as SVP of consumer digital technology. He will report to MD and EVP of digital, Daniel Heaf. His responsibilities will include overseeing the technology behind the global roll-out of the BBC iPlayer.
  • BT has been forced to purchase set-top boxes from Humax for the launch of its implementation of the YouView Internet TV platform, after rejecting set-tops from its original supplier, Pace, the Financial Times reported last week. "The Pace box has a more up-to-date chip, but the Humax box is ready and Pace is not," a source told the newspaper.
  • CableLabs' EVP and chief strategy officer, David Reed, will leave the US cable-industry research-and-development organization at the end of the month, according to a report by Multichannel News's Todd Spangler. He had been with the organization since 1994.
  • Cablevision is developing social-TV technology that will allow customers to interact with one another via voice and video while watching programming, according to a recent patent application unearthed by Fierce Cable's Steve Donohue. Entitled "Virtual Communal Television Viewing," the patent application describes a system that "enables a viewer to find friends, or other like-minded viewers not acquainted with the viewer, for virtual communal viewing parties," and that could be accessed through a range of devices, including set-tops, gaming consoles, smartphones and tablets. The system would enable communication via headsets, supported by Bluetooth and WiFi technology, the patent application states, and would enable virtual viewing parties: "The users may watch television content as a virtual group in the social networking system," the application explains. "Each user may watch television content in the user's own home, while simultaneously communicating with other users via voice and/or video conference/chat. This virtual communal television watching and discussion session is called a viewing party."
  • Rap group, Death Grips, has issued an interactive video for the song, "I've Seen Footage." Directed by WeAre From LA and produced by MTV, the video invites viewers to click on any of 50 attendees at a pool party in order to view the party from that attendee's perspective. The video, entitled "Gif Me More Party," can be viewed here.
North America