Industry

boxee Launches "App Dev Challenge"

--Competition Seeks to Encourage Developers to Use New boxee API
In a post on his company's blog, Tuesday, boxee CEO, Avner Ronen, announced the " boxee App Dev Challenge ," a competition designed to encourage developers to build new applications based on boxee's recently launched API (note: for more on the boxee API, see [itvt]'s interview with Ronen in Issue 8.38). "While people are working on a variety of boxee apps," Ronen wrote, "we thought it would be a good idea to provide some extra...

Popular Interactive TV Industry Figure, Andy Dymoke, Passes

Andy Dymoke , a senior product manager at OpenTV , died unexpectedly on April 22nd. He is survived by his wife of 26 years, Suzie; by his son, Ned; and by his sisters, Jill and Susan. A memorial Web site for him has been set up at: http://andy-dymoke.memory-of.com/About.aspx . The memorial site includes the following description of Dymoke's life and warm personality: "Andy was born in Barnet, in the United Kingdom. He spent a good...

Disney to Take Equity Stake in Broadband Video Service, Hulu

--Deal Will Allow Hulu to Significantly Expand its Programming Line-Up
The Walt Disney Company announced Thursday that, via its ABC Enterprises subsidiary, it will join NBC Universal, News Corp. (Fox) and Providence Equity Partners as a joint venture partner in and equity owner of the popular broadband video service, Hulu. The deal means that CBS is now the only major US broadcast network not involved in Hulu, which, according to recent figures from comScore is now the third-most popular broadband video site after YouTube and...

New CEA Study Shows Strong Demand for Internet-Connected Television Sets

--Claims 62% of Consumers Want Broadband Video on their TV
--Also Claims 62% of Online Adults Surf Web While Watching TV
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) released a study, Wednesday, which it says shows that demand for Internet-connected television sets is growing rapidly. According to the study, entitled "Net-Enabled Video: Early Adopters Only?," around half of prospective TV buyers say that they are likely to purchase an Internet-connected TV; nearly half (48%) of US adults who go online would use their Internet-enabled TV to find out more information on upcoming shows or to identify a song...

GSN's Game Show Awards to Offer Interactive Elements

--Awards to be Hosted by Howie Mandel
Cable channel, GSN (formerly known as the Game Show Network), announced Tuesday that comedian Howie Mandel will host its June 6th Game Show Awards (8:00PM ET, 7:00PM CT), which it bills as "the first awards show exclusively aimed at celebrating excellence in the genre of game shows." In line with GSN's focus on participation TV programming, the awards will feature a number of interactive elements: through May 15th, viewers can visit a special area of...

Sling Media's Former Content Point Man, Jason Hirschhorn, Named Chief Product Officer of MySpace

Jason Hirschhorn, the former president of Sling Media's Entertainment Group who resigned from that position earlier this year, has been named chief product officer of News Corp.-owned social networking company, MySpace--in what may be a sign of MySpace's growing interest in providing broadband video programming and other digital entertainment content. Prior to joining Sling Media, where he was tasked with, among other things, implementing that company's broadband video entertainment service, Sling.com, Hirschhorn served as chief...

Macrovision, NDS in Multi-Year EPG Patent-Licensing Deal

Macrovision, the company which last year acquired the US's dominant EPG developer, Gemstar-TV Guide, announced Monday that it has signed a multi-year license agreement for its EPG patents with interactive TV and conditional access technology provider, NDS. According to the company, the new agreement provides NDS with a license to the various EPG patents contained in Macrovision's Gemstar patent portfolio (note: Macrovision holds around 4,200 issued or pending patents), and allows NDS to offer licensed...

Ofcom Signals that Project Canvas May Face More Regulatory Scrutiny

--Canvas is a Joint OTT Initiative between the BBC, ITV, and BT
--Seeks to Develop Common Standard for Delivering Broadband Video on TV
Project Canvas--a joint initiative between the BBC, UK commercial broadcaster ITV, and UK incumbent telco BT, which seeks to develop a common standard and interface for the delivery of online catch-up services such as the BBC iPlayer and the ITV player, as well as other Internet-based VOD services, to broadband-connected set-top boxes (specifically, set-top boxes designed for reception of the UK's free-to-air multichannel TV services, Freeview and Freesat)--may be facing the same kind of regulatory...

AT&T Says U-verse TV IPTV Service Saw Record Subscriber Additions in Q1

--Credits Total Home DVR, New Basketball- and Golf-Themed Interactive TV Applications
US incumbent telco, AT&T, announced last week that its Microsoft Mediaroom-powered IPTV service, U-verse TV, had enjoyed a record first quarter. According to the company, the service attracted a record 284,000 net new subscribers during the quarter, bringing its total subscriber base to over 1.3 million. The service is now available in 93 markets in 19 states. According to AT&T, nearly 50% of U-verse TV subscribers take one of its two largest video packages, over...

CableLabs Launches ETV Test Suite and ETV Lab

US cable-industry research, development and standardization consortium, CableLabs , announced Thursday the alpha version of a new Enhanced TV (ETV) Test Suite, which is intended to support ETV user agent development (note: ETV user agents are the software components that process an ETV application on a set-top box). Based on the CableLabs Enhanced TV Binary Interchange Format (EBIF) specification, the test suite is comprised of a set of test EBIF applications, a test plan, and...

Pages