News Round-Up (III): Clikthrough, Autobytel, Deutsche Telekom, Flixster, Roku
--Clikthrough Powering Interactive Video for Autobytel
--Deutsche Telekom Launches Third Annual Interactive TV Award Contest
--Flixster Launches on Roku's OTT Platform
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 few 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.
- Interactive video company, Clikthrough, has been tapped by Autobytel to develop interactive video experiences for the latter's Web site. "Clikthrough worked closely with Autobytel to create a custom interactive player to launch the first 25 automotive videos," the company explained in an email to [itvt]. "As you explore the player, you will notice the left and right panels were specially customized to display the rich content that was developed for the virtual test drive videos. Additionally, Clikthrough addressed a unique challenge within interactive video. As users are enjoying an automotive video, it may become difficult for a user to click on a vehicle traveling around a race track at over 100MPH. Our solution was to build Freeze Frame functionality that allows viewers to have more control over their interactive video experience by allowing them to freeze the frame of the video every time a viewer mouses into the video they are watching. This solution will allow users to easily 'clik' on the highlighted features of the car in the video. In addition to launching the new Freeze Frame functionality, Clikthrough explored new ways of improving Search Engine Optimization (SEO). In order to help Autobytel achieve a higher SEO value, Clikthrough worked with Autobytel to implement Media RSS (MRSS) feeds into the Autobytel homepage. MRSS feeds provide search engines an immense amount of data regarding the content of the videos and in turn will allow the videos to become indexed and searchable." A demo video is embedded here.
- Deutsche Telekom, an incumbent telco that offers a Microsoft Mediaroom-powered IPTV service called Entertain, has announced the launch of its third annual Interactive TV Award app development contest, which it says will offer the winners EUR135,000 in prizes. "The Interactive TV Award 2011 program awards prizes in two different categories," the company states in its press materials. "Professional developers are invited to submit concepts that pass a practical test in the Microsoft Mediaroom Presentation Framework (MPF). That application, on which the Entertain IPTV services are based, offers participants a great deal of leeway for designing and implementing their innovative visions. The popular 'Freestyle' category promotes concepts that shine with particularly creative ideas. Such concepts can come from many different types of sources. In past rounds, for example, entries in this category were submitted by usability designers, TV start-ups and authors. 'Freestyle' entries do not have to include any description of the relevant technical implementation. The 'Developer Garden,' Deutsche Telekom's portal for developers, serves as the official forum for all participants. Via that forum, developers can submit their concepts--and avail themselves of the opportunity to discuss their ideas, questions and problems with other community members. In a category paralleling the competition for the professionals, creative TV viewers are invited to present their visions and wishes relative to the future of television. That category features a video competition on YouTube, and it offers a total of over 70 non-cash prizes, including Apple iPads and Microsoft Xbox 360 game consoles." More information on the Interactive TV Award is available at http:// www.interactive-tv-award.de.
- OTT specialist, Roku, has announced that online movie community, Flixster, has launched a channel on its Roku Player platform. According to the company, the channel features HD trailers for upcoming movies (both theatrical and DVD/VOD releases), as well as "Tomatometer" scores from the site, Rotten Tomatoes. "Roku players already offer a wide range of entertainment options, and the addition of Flixster trailers means that movie lovers can explore the newest cinematic offerings on their TV in high definition as they decide which movies to see," Roku states in its press materials. "Better yet, using Flixster, Roku customers can search Flixster's entire database of movie trailers and then search for those same movies to watch through one of Roku's partners including Netflix and Amazon Video On Demand."