itaas in tru2way/ETV Deal with Comcast Media Center
Adds Four New Members to its istart ETV Developer Program
Comcast Media Center (CMC) and Atlanta-based interactive TV technologies and services company, itaas, have signed a joint marketing agreement that they say will see them teaming to provide expanded tru2way- and ETV/EBIF-compliant application development and testing support for CMC's HITS AxIS platform. (Note: HITS AxIS--whose name stands for "Headend In The Sky Advanced Interactive Services," and which was developed in collaboration with Vidiom and TVWorks--is a centralized platform that operates on the NAS and DAC headend-management platforms and that is billed as being designed to support developers of advanced OCAP/tru2way and ETV/EBIF interactive TV applications and to facilitate the deployment and management of those applications on cable systems serving small- to mid-sized markets.)
"itaas' considerable experience in interactive television application development, testing, integration and post-deployment support will help expand support for our HITS AxIS platform," CMC COO, Gary Traver, said in a prepared statement. "Together, CMC and itaas will help expand the pool of application developers using the ETV and tru2way platforms and offer expanded toolsets that translate into quick and efficient rollouts of compelling enhanced television services available on today's set-top boxes."
According to the companies, their deal will see itaas offering application-development, quality assurance, testing and integration support for HITS AxIS. Service providers and application developers will gain access to "state-of-the-art" lab facilities and equipment available through the HITS AxIS platform, as well as a large selection of tru2way and legacy set-top boxes, the companies say; and itaas will leverage its existing istart developer program to enable content providers and application developers to submit their tru2way and ETV applications for testing. itaas says that, as part of the testing services it is offering under the partnership, it will replicate the "robust" cable plant profiles that CMC uses to deploy and sustain ITV applications for its operator partners, which offer a broad array of cable infrastructure profiles.
In addition to support for tru2way and ETV application development, itaas offers development support for Cisco, Motorola and TVWorks platforms. Services offered by the company include client- and server-side application development, quality assurance, testing, integration and post-deployment support. (Note: for an in-depth overview of the CMC-itaas partnership, see [itvt]'s interview with CMC's Gary Traver and with HITS AxIS product manager, Homer Gonzalez III, in Issue 8.09.)
In other itaas news: The company has added four new members to its istart Enhanced TV (ETV) Developer Program: Alcatel-Lucent, iCueTV, Integra5, and Tellytopia, all of which are, of course, developing applications based on the US cable industry's ETV/EBIF standard. According to itaas, the istart ETV Developer Program provides members with tools, documentation, software upgrades and support for the TVWorks ETV platform (note: TVWorks is a joint venture between Comcast and Cox); and allows developers to leverage the company's application-lifecycle expertise for assistance from initial concept and architecture design to development, testing and post-deployment support. In addition, the company says, its istart programs give members the ability to write applications to either tru2way or ETV platforms; and include software development kits and support for Time Warner Cable's Mystro Digital Navigator (MDN) and OCAP Digital Navigator (ODN), as well as Scientific-Atlantic Resident Application (SARA)/PowerTV. (Note: for more on the istart ETV Developer Program, listen to [itvt]'s interview with istart president and CEO, Vibha Rustagi, in Issue 8.22.)