Broadcasters get tools to develop for WebTV

Five technology providers, including Avid Technology, Chyron, Norpak, VertigoXmedia and Vizrt, rolled out new versions of their editing and content development products that work with standards used on the Microsoft TV platform.

Microsoft's TV hardware and software serves WebTV and it's newly released UltimateTV service, which combines e-mail and Internet functions with interactive television and DVR (digital video recorder) functions such as pause, and live television play back. Microsoft launched UltimateTV in partnership with DirecTV as a next-generation system of its interactive television product line.

Like the interactive television industry as a whole, Microsoft's interactive TV products have been slow to catch on in the US and in Europe, where interactive television had an earlier start. Microsoft also faces tough competition in the space from other developers, including OpenTV, Liberate Technologies, and a number of smaller companies whose technologies are used by cable and satellite operators around the world.

In Europe, OpenTV controls the majority of the market, according to Gartner Group, a technology research firm. In the US, Microsoft has also failed to take a lead in the space. In a major blow last year, AT&T ditched Microsoft's TV software due to its slow roll out and is now testing software from Liberate for its set-top boxes.

"Microsoft was late to the game," said Jay Srivasta, principal analyst covering consumer electronics for Gartner. "Microsoft has had a nice ride in the PC space where they called the shots and everyone followed, but that's not the case in the interactive TV world where Microsoft is just another player."

Besides industry rivals, Microsoft is also competing against a small market for interactive TV viewers. Only about 17 per cent of US households are expected to have interactive TV in their homes next year, according to a March survey from Jupiter Media Metrix. That small market has caused broadcasters to adopt new technology slowly and cautiously. Microsoft's Interactive TV functions are available for select TV game shows and MSNBC, the cable news channel run by Microsoft and General Electric's NBC.

With Microsoft hoping to overcome its slow start, Monday's announcements will give broadcasters access to a number of upgrades to existing products that will enable them to add interactive content to regular programming.

VertigoXmedia released a new version of its, Producer On Air 2.0 product, which allows broadcasters to collect content from the Web, wire feeds, newsroom systems and other outlets and convert the data for delivery to the Web and interactive TV programs. The tool enables broadcasters to produce content that can be updated automatically in response to viewer feedback.

Avid released an upgrade to its editing tool that enables editors to mix HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) with existing audio and video feeds. That product will support the Microsoft TV hardware and software services and the Advanced Television Enhancement Forum (ATVEF) standard, widely used for creating interactive TV content.

Norpak released an interactive TV data-monitoring system, which allows broadcasters and network operators to track interactive content so they can filter or replace it real-time depending on their needs. Chyron rolled out a new tool for creating interactive graphics, and Vizrt released a new product that gives broadcasters templates to create content quickly.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Berger

PC World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?