Deutsche Telekom Set to Begin its Annual Interactive TV Development Contest

Deutsche Telekom, which operates a Microsoft Mediaroom-powered IPTV service called T-Home Entertain, is set to begin its annual interactive TV development contest, the Deutsche Telekom Interactive TV Award, next month. In addition to cash prizes with a combined value of 110,000 Euros, the contest will offer select winners and finalists the chance to work with Deutsche Telekom and Microsoft in order to realize their interactive TV projects.

The contest will offer three main awards:

  • The MPF (Mediaroom Presentation Framework) Award for the most imaginative developer. According to Deutsche Telekom, all application concepts submitted for this award will "undergo a practical test" in Microsoft's Mediaroom Presentation Framework, a technology that is billed as allowing developers to quickly and cost-effectively build and deploy rich-media IPTV services and applications that repurpose content already available on the Web (note: for more on the Mediaroom Presentation Framework, see [itvt]'s interview with Microsoft TV's director of media services, Shari Barnett, in Issue 7.91). The award's five finalists will each receive a 10,000-Euro cash prize, and the winner will receive an additional 30,000 Euros.
  • The Freestyle Award for creative minds. According to Deutsche Telekom, this award is for interactive TV concepts that are less immediately practical than those submitted for the MPF Award: "Is interactive TV your goal, but you also sometimes think ahead of time?" Deutsche Telekom asks in its promotional materials for the contest. "Then submit your interactive TV concept for the Freestyle category. Prove that: ideas are the currency for the future of TV." There will be three finalists for this award, each of which will receive a 5,000-Euro cash prize. The winner will receive an additional 15,000 Euros.
  • The Audience Award. According to Deutsche Telekom, this award will give amateur interactive TV enthusiasts a chance to "paint your picture for the future of TV." The company says that all submissions will be voted on by the public and that entrants will also be entered into a lottery, with the winners receiving such prizes as Xbox 360 games consoles and Microsoft software packages.

According to Deutsche Telekom, the awards will be judged by a panel comprised of members of the media, scientists and economists that will be headed up by T-Home's head of marketing, Christian Illek, and Achim Berg, chairman of the board of directors at Microsoft Germany. Thanks to Deutsche Telekom's relationship with Microsoft, developers submitting entries for the MPF Award will be able to discuss technical questions in detail with specialists from the Microsoft Development Team, the telco says. In addition, those developers will be able to participate in a two-day Mediaroom Presentation Framework workshop; and all participating developers will be able to participate in Deutsche Telekom's open development portal, the Developer Garden (www.developergarden.com).

The awards will be presented at the CeBIT tradeshow in March, following a series of competition-stages and events (including a meeting for participating developers at the IFA tradeshow in October) scheduled to take place over the preceding months. More information on the contest can be found by emailing: info@interactive-tv-award.de.

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