News Round-Up (I): ActiveVideo Networks, AFDESI, AFI, Alticast-Cisco, Amino
--ActiveVideo Demo's "Friends Mozaic" Social TV Application
--AFDESI Announces Nominees for its Eighth Annual Interactive TV Awards
--AFI's Nick DeMartino Retires
--Alticast Plans IPO, Ports its tru2way Middleware onto Cisco Set-Top Boxes
--Amino Sells its 3 Millionth Set-Top Box
Because the [itvt] editorial team has been on the road the past few weeks, we are covering recent news stories in summary/round-up form. We anticipate that it will take a couple of days for us to catch up with all the recent news: so if your company has sent us a press release or briefed us on an announcement, and you don't yet see your news covered in this issue, please bear with us. We apologize for any inconvenience to our readers.
- Cloud-based interactive TV specialist, ActiveVideo Networks, has produced a demo video of its new "Friends Mozaic" social TV application, which it bills as "bring[ing] you and your far-flung friends closer as you watch your favorite shows." The video is embedded above.
- International interactive TV industry body, AFDESI (the Association for the Development of Enhanced TV Services and Interactivity), has announced the nominees for its eighth annual International ITV Awards.
- The American Film Institute (AFI) has announced that Nick DeMartino is retiring from his post as SVP of media and technology after a 20-year stint at the organization. DeMartino played a key role in the AFI's Enhanced Television Workshop and Digital Content Lab initiatives (which were seminal for the interactive TV industry in the US), as well as in the AFI-Apple Computer Center for Film and Videomakers, the AFI Professional Training Division, the AFI Computer Media Salons, AFI Screen Education, AFI New Media Ventures, and AFI.com.
- Seoul, Korea-based interactive TV software specialist, Alticast, plans to conduct an IPO in the first half of 2011 to fund its expansion in the Americas, David Housman, CEO of the company's Alticast Americas branch, told Bloomberg last week. The company will be listed either on NASDAQ or on the Korean Stock Exchange, Housman said. In other Alticast news: The company is working with Cisco to port its OCAP/tru2way stack onto the latter's set-top boxes, according to a report by Multichannel News's Todd Spangler. Cisco boxes with Alticast tru2way middleware are slated to be available by November and will be offered by the telecommunications equipment giant alongside boxes equipped with its own Axiom OCAP software. Spangler also reports that Alticast's Housman told him that the company is developing a version of its OCAP middleware that "looks exactly like the [CableLabs] RI," and that it has developed a portfolio of 13 EBIF apps, including Twitter and weather widgets and a caller-ID-on-TV app.
- Cambridge, UK-based IPTV set-top box company, Amino Communications, has announced that it has sold its three millionth set-top, just over a year after passing the two million sales mark. "Our products are now used in 85 countries around the world--with over 800 customers ranging from major tier-one operators to very locally focused operators," Amino CEO, Andrew Burke, said in a prepared statement. "Reaching this important milestone, within 14 months of announcing the two million sales mark, is a strong vindication of our consistent innovation in bringing new and exciting products to market."