Active-TV technology bridging PC-TV gap
Within the next 18 months or so, Internet TV services such as Joost will be running on some sort of STBs or open media devices, according to Mike Volpi, Joost's CEO. In a video interview with NewTeeVee, Volpi says his company expects that it will have to embrace new platforms that attach to the TV since Joost delivers a high-quality viewing experience.
But a more powerful PC-to-TV solution already exists in active-TV technology, says Daniel Mann, who maintains a blog about active-TV. The technology uses the PC to format and deliver Internet TV to the living room TV, and it requires PC-assistance from a networked, always-ready PC.
Active-TV home network
Putting Joost video on a TV or STB is simple with the active-TV technology approach and with networked-PC assistance, Mann says. P2P software continues to run on the PC while the Joost video and TV user interface are sent over the network to the TV or STB.
For consumers with TVs and STBs using the active-TV technology (such as the recently upgraded D-Link DSM-520), it's possible that Joost video may appear on their TV screens very soon, Mann says. The technology is not licensed; there are several companies that offer active-TV components. STB or TV manufacturers can select from a variety of suppliers depending on the set of features they wish to enable.
The DSM-520 "adds more than 200 channels of Internet video on your TV," according to a company press release. These are MCE-conformant TV-web channels that utilize the active-TV technology.
According to Mann, the D-Link DSM-520 has two advantages over the Microsoft, Vudu and Apple devices: it can go for a street-price of $150—which is about half the price of Microsoft Extenders and Apple TV, and more than half the price of the Vudu box—and it supports more TV-web channels (or sites) than any other box. It is also simple to add more TV-web channels as they become available since active-TV supports legacy HTML-formatted TV-web.
—Traci Patterson, Web/News Editor - CED, Editor - xOD Capsule
Cable Onda deploys Concurrent VOD systems
Concurrent said Cable Onda, a cable service provider in Panama, will use Concurrent's MediaHawk 4000 on-demand platform to launch VOD to approximately 15,000 digital cable subscribers. Concurrent claims this will be the first commercial deployment of VOD in Central America.
Cable Onda also launched Concurrent's Real-Time Media, enabling the system to provide subscribers on-demand access to real-time content, such as news, sports, select broadcast television series and original programming. As an optional component to the MediaHawk on-demand platform, Real-Time Media allows viewers to pause, fast-forward and rewind broadcast programs shortly after they have aired.
New Swarmcast patent covers broadband video
Swarmcast was granted a patent that covers a wide variety of techniques to distribute data—including video—over a peer-to-peer (P2P) network. The techniques are variously described in the patent as multi-source streaming and, in the company's parlance, "file swarming." The basic description suggests the patent could conceivably apply to almost any packet-based broadband network.
US Patent 7,277,950—"Packet Transfer Mechanism Over a Peer-to-Peer Network"—describes a class of data transfer technology whereby data is broken up, distributed to other sources and then reassembled at an endpoint, according to the company.
Swarmcast says the patent covers core algorithms that form the foundation of many common modes of next-gen network data transfer, including P2P, grid content delivery and multi-source streaming—which enables the delivery of full-screen, live and on-demand Internet video in HD quality to global audiences via standard broadband, the company said.
Justin.tv licenses On2's encoding, publishing solution
Justin.tv has licensed On2 Technologies' Flix Publisher Live encoding and publishing solution for its live streaming service.
On2's browser-based plug-in turns the user's browser into an encoding and publishing platform without any expertise, installation or investment from the user. The videos are encoded directly on the user's desktop and are streamed live on the Internet via a Webcam.
Justin.tv's video is streamed using the On2 VP6-E codec, the highest-quality streaming video format available for the Adobe Flash Player.
Internet ad revenue nears $10B in first half of 2007
Internet advertising revenue in the U.S. was nearly $10 billion in the first half of 2007, an increase of 27 percent compared with the first half of 2006. And in Q2, revenue totaled $5.1 billion, exceeding the $5 billion mark for the first time in a quarter and marking a 25.4 percent increase year-on-year.
The results were released by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), and they show that the search (40 percent) and display (32 percent) ad formats continued to dominate in the first half of the year.
"More and more marketers have embraced the reality that interactive is the fulcrum on which their brand strategies need to be based, and we expect robust growth to continue," said Randall Rothenberg, president and CEO of IAB.
TiVo forms direct response ad group
TiVo Inc. has formed the Interactive Direct Response Advertising Group, which will educate the direct response community on challenges they face because of the DVR and promote TiVo's interactive advertising platform.
Spearheading the new group is Robert Barnett, who joins TiVo as a senior director and who will manage TiVo's relationship with Worldlink Ventures Inc., a direct response ad sales representative for TiVo's ad platform.
TiVo's Stop||Watch ratings service, introduced in February, offers a sortable database of ratings for nationally run programs and advertisements run during primetime and daytime, with data going back to September 2006. According to Stop||Watch, approximately one-third of all DVR users are watching TV on a time-shifted basis.
Liberty Media buys outstanding shares of Fun
Liberty Media will acquire the outstanding shares of Fun Technologies that it does not already own for about $3.57 per share. Currently Liberty Media indirectly owns 53 percent of the company.
Toronto-based Fun Technologies offers skill-based games for the interactive TV, online and mobile markets. The company also manages games for AOL, iVillage and eBay.
Liberty Media also owns or holds interests in OpenTV, InteraActiveCorp (IAC), Starz, Discovery Communications, QVC and Expedia.
• Verizon adding interactive games to FiOS TV service, according to Lockergnome.com.
• Nokia links up to direct-dialed video, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
• Do Web ads lack credibility, asks Brandweek?
Company: YuMe Networks
CEO: Jayant Kadambi
Redwood City, Calif.
Claim to fame: YuMe is the first dedicated broadband video ad network built from the ground up that offers a brand-safe advertising experience that can be delivered to any device—the PC, TV, mobile handset and more—whether streamed or downloaded.
Recent news of note: Microsoft is teaming up with YuMe to offer broadband video advertising capabilities for its Internet TV service. YuMe is serving as Microsoft's ad serving platform and ad sales partner for the beta trial of Microsoft's new Windows Media Center Internet TV feature.