Scoop: Comcast Deploys ETV/EBIF Version of HSN's Shop by Remote Interactive TV Application
--Also Deploys Request for Information (RFI) and Ready, Remind, Record (RRR) Applications
--Apps Deployed on Trial Basis to 560,000 Subs in SF Bay Area, 305,000 in Chicago
[itvt] has learned that Comcast has deployed a tcommerce application for home shopping channel, HSN, as well as a Request for Information (RFI) application, and an app called Ready, Remind, Record (allows viewers to bookmark a show for DVR recording), to over 560,000 customers in the San Francisco Bay Area and around 305,000 customers in Chicago; the MSO has also now deployed Universal Caller ID, its TV- and PC-based caller-ID service, to over a million customers.
The apps are based on the ETV/EBIF implementation of Comcast's wholly owned subsidiary, TVWorks (note: ETV/EBIF, which was developed by US cable-industry research, development and standardization body, CableLabs, is designed to enable bound interactive TV applications to run on low-resource, legacy set-top boxes). While TVWorks' PR department was unable to confirm the deployments, and referred [itvt] to Comcast's PR department (which we have not yet been able to reach), Sean Bunner, HSN's VP of advanced services, sent [itvt] the following email in response to our inquiries: "While neither Comcast nor HSN have made any official announcements, our Shop By Remote application (EBIF) is running on a trial basis in certain Bay Area Comcast homes. It is very exciting to see the fruits of everyone's efforts coming to bear."
In May, 2007, [itvt] reported that TVWorks had teamed with Tandberg Television to develop an ETV/EBIF version of HSN's Shop by Remote application that was demo'd at that year's NCTA Cable Show (note: Tandberg worked with HSN to develop the original version of the app, which was first launched on Oceanic Time Warner Cable's system in early 2006, and subsequently on Cablevision's and DISH Networks' systems). [itvt] believes that the Shop by Remote application deployed by Comcast is based on that work (note: Portland, Oregon-based Ensequence has also been tapped by HSN to develop an ETV/EBIF version of the application for a separate deployment). TVWorks' RRR application, meanwhile, was showcased in the CableNET pavilion at the NCTA Cable Show earlier this year.