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August 24, 2010

Five welcomed back to Project Canvas

by Janet Harris
Richard Desmond, the chairman of Five’s new owner Northern & Shell, has wasted no time in getting the channel back on board Project Canvas, according to Techradar. Five was forced to leave Canvas at the beginning of July because of financial difficulties which forced the company’s sale. Desmond’s decision to rejoin the IPTV project follows some sweeping changes ...

August 18, 2010

SeeSaw announces content deal with NBC Universal

by Janet Harris
IPTV service SeeSaw, which calls its service ‘the easy way to watch TV online’, is making more premium shows available on a pay-to-view basis. SeeSaw has announced a major deal with entertainment company NBC Universal which will allow viewers to watch shows such as House, Heroes, The Office and Battlestar Galactica, on-demand. The shows will cost from 99p to rent a ...

August 17, 2010

Apple plans HDTV in next few years?

by Darren Allan
Apple might be producing its own High Definition TV as soon as 2012. So says analyst firm Piper Jaffray, Apple Insider reports. Gene Munster reckons that a connected and fully fledged HDTV is due from the Cupertino outfit within the next two to four years. The recently talked about Apple TV budget friendly set top box, with a limited ...

August 16, 2010

ITV consults lawyers over Apple’s iTV plans

by Janet Harris
ITV is planning a legal challenge against Apple’s decision to rebrand its Apple TV service as iTV, according to The Telegraph. While the iTV name would be in keeping with Apple’s other products, such as the iPod and iPhone, UK broadcaster ITV is prepared to defend its ITV brand which started way back in 1955. Apple is ...

August 13, 2010

Huggers calls for HTML5 integrity

by Janet Harris
Responding to criticism that the BBC’s use of Flash in the iPlayer is against its commitment to open standards, Erik Huggers said on the BBC Internet Blog that HTML5 isn’t yet ready to be integrated into BBC products. HTML5, which is under development, will provide an open standard for video playback in a web browser. However, Huggers believes that the ...

August 12, 2010

Apple embraces confusion with iTV brand

by Janet Harris
Despite the inevitable confusion with ITV, Apple TV is to be renamed iTV with an all important lower case i. Along with a name to match the iPod, iPad and iPhone, it is believed that iTV will use the same A4 processor as the iPhone 4 which is not compatible with 1080i or 1080p video. It is difficult to ...

August 11, 2010

Project Canvas Seeking Device Partners

by Janet Harris
With the final technical documents almost ready for release to the DTG, Project Canvas is ready to move forward with actually making the equipment that will deliver the IPTV service. The project, which is led by the BBC, has now invited manufacturers to express their interest in becoming Device Partners. Canvas-enable devices are expected to include DVRs, internet-enabled TVs and set-top ...

August 9, 2010

Germany announces Hulu-type catch-up TV

by Janet Harris
Germany’s Pro7 and RTL are collaborating on a project that will resemble Hulu, the US-based catch-up TV and movie service offered by major studios and networks such as NBC, Fox and ABC. The proposed, ad-driven service, codenamed Project Amazonas, is being considered by competition authorities in Brussels. It will allow Internet users to stream TV content, free of charge, up ...

August 3, 2010

Virgin complains about Project Canvas

by Janet Harris
Virgin Media wants Ofcom to launch an investigation into Project Canvas, a partnership between Arqiva, the BBC, BT, C4, Five, ITV and Talk Talk to build an open internet-connected TV platform. Virgin has complained to Ofcom that the project is anti-competitive and could suppress innovation and ultimately destroy the online TV sector. It believes that there are several ...

August 2, 2010

Citrus Suite developing interactive service for Project Canvas

by Janet Harris
Citrus Suite, a Liverpool-based digital developer, has started work on a Project Canvas prototype which will show how viewers can interact with an existing BBC programme. Project Canvas, which will deliver internet content directly to TVs, is an IPTV project being developed by a consortium including the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, BT, Arqiva, and Talk Talk. It aims to create a standard ...

July 30, 2010

Sky Sports goes live on BT Vision

by Janet Harris
Sky Sports 1 and 2 will be available on BT Vision this weekend and, with the price starting at £6.99 a month for one channel, this might give the service the boost it badly needs. Hybrid Freeview/IPTV service, BT Vision, gained only 14,000 new customers in the second quarter, its worst performance for two years. The BT Group as a ...

July 28, 2010

More shipments of Internet-Enabled TVs than 3-D TVs

by Janet Harris
While the consumer electronics headlines this year have been dominated by 3-D television news, the real story in 2010 is about Internet-Enabled TVs (IETVs), according to iSuppli Corp. Global shipments of IETVs - TV sets with built-in Internet capability - will amount to 27.7 million units in 2010. In contrast, 3-D set shipments will total only 4.2 million this year. While ...

Humax to announce portal services at IBC 2010

by Janet Harris
Humax is to announce new portal services for its internet-enabled set-top boxes, at the IBC conference in Amsterdam, in September. The web portal provides access to online TV services and other content. Humax’s Freesat and Freeview HD set-top boxes include the BBC iPlayer service. The company will demonstrate its much talked about HDR-FOX T2 Freeview recorder at the show, which is ...

FiberHome selects Celeno’s Wi-Fi chip for IPTV streaming

by Janet Harris
Celeno Communications has announced that FiberHome Telecommunication Technologies Co., Ltd has selected Celeno's CL1800 high performance Wi-Fi system-on-a-chip (SoC) to enable its HG500 and HG230 optical network gateways with carrier-grade Wi-Fi for IPTV streaming. FiberHome is a leading telecommunications provider in China. The collaboration between Celeno and FiberHome addresses the expansion of Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) network in China, and the growing ...

July 27, 2010

Amino aims for profit in 2011

by Janet Harris
Amino Technnolgies, the UK IPTV set-top box maker, weathered a difficult first half to produce a loss of £0.97 million, a significant improvement on the loss of £3.6 million it announced in the 2009 first half. It hopes to achieve a net profit in 2011, with further expansion expected. The company achieved record unit sales of 2500,000 in six months ...

July 26, 2010

Meek appointed Project Canvas chairman

by Janet Harris
Project Canvas has taken another step forward with the appointment of Kip Meek as chairman with immediate effect. One of Meek’s first jobs will be to appoint a chief executive for the IPTV project, which will integrate broadcast and on-demand services via internet connected set-top boxes. Meek is a former chief policy partner at Ofcom and a board member of ...

July 15, 2010

Virgin Media may appeal against Project Canvas

by David Allen
As plans go ahead to launch the multi channel backed online TV platform Project Canvas, it seems that the cable TV provider Virgin Media is still considering filing a complaint against the scheme with the regulator Ofcom. Virgin Media believes that Project Canvas will be anti competitive. This will form the basis of the firm's argument against the scheme, ...

July 13, 2010

Apple serious about TV

by David Allen
There appears to be some movement on Apple TV. Considering that Steve Jobs still thinks of this project as a hobby, there have been a lot of deals going on behind the scenes and so it would seem that maybe Apple is becoming serious about Apple TV now. The latest rumour is that Apple TV will be offering streamed video ...

Hulu looking at global market

by David Allen
The online catch-up TV service Hulu is looking at expanding into the global market. This is nothing new of course, but this time it looks like Hulu is serious about venturing into the wider world. Hulu is backed by Disney, NBC Universal and News Corp. It has recently launched a premium service called Hulu Plus in the US and ...

July 1, 2010

ETSI Approves Latest HbbTV Spec

by Janet Harris
European standards agency ETSI has approved the HbbTV (Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV) consortium’s latest spec, version 1.1.1 . The spec was approved along with the formal establishment of the HbbTV consortium, which is now open for membership. This allows organisations to contribute to the requirements, maintenance and development of the specification. They will also be updated as the specification evolves. HbbTV aims ...

June 29, 2010

BT Vision and BSkyB in Sky Sports deal

by Janet Harris
Hybrid DTT and IP service, BT Vision, will be able to offer the Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 2 channels from August. BT and BSkyB have announced a wholesale agreement for the channels, which means they will be available when the Premier League Football season kicks off on August 14. Pricing details for the services should be available this week. This ...

June 23, 2010

Amino sells 3 million set top boxes

by Janet Harris
Amino Communications sold and distributed its three millionth set-top box (STB) in May, just sixteen months after reaching the two million milestone. This represents solid progress for the company, which launched its first product in 2002. Since then it has developed a range of IPTV STBs for network operators, hospitality and enterprise markets. It recently expanded into the growing market ...

June 21, 2010

Anevia launches MediaShare STB

by Janet Harris
Anevia has launched MediaShare, an innovative set top box, in partnership with the Integrated Communication Research Centre (ICRC). While most set-top boxes support only one way communication, MediaShare allows viewers to watch TV and multimedia content in a different way. As well as delivering live TV channels and videos on demand, like standard set top boxes, Mediashare also connects to the ...

June 17, 2010

4oD and BT Total Broadband launch ad partnership

by Janet Harris
BT Total Broadband will become 4oD’s first advertising partner with the launch of a three-month ad campaign on 18 June. Pre-roll ads for BT Total Broadband will run across content on all 4oD’s internet channels, including Channel4.com, YouTube and SeeSaw. The campaign will include a content lounge on 4oD, on Channel 4.com, which will be fully branded BT Total Broadband. This ...

June 16, 2010

Bouygues Telecom selects Bluestreak’s IPTV interface

by Janet Harris
France’s Bouygues Telecom has chosen Montreal-based Bluestreak Technology’s interface for its popular Bbox IPTV service. Bluestreak’s MachBlue Flash-based platform will power the next-gen IPTV interface for Bouygues service. IPTV Subscribers will have fast access to news, sports, weather, traffic, entertainment gossip, stocks, and horoscopes through Bluestreak’s Widget Framework. “The newest release of our Bbox IPTV interface makes it easier ...

June 14, 2010

September launch for Project Canvas?

by David Allen
UPDATE: It looks as though Simon Pitts comment has been misreported - he said Project Canvas was hoping to engage content providers by September, rather than Project Canvas officially launched. Apologies for the error below. By the end of this month, the BBC Trust will have made its decision on the future of the online TV service known as ...

June 9, 2010

Three and On Demand Group Win Innovation Award

by Janet Harris
Video content provider, On Demand Group, and mobile network operator, Three, have been recognised for their jointly developed “TV on Demand” service. The mobile subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service is the first of its kind in Europe. It offers programs from HBO, Walt Disney and Warner Television to 3 million subscribers using virtually any 3G mobile phone, through the SeaChange Adrenalin™ ...

June 8, 2010

Watching the World Cup Online?

by Janet Harris
While some employers are concerned that the World Cup will be expensive for them in terms of lost working hours, others see the tournament as a chance to boost staff morale. In fact the Chartered Management Institute is encouraging employers to allow staff to watch the games at work. There are some issues employers need to be aware of if they ...

June 3, 2010

Apple TV just a hobby

by David Allen
In the wake of Google TV, it was expected that Steve Jobs would be talking it down, and in the “All things D” interview he did not let anyone down. In fact, according to Steve Jobs, the likes of Sky TV and Virgin Media have the digital TV market sewn up, because they are willing to give set top ...

May 26, 2010

TSTT and Calix in Trinidad and Tobago IPTV deal

by Janet Harris
Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT) is to use the Calix Unified Access portfolio, Calix Professional Services, and Calix Compatible partners to deliver IPTV service Blink Entertainment in Trinidad and Tobago. The service offers over 100 HD and SD channels, video on demand, pay-per-view, digital video recording, and other interactive features. It will be deployed to the islanders over ...

May 20, 2010

MIPS Technologies Supports VP8 Video Codec

by Janet Harris
MIP Technologies Inc. has announced that its processor architecture will support the open source VP8 Video Codec, which will bring video content to Internet-connected devices such as set-top-boxes. The VP8 Video Codec offers high-quality video while consuming less bandwidth than other codecs. MIPS is supporting the new WebM open web media project which will give developers access to highly-optimized, royalty-free video ...

May 17, 2010

Virgin outlines TiVo plans at NCTA Cable Show

by Janet Harris
Virgin Media spoke about its next-gen cable box at the NCTA Cable Show in Los Angeles. The box is designed to unlock the online world for TV viewers. Earlier this month Virgin Media confirmed that its latest HD box contains the TiVo middleware. The company expects to soft launch TiVo by the end of the year, making it the first ...

May 10, 2010

Orange could join Virgin in quadplay market

by Janet Harris
Orange UK is believed to be planning a move into the broadband TV market, putting it in competition with Virgin Media which is currently the only ISP to offer quadplay services with mobile, fixed-line, broadband and TV in one bundle Orange UK, which is merging with T-Mobile UK, cancelled earlier IPTV plans in 2008 because the market conditions were unfavourable at ...

May 7, 2010

Project Canvas to be accessible for disabled viewers

by Janet Harris
Project Canvas has promised to incorporate features to make the service accessible to people with disabilities. In proposals put to the BBC Trust, partners in the IPTV project have identified a number of accessibility features that will be supported, including: audio description and subtitles a zoom magnifier to increase the size of the user interface the ability to change colour schemes ...

May 4, 2010

Kathrein and ANT collaborate on HbbTV STBs

by Janet Harris
ANT Plc’s Galio HbbTV (Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV) Platform has been licensed by high tech telecommunications company Kathrein. The deal will see HbbTV services available on a new range of set-top boxes for the international retail market. It makes the ANT Galio HbbTV Platform the first HbbTV solution to be distributed commercially. The platform allows both service providers and device manufacturers to ...

April 28, 2010

TechnoTrend Görler develops STB with ANT Galio HbbTV Platform

by Janet Harris
Set-top-box (STB) manufacturer, TechnoTrend Görler, has partnered with digital TV software firm ANT to develop a new range of STBs for the emerging HbbTV (Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV) retail market. TechnoTrand will use the ANT Galio HbbTV Platform in a satellite HD receiver, which will support flexible reception of HDTV, encrypted HD+ programs, additional Pay TV packages and user-friendly HbbTV ...

SeaChange sells Casa Systems

by Rapid TV News
Website: Rapid TV News VOD specialist SeaChange has sold its stake in IPTV/DOCSIS company Casa Systems. It will book a US$25.2m pre-tax gain on the five-year investment. SeaChange International sold its stake in Casa Systems for gross proceeds of $34.1m. SeaChange expects to generate net after-tax proceeds of $30m on its investment of $8.9m in Casa Systems. SeaChange also expects to ...

April 23, 2010

MioTV passes 200K

by Rapid TV News
Website: Rapid TV News MioTV, the IPTV platform offered by Singapore’s SingTel, has hit the 200,000 subscriber mark and is planning a celebration, pay-TV style. Subscriber numbers have risen from 155,000 at the end of 2009 to over 200,000. The impending switch of English Premier League soccer from rival StarHub, to start in August, has likely helped the rise. To celebrate, the ...

April 20, 2010

Hong Kong’s PCCW partners with China’s Wasu Digital

by Rapid TV News
Website: Rapid TV News Hong Kong’s PCCW, which operates the Now TV IPTV service in the territory, will work with China’s Wasu Digital TV Media Group to develop triple-play services on the mainland. In what PCCW called a “win-win co-operation”, the two companies will promote application-based and operation-oriented technology development and integration, explore new technology and operations and share the results ...

April 14, 2010

Irdeto’s Cloakware protects Netflix content

by Rapid TV News
Website: Rapid TV News Conditional access provider Irdeto has been selected to protect Netflix’s content. Irdeto is supplying its ‘Cloakware’ embedded security to Netflix, and thus protect “tens of thousands of TV episodes and movies [Netflix] streams instantly to its members,” said a statement. “We have always been committed to offering our members the greatest convenience, selection and value for instantly watching ...

April 13, 2010

S3 completes Pace Mediaroom IPTV STB testing

by Janet Harris
S3 Group has successfully completed testing Pace Plc’s set-top box platform, which uses Microsoft’s Mediaroom IPTV software. The platform, which was launched in March, allows operators to roll out IPTV, hybrid broadcast/broadband and OTT (over-the-top) services. S3 Group has increased its capacity to test Mediaroom STBs for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), allowing solutions to come to market faster. Microsoft Mediaroom is ...

April 12, 2010

7P partners with Yahoo! for TV apps

by Janet Harris
Seven Principles AG (7P) is developing TV apps in partnership with Yahoo! Connected TV. The company is adapting its web technology for desktop and mobile communications to work with TV powered by the Yahoo!® Widget Engine. Ulrich Trinkaus, 7P’s Chief Operating Officer, said “TV Widgets are easily accessed by a remote control using a numerical keypad with multiple assignments for ...

iiNet to bring IPTV to Australia

by Rapid TV News
Website: Rapid TV News IPTV could finally be making its way Down Under. Australian internet service provider iiNet has become the first top-tier ISP to sign a deal with new IPTV provider Fetch TV. Fetch TV, partially backed by Malaysia’s Astro All Asia Networks and a different company from the UK-based provider of the same name, has so far caused ripples ...

April 9, 2010

240 million watch internet video in China

by Rapid TV News
Website: Rapid TV News A whopping 240 million Chinese are regular online video users, according to new figures reportedly from the state-owned China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC). Online video users account for some 63% of the 380 million internet users in China. The 240 million now using internet video is up on 222 million at the end of 2008. A CNNIC ...

April 8, 2010

Motama announces TVCaster IPTV servers

by Janet Harris
In order to help meet the growing demand for IPTV from both the private and public sector, German company Motama has announced its next generation of IPTV server appliances called TVCaster. As well as the usual functions provided by an integrated DVB receiver, remultiplexer, and IP streaming server, TVCaster offers a number of advanced features. These include ultra-fast channel switching for ...

Brava HDTV opera channel expands in France

by Rapid TV News
Website: Rapid TV News Pan-European culture and opera music HD channel Brava HDTV has joined the high definition platform of French IPTV operator SFR. Dutch-based, advertising-free, and specializing in native HD programming, this is the channel’s last strategic move in France. Brava HDTV is already part of the line-up of IPTV platforms Free and Alice as well as cabsat offers Numericable ...

April 6, 2010

TVBookmark launches site for US viewers

by Janet Harris
Germany-based Internet TV website, TVBookmark, has launched a website tailored for the US market. The site aims to make video content on the web more accessible by combining editorial selection with tailored crawling and indexing algorithms. Content is selected from publisher and TV station websites, and from video blogs. The German website has more than 200,000 indexed web TV videos from more ...

March 31, 2010

Sagemcom makes BBC iPlayer available on freesat STBs

by Janet Harris
Sagemcom is making the BBC iPlayer available on all its Sagem Freesat HD and Freesat+ HD set-top-boxes, following a successful service trial. As long as the set-top-box is connected to the internet, users can catch up with BBC programmes and radio stations they have missed in the last seven days. The iPlayer can be accessed by pressing the red button from most ...

March 30, 2010

Project Canvas appoints CTO and marketing chief

by Janet Harris
With a decision from the Office of Fair Trading due any time, Project Canvas is bringing in the big guns to take the project forwards. The joint venture, which will bring on-demand TV to Freeview and Freesat, has appointed Anthony Rose as chief technology officer and Tim Hunt as head of marketing. Rose will bring his experience from the BBC’s successful ...

March 29, 2010

Deadline set on Echostar’s patent dispute with TiVo

by Rapid TV News
Website: Rapid TV News Leading media analyst Craig Moffett from Sanford Berstain sums up the Echostar-TiVo situation snappily, saying: “Dish is now negotiating with a gun to its head”. His comments refer to the long-running patent dispute between Echostar/Dish and DVR specialists TiVo. As well as facing a huge financial penalty, EchoStar/Dish is also looking down the barrel of TiVo’s large-calibre ...