digital tv

DigiSoft in IPTV Deals with Sun Microsystems, Video Ezy

Cork, Ireland-based interactive TV and IPTV technology provider,
DigiSoft (note: the company, which has racked up some significant
successes in the Italian market, also operates offices in the US, the UK,
Singapore and New Zealand; for an in-depth interview with its CEO,
John Allen, see [itvt] Issue 6.40), announced earlier this month that it
has signed a global "Binary Value Added Partner" agreement with Sun
Microsystems for the distribution of a Java Platform Micro Edition
(Java ME)-based software stack for IPTV set-top boxes. The company
claims that the combination of Sun's Java technology-based media
client and its own middleware solution for IPTV set-tops will enable
service providers to quickly launch feature-rich, revenue-generating

Electra Entertainment Unveils its New Interactive TV Middleware

--OpenTV Holds Worldwide Rights to Market the Platform

--Electra Taps Pace Micro Co-Founder, Barry Rubery, as CEO

Last month, Electra Entertainment--a company that was founded in
early 2003 by Static 2358 founder, Jasper Smith, and former
Gemstar-TV Guide CTO, Jonathan Drazin--unveiled its new interactive
TV middleware platform. The company claims that the proprietary
middleware, which its says has been...

Comcast Launches AnyRoom On Demand

--Says its VOD Service has Generated over 7 Billion Views since 2003

--Company's Fancast Service now Features Video from over 100 Providers

--Company to Spend up to $70 Million on "Project Canoe" this Year

Comcast, the US's largest cable MSO, last week launched a service
called AnyRoom On Demand to its digital cable customers in New

Jersey who are equipped with Motorola set-top boxes (note: the
company says that New Jersey customers with Scientific-Atlanta digital
set-tops will receive the new service later this year, and that it also
plans to roll it out in other markets over the course of the year). As its
name suggests, the new service--which requires no extra equipment and

Japan's Zentek Targets North American DTV Market with tru2way Solution

Zentek, a Tokyo-based provider of software and engineering services
for the DTV market, earlier this month launched a
tru2way/OCAP-based solution, targeted at the North American market.
Dubbed MediaStack-tru2way, the solution includes CableCARD and
DTV middleware and libraries, and is billed as enabling set-top and
iDTV manufacturers to shorten their development cycle for
tru2way-based DTV products. Zentek says that it can also provide
customers of the solution with access to a bidirectional headend located
in its San Mateo, Calif. offices, thus enabling development-time testing
with tru2way streams. "Zentek has developed an integrated reference
solution to reduce the development risk of tru2way for digital set-top
box and TV manufacturers," Zentek CEO, Shozo Ohtani, said in a

SeaChange in Deals with HBO LAG, Cablevision Mexico, RCN, Camiant

VOD technology provider, SeaChange International, and digital video
specialist, Thomson, said last week that they have deployed an
advanced content delivery system for HBO Latin America Group. The
system, which uses digital watermarking for enhanced security, is being
used by HBO LAG to make movies available on the VOD platforms of
a number of cable operators throughout Latin America. "As easily and

Pushbutton Revamps National Geographic Channel's ITV Service on Sky

UK-based interactive TV design company, Pushbutton, has redesigned
and reengineered the ITV service that its long-standing client, National
Geographic Channel, offers on the Sky satellite platform. According to
the company, the revamp of the service is intended to switch its
emphasis to bonus video and promotional reels for new shows. "With
top-quality short-form videos always available from National
Geographic channel, it made sense in the YouTube era to plug that into
NGC's interactive TV service," Pushbutton's director of interactive
television, James Cumberbatch, said in a prepared statement. The
service also now has a completely new look, based on a series of

DirecTV Rolls Out Multiple Interactive TV Services

--Forms Audience-Measurement Partnership with TNS US satellite TV provider, DirecTV, continues to roll out interactive TV
services as an integral part of its sports coverage and of its service
offering in general (note: the company is also expected to launch a
VOD service this quarter; a report in the Wall Street Journal stated that
the service will employ a combination of push-VOD and broadband

DISH Launches Second Phase of its Election-Year ITV Application

DISH Launches Second Phase of its Election-Year ITV Application Earlier this year, US satellite TV provider, DISH (formerly EchoStar),
launched the second phase of its election-year interactive TV
application, DISH Decision 2008. The first phase, dubbed "You Decide
2008" and based on technology from BIAP, presented DISH
subscribers with a series of questions designed to help match their
opinions with various candidates' positions. The second...

Shalom TV Launches National VOD Service on Comcast

Shalom TV, a TV channel devoted to Jewish culture, has launched a
line-up of free programming on Comcast On Demand--marking, the
channel says, the first time that a major US cable operator has offered a
Jewish-themed channel as part of its national VOD line-up--as well as
on Time Warner Cable of New York and New Jersey's VOD service.
The channel's programming includes Jewish-themed English-language
films, subtitled Israeli films, news and public affairs coverage, cultural
and celebrity shows, shows devoted to Torah study, and original
children's shows. "Comcast is committed to delivering programming
that reflects the diverse interests of our customers, and Shalom TV does

Liquidus Officially Launches its VOD Classifieds Offering

Liquidus, a Chicago-based company that has actually been working on
VOD classified advertising with Comcast Spotlight since 2005 (note:
last fall, it signed a five-year deal with the MSO), recently emerged
from semi-stealth mode and officially launched its flagship products for
transforming still images into video-enabled classified ads (via such
techniques as pans and zooms, and the insertion of graphics, music and
voiceovers), and for then distributing them. The company, which says it
is now providing VOD advertising services to a number of cable
companies in addition to Comcast (including Bresnan, Bright House,
Charter, Cox and Time Warner Cable), claims that the products are