Newsclip Service

June 2002

These news-clips have been collated from various news sources because they are considered possibly relevant to Interactive TV learning developments.

Netimperative Report – Interactive TV 

This report looks at how the financial troubles experienced by many iTV companies affected the sector, and what potential remains for a technology that was expected to provide the next arena for the growth of interactivity. It also provides a comprehensive outline of the iTV sector's development to date. (Source: Netimperative)(see report)

(UK) Report - Public sector broadband: establishing requirements and assessing the impact

The UK Consultancy Company Analysys is working in several countries on the future of broadband in the public sector. It considers that current views on the future requirements for broadband in the public sector are fragmented and contradictory, creating an obstacle to policy development and implementation. (Source: Analysys) (see article)

28 June 2002                          

(UK) Trials could widen the reach of BT Wholesale's broadband delivery

BT Wholesale has launched a trial of mesh radio technology for the delivery of broadband services. BT Wholesale chief executive Paul Reynolds said, "This trial will let us explore the suitability of mesh radio to enable BT to deliver broadband services in areas beyond the reach of ADSL." Households taking part in the trial will receive interactive television and video-on-demand content from Cardiff-based interactive TV solutions provider Yes Television. (Source: BT) (see press release)

26 June 2002

(USA) MPEG-4 Developments

Two software firms have reported advances in their MPEG-4 Technology, Kasenna said that their SBS'IPv6 network demonstration, created a "virtual world" with online personas, in which users can order a VOD movie and interact while watching. Whilst, Sigma Designs’ MPEG-4 compressor/decompressor Windows plug-in, which can encode digitized video into standardized MPEG-4 files, is now available for trial on their Web site. (Source: (see article) (see Kasenna press release) (see Sigma website)

(USA) PC Software mimics TiVo

Graphics chipmaker Nvidia has announced that their software for recording TV programs on a PC will now be incorporated into GeForce4 PC graphics cards. The Personal Cinema software allows PCs equipped with a TV signal to record and replay programs using detailed programming guides available over the Internet. (Source: Nvidia) (see press release)

Agreement to support the Worldwide Deployment of Digital Television

Motorola and the NDS Group will combine select products to offer cost effective digital television platforms to the global market. Motorola will offer the NDS, iTV and conditional access solutions as an optional feature of Motorola’s DVi1000 and Dvi3500 DVB-based interactive television platforms to the global market.

25 June 2002

(UK) NTL and TiVo sign deal to enhance digital cable TV

NTL and TiVo will market TiVo’s stand-alone digital video recorders to NTL customers throughout the UK. TiVo DVRs will enable NTL customers to digitally record and store programmes for playback at any time and will be available to NTL customers from Monday 1 July. (Source: NTL) (see press release)

Pulse-LINK to double cable bandwidth

Pulse-LINK have developed UWB over-wire applications, which will effectively double the bandwidth available to Cable Television systems and immediately deliver hundreds of megabits of new bandwidth over existing wired infrastructures without interference or degradation to TV, data and voice services, making applications like true Video-on-Demand and Interactive Television practical and affordable. (Source: Pulse-LINK) (see press release)

24 June 2002                              

(USA) Combining Xbox with Ultimate TV

According to the magazine Red Herring, the Microsoft Xbox team has been working for about nine months on a machine that combines the features of the Xbox with UltimateTV, a set-top box that features digital video recording. (Source: Red Herring) (see article)

(Italy) Italian Cities receive networked PVR

FastWeb has deployed a complete nPVR solution for its broadband fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) IP network. They expect an 80% take-up rate from their current television subscribers in all of Italy's major cities. FastWeb's nPVR solution will use Minerva VNP video encoders to enable subscribers to record up to a week's worth of programming from nine national television channels. (Source: Minerva Network) (see press release)

21 June 2002

(UK) Oftel boosts broadband competition

Under the new ruling, BT will be required to offer ADSL broadband interconnection services, that will enable operators to connect to BT's network and provide a wider range of wholesale and retail broadband services in competition with BT. BT must also set prices for these services at a level that allows other broadband providers to compete. (Source: Oftel) (see press release)

20 June 2002

(UK) Cable TV Customers switch off

According to The Guardian newspaper, official figures show that the number of cable TV customers has fallen in the past year, with NTL and Telewest losing 67,000 subscribers over the past year but their high-speed Internet services could provide hope. Alternatively, SkyDigital have succeeded in adding 704,000 Digital TV subscribers in the past year, a growth rate of 1.9%. (Source: The Guardian) (see press release)

18 June 2002                              

(UK) 7% increase in digital refusniks

Mediaedge:CIA’s survey of attitudes towards digital TV has shown that the demise of ITV digital appears to have affected consumer confidence in upgraded television sets. The survey found that 29% of respondents said they would "never" switch from analogue. This is up 8% from October. (Source: The Guardian) (see article)

(Singapore) Multicast Streaming video-on-demand demonstrated

At the Nokia Connection 2002 show in Singapore, Nokia used Orca’s iTV application software to demonstrate streamed video services to TV, PCs and the Nokia 9210i Communicator. The service solution demonstrates how video content can be multicasted through the operator network, allowing multiple video streams to be delivered to end-user terminal devices such as TVs and PCs. (Source: Nokia) (see press release)

(Canada) $85 Million Investment for Canadian Broadband Network

Leading ISP in Canada, Aliant Telecom is investing Cndn$85 million in its broadband network across Atlantic Canada. This upgrade is being undertaken in preparation for a DSL-based ITV/VOD service the company is planning to roll out in a few months using middleware from IP ITV software developer iMagicTV. (Source: Aliant) (see press release)

12 June 2002                              

(UK) Report – Oftels’s International benchmarking study of Internet access (dial-up and broadband)

This report shows that broadband prices for consumers in the UK are as cheap as in France, Germany or the USA and consumer DSL/ some business broadband services are cheapest in the UK. As prices fall, user numbers are rising by 50% and Oftel estimates that there are over 20 000 new connections every week. (see report)

(UK) BT pleased with Oftel report findings

Oftel's latest international study of Internet access shows that UK customers are getting increasingly good deals for broadband services. Ben Verwaayen, chief executive of BT, said: "Demand for broadband has gone through the roof in the past couple of months, and this study shows one reason why.”(Source: BT) (see press release)

(USA) Toshiba license TiVo

Toshiba have licensed TiVo’s digital video recorder (DVR) technology. This license will enable Toshiba to implement TiVo DVR services on a variety of hardware platforms and operating systems and will enable DVR manufacturers to modify their products with minimal cost. (Source: TiVo) (see press release)

10 June 2002                              

(USA) Report - Wireless, Interactive TV and Online Gaming: Market assessment and forecast

This study covers mobile, Interactive TV, streaming and e-distribution, online and console games. It offers an overall picture of each industry segment with short sections on the market forecasts. (Source: FastTrack) (see overview)

(UK) ITC Report predicts Analogue Switch off date is too soon

A new report by Logica predicts that half of all UK households won’t be able to receive digital broadcasts by 2010 reported The Mail on Sunday. The report, commissioned by the ITC, predicts that only about 58 per cent of UK households would be able to receive an acceptable DTT signal through existing aerials and the number of available channels for those who could receive them would also have to be reduced and the cost involved could escalate substantially. (Source: Europemedia) (see article)

(The Netherlands) Fibre glass connections for Dutch town

The Dutch municipality of Helmond and Imtech Telecom are looking into the possibilities of providing the town with a fibreglass network. This network would enable broadband Internet connections and could also to be used for receiving television signals and phone signals. The plan will be developed within the next three months (Source: Telecom.paper) (see article)

(USA) Real time Interactive “triggers” for TV content Producers

Chyron Corporation has integrated its television graphics software, Lyric, with the Liberate Mediacast Server, to enable TV producers to embed triggers that will allow, for example, real-time voting or betting, via the subscribers' remote control. The combined solution will also enable content producers to easily preview programmes before they are broadcast. (Source: Liberate) (see press release)

(UK) NTL upgrades DTV interactivity 

NTL plans to upgrade its digital and interactive services by upgrading to Liberate 1.2. This upgrade will see the launch of 25 new channels and lots of new iTV applications. The upgrade will enable them to offer multicast broadband TV services and revamp their electronic programme guide (EPG) and interactive area in the coming months. (Source: newmediazero) (see article)

(Japan) Partnership to increase Japanese demand for MPEG-4

MPEG-4 software company, Envivio and Dentsu, Dentsu Tec have announced their partnership to create and distribute interactive MPEG-4 content in Japan, bringing together the world's first full MPEG-4 solution with a top advertiser in Japan. This will help the adoption of MPEG-4 as the standard for creating, managing and distributing digital content. (Source:Envivio) (see press release)

6 June 2002

(UK) NTL in talks with major broadband players                             

In a drive to extend their high-speed Internet service to the mass market, NTL are in talks with a number of significant broadband content deals. According to Internet services head, Chris Bunyan, the company is already in talks with several major media and content brands.(Source: newmediaage) (see article)

5 June 2002                    

(USA/Europe) Joint Venture to Deploy VOD throughout Europe

Intertainer and Freedomland have announced plans to launch an Internet Protocol (IP) VOD service for broadband customers throughout Europe. The joint venture, named Intertainer Europe, will be modelled on Intertainer's U.S. based broadband VOD service and will feature a mix of American and European-produced content. (Source: Intertainer) (see press release)

(Luxembourg) 2-Way Broadband Satellite Company Launched 

SES Global and Gilat Satellite Networks are joining forces to set up a new satellite company, SATLYNX that will provide a 2-way broadband service to the European market, this could prove significant for the development of satellite-based VOD services This new company is already operational. They are also servicing wholesale contracts with BT Openworld and Tiscali for the provision of broadband connectivity to small business and residential customers in Europe. (Source: Gilat Satellite Networks) (see press release)

4 June 2002                   

(USA) Low Cost version of Microsoft TV launched

Microsoft Corp is offering a low-cost version of its MSN TV Internet service to allow users to access the Web from their home television set using a wireless keyboard or remote control. This will cost $9.95 per month and give users five hours of Internet access with additional hours available for $2.95 per hour. Microsoft will continue to offer its unlimited Internet access time plan for $21.95 per month. (Source: CNET) (see article)

(USA) Apple previews QuickTime 6 with MPEG 4

Apple is offering a public preview of their streaming video software QuickTime 6 via free download from their site ( QuickTime 6 is the first mainstream MPEG-4 solution for streaming media to all MPEG-4 compliant players and it is capable of supporting interactive web-based applications and video games. Apple are also offering a public preview of QuickTime Broadcaster, which captures and encodes QuickTime content in MPEG-4 for live streaming over the web. (Source: Apple) (see press release)

3 June 2002                   

(USA) Artificial Intelligence to make Digital TV & Broadband truly “personal”

BIAP Systems have announced new artificial intelligence-based software services that will offer greater personalized content for digital cable television and high-speed Internet subscribers.  They are available via download and will enable personally tailored information to be delivered automatically to TVs, personal computers, mobile phones, and PDAs.(Source: BIAP) (see press release)

(USA) SONICblue launch upgraded ReplayTV     

SONICblue have unveiled the ReplayTV 4500 series, which offers additional modem support for standard phone line connections, a redesigned software package and a service-based pricing model. These changes will enable consumers with or without broadband to enjoy the technology. (Source: SONICblue) (see press release)

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