digital tv

Miniweb Launches "TV Key" Service on Sky

Miniweb--a company which offers a service, dubbed "TV Key," that
enables broadcasters and advertisers to repurpose Internet content as
interactive enhancements to their shows or commercials on
broadband-connected set-top boxes, thus providing an inexpensive way
to launch interactive TV services (note: the company was founded by
former BSkyB ITV executive, Ian Valentine, who spun the company
off from the satellite provider and now serves as its CEO; its
technology is based on the BSkyB-developed WTVML standard and
was originally used to power the operator's Skynet service)--has
launched its service on the Sky platform. "Today's launch on Sky

Project Canoe Officially Launched as Canoe Ventures

--David Verklin Appointed as New Venture's CEO The contours of Project Canoe, the US cable industry's hitherto
secretive initiative to create a national unified platform for interactive
and addressable advertising, became a little clearer last week when the
MSO's behind the initiative announced the launch of a joint venture,
Canoe Ventures, and the appointment of advertising industry veteran,
David Verklin, as the new venture's CEO. Verklin, who will join Canoe
Ventures on August 4th, will be tasked with leading its efforts to create
shared processes and standards for audience targeting, interactivity and
measurement in multiplatform advertising across cable systems

BBC Outlines its Interactive TV Plans for 2008/2009

--Round-Up of Recent BBC Interactive and Broadband TV News In its latest "Statements of Programme Policy" document, the BBC has
outlined its plans for its BBCi interactive TV service in 2008 and 2009.
Perhaps most notably, those plans include exploring the use of IP to
enhance single-screen interactive TV content. The document lays out
the plans in five key areas: ”Sustaining citizenship and civil society." BBCi plans...

Consortium Developing Standard for Radio Frequency-Based Remotes

Consumer electronics giants, Philips, Samsung, Sony and Panasonic,
announced last week that they are collaborating on the development of
a standardized specification for radio frequency-based remote controls
for audio-visual consumer electronics devices. Together with Freescale
Semiconductors, OKI and Texas Instruments, the companies have
formed an RF4CE (stands for "Radio Frequency for Consumer
Electronics") Consortium that will attempt to create a new protocol to enable the development of radio frequency remote controls that offer
richer communication, increased reliability and more flexible use.

DIVA Consortium Launches in China

--Group is Developing New Interface for Interactive TV and CE Networking An industry group called the DIVA Consortium was officially launched
last month in Guangzhou at the 2008 China Digital Living Forum &
Showcase, an event targeted at the Chinese consumer electronics
industry. The charter members of the new consortium include a number
of major Chinese consumer electronics and home appliance
manufacturers, such as TCL;...

Backchannelmedia Teams with Hearst-Argyle on Boston ITV Trial

Backchannelmedia--a Boston-based company which late last year
announced that it had received an investment of $3 million, bringing
the total raised by its initial funding round (which has been underway
for the past two years) to $9.5 million--is teaming with WCVB-TV/DT
Channel 5, Hearst-Argyle's digital ABC affiliate in Boston, on a trial of
its TV-to-Internet click-through system. The trial will last 12 months
and will involve up to 1,000 viewers equipped with TV sets or set-top
boxes loaded with Backchannelmedia software, the company says. The
software allows a viewer watching a live or DVR-recorded show to use
their remote control to "bookmark" or transfer information in ads or
programming to a personal and customizable Internet

CableLabs Trumpets tru2way and ETV Presence at Cable Show

US cable-industry research, development and standards organization,
CableLabs, recently issued a press release trumpeting the "broad
exposure" enjoyed by tru2way- and ETV/EBIF-based interactive TV
applications at this year's NCTA Cable Show. Among the Cable Show
tru2way and ETV demos highlighted by CableLabs in the release: Softel-USA demo'd its multiplatform, multi-middleware MediaSphere
TX carousel playing out both tru2way and ETV applications;

Hulu in Broadband Video Deals with Viacom, PBS

Hulu, the recently launched broadband video joint venture between
NBC Universal and News Corp., has secured programming deals with
Viacom and PBS. The deal with Viacom appears to be a significant
coup for the service, as it sees it offering full-length episodes of the
highly popular and younger-skewing Comedy Central satirical shows,
"The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" and "The Colbert Report," as well
as a selection of clips from those shows. The deal with PBS,
meanwhile, sees it offering such shows as "Nova," "Scientific
American Frontiers," and "Wired Science," supported by advertising.
According to Hulu, the new deals mean that it now has over 700 movie

BSkyB Unveils New HD EPG

--Rebrands Sky Anytime on PC as "Sky Player" UK satellite TV provider, BSkyB, has announced plans to launch what
it describes as a "new EPG for the HD era." The HD Sky Guide, which
builds on the company's existing Sky Guide EPG, is scheduled to
launch on all Sky HD boxes this fall. According to BSkyB, the new
guide is based on extensive customer research and takes advantage of
the latest set-top box technology to create a foundation for future on-
demand enhancements; it sports a new look-and-feel and offers new
features designed to make it easier for customers to search, discover
and navigate a constantly expanding line-up of content, the company

UK Broadcaster ITV Moving to Prevent Use of "iTV" and "ITV" as Acronyms for Interactive TV?

[itvt] was recently approached by UK commercial broadcaster, ITV (whose name is an acronym for " Independent Television Network "), with a request that we amend our logo on the grounds that it is infringing on the broadcaster's brand. In addition, we have received informal reports that a number of other companies have been contacted about altering their branding to avoid infringement on ITV's trademark--with some even claiming to have been told by the broadcaster...