Interactive TV News Round-Up (X): Verizon FiOS, Pandora, Vision IPTV, Roku, Visiware

--Verizon FiOS TV Launches Pandora Widget
--Vision IPTV Lets Broadcasters Deliver Video to Roku's OTT Platform
--Visiware Reveals its Exhibit Plans for IBC 2011

Because the [itvt] editorial team is on the road this week, we are covering stories in this edition of the newsletter in round-up format:

  • Verizon FiOS TV has launched Pandora's streaming music service to subscribers in California, Texas and Virginia, and plans to roll it out in additional markets over the coming months. "FiOS TV subscribers can access their existing personalized radio stations from Pandora, or create a new account with the popular service and stream the music directly to their TV from their Motorola high-definition (HD) set-top box or Motorola DVR," Verizon states in its press materials. "Pandora, Verizon's latest addition to its FiOS TV application store, enables consumers to create personalized radio stations based on their favorite artists, songs and genres. Through FiOS TV, subscribers can easily access Pandora's personalized radio features, such as creating new stations, bookmarking songs for purchase, and rating songs with a simple thumbs-up or thumbs-down, all with a few clicks of the FiOS remote control. FiOS TV customers with an existing Pandora account simply click on the 'Widgets' button on the FiOS remote control, select the 'Pandora' icon and enter the email address and password associated with their online account. For customers who do not have a Pandora account, subscribers click on the 'Widgets' button on the FiOS remote control, select the Pandora icon and then select 'New to Pandora.' Pandora and other interactive FiOS TV applications can be controlled through the FiOS TV Mobile Remote app, available on more than 40 mobile devices, including the DROID X and the Apple iPhone and iPad." A demo video of Pandora on Verizon FiOS TV is embedded above. Verizon FiOS TV's director of content strategy and acquisition, Rachelle Zoffer, has more on the Pandora launch on the company's blog.
  • London-based Vision IPTV has announced that its white-label platform for the delivery of Internet video now provides support for Roku's OTT TV platform. "This enables broadcasters and video content owners to extend the reach of their broadcast services to more than one million homes in North America that have access to a Roku set-top box," the company states in its press materials. "Delivering an unrivalled user experience, the Roku streaming player is an easy-to-use and cost-effective way for anyone to enjoy Internet TV and video, as well as on-demand services like NetFlix and Hulu. Proving a huge success in the US, where it recently served its one billionth stream, Roku is expected to be available across Europe and beyond shortly. Vision IPTV has extended the capability of its IPTV platform for broadcasters and content owners to include broadcast to Roku users, enabling channels or video-on-demand to be added to the Roku app store as subscription, pay-per-view or free to air...Broadcasters can use Vision IPTV's platform to customize program schedules and enable personalized programming and advertising. Vision IPTV actively monitors content streaming to ensure that broadcasts are of the highest possible quality and reliability." Said Vision IPTV CEO, John Mills: "Roku has proved a huge success in the US, offering simple and cost-effective access to TV and on-demand services over the Internet. Broadcasters can now extend their reach to Roku users, streaming live TV or delivering video libraries through Vision IPTV's platform for broadcast quality internet TV and video delivery."
  • France's Visiware has announced its exhibit plans for IBC 2011 (stand B39, Hall 2). The company plans to showcase 1) its "next-generation" user interface solution for connected TV devices; 2) its multi-player casual gaming platform; and 3) its cloud-based PlayAlong platform, which it says allows "millions" of viewers to participate in TV shows in real time via the Web, Facebook, iPhones and iPads and interactive TV, and which launched in association with Endemol's "Money Drop" format (note: according to the company, the platform has generated 7 million gameplays in the five months since its launch").
North America