& cplSiteName &

Comcast, TWC Plan for EBIF

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
11/12/2008
50%
50%

BOSTON -- Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing Summit -- Cable's interactive future is linked to tru2way , but larger, upcoming deployments will no doubt be centered on simpler applications enabled by the Enhanced TV Binary Interchange Format (EBIF), a CableLabs -specified platform that can run on the industry's entire universe of digital set-tops. (See Comcast Media Center Buffs Up for EBIF and SureWest Triggers EBIF Strategy .)

Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), the two largest MSOs in the U.S., are already laying the groundwork for EBIF, installing and enabling their networks and set-tops to accept relatively simple enhanced television applications that allow viewers to participate in polling questions, play games, request more information about advertised products, and upgrade or order cable services with the click of a remote.

EBIF will also play a big, early role in the advanced advertising service bureau under development at MSO-backed Canoe Ventures. (See Canoe Ventures: What It Is, What It Ain't and Ad Emblem .)

"All of these are being done in the EBIF language," said Mark Hess, Comcast's SVP, product development – video, during a panel session here Tuesday afternoon. "The [interactive] platform is being deployed."

Comcast, Hess said, expects to have EBIF "enabled" in 10 million homes by the end of the year and, by the middle of 2009, across all of the MSO's Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT)-based footprint, equal to about 75 percent of the operator's cable properties. Comcast is also ironing out a way to run EBIF on its Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)-based systems.

Time Warner Cable, meanwhile, plans to have EBIF running in all its digital boxes sometime next year, according to TWC SVP of video product strategy Bob Benya. Still, the MSO has already introduced interactive applications (including some voting, interactive ads, and customer care apps) in virtually all of its operating divisions using some pre-standard tech.

Benya says experience at TWC has shown that consumers indeed like to interact with their televisions, and that desire increases when viewers can interact on one screen rather than having to synch up the action with a laptop or PC connected to the Internet. "When it's simple... it adds to the viewing experience," Benya said.

Among shows that support interactive polling, TWC has seen average viewer participation of 17 percent, with spikes as high as 41 percent.

Operators hope EBIF gives them a common technical platform for some of these simpler apps, allowing them and content providers to deploy them at scale. Despite the presence of a CableLabs spec, it's possible that EBIF clients used by MSOs won't be precisely uniform. Comcast's EBIF client is being developed by the TVWorks LLC joint venture with Cox Communications Inc. , and Time Warner Cable has just licensed EBIF technology from BIAP Systems Inc. Others, such as Zodiac Interactive , have developed generic EBIF players. (See Boffo for EBIF.)

The road to tru2way
Longer term, iTV plans will be centered on tru2way, a richer platform that runs on newer, more advanced digital boxes. Several major U.S. cable operators will have their headends ready for tru2way by next July. (See Revealed: The Tru2way MOU.)

Comcast is already supporting tru2way-powered TVs from Panasonic Corp. (NYSE: PC) in Chicago and Denver, which allow customers to use the operator's interactive program guide and services like video on demand (VOD) without a separate set-top box. (See Denver, Chicago First to Get Tru2way TVs.)

Time Warner Cable is not yet supporting tru2way TVs in any of its markets on a commercial basis, but it has rolled out 1.5 million digital set-tops based on the platform. Early on those boxes are supporting Time Warner Cable's "resident" applications, including its in-house navigator, but the company hopes third parties will step up to supply new apps and services, as well. With tru2way, "the barrier to entry is sort of eliminated," Benya said.

Premium programmer Showtime Networks Inc. hopes to participate in all phases of cable's ITV evolution -- from EBIF to tru2way. It has already developed a set of apps for EBIF that allow customers to order the service or play sports trivia games that synch up to live programs.

David Preisman, vice president of interactive television for Showtime, said content developers and programmers should not expect iTV apps to start raking in the cash from day one, but called on programmers and content developers to participate early on to help hasten the evolution of the business model.

"There has to be some content out there to prime the pump," Preisman said.

"If we try to establish the perfect business model, we won't have the chicken or the egg," Hess added.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

(3)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
OldPOTS
50%
50%
OldPOTS,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:27:15 PM
re: Comcast, TWC Plan for EBIF
http://www.lightreading.com/do...

OP
paolo.franzoi
50%
50%
paolo.franzoi,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:27:11 PM
re: Comcast, TWC Plan for EBIF

OP,

Here is interactive "TV" with a long storyline (they call it lore) lots of characters and interaction on a global basis....it should do about $200M in revenue this week and another $1B or so annually for a few years (it already does the latter).

http://www.worldofwarcraft.com...

seven
OldPOTS
50%
50%
OldPOTS,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:27:06 PM
re: Comcast, TWC Plan for EBIF
Sorry
Forgot about 2 way games
From The Founder
Kicking off BCE 2017, Light Reading founder Steve Saunders lays blame for NFV's slow ramp-up and urges telecom to return to old-fashioned standards building and interoperability.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Interviews
Masergy: It's Time for SD-WAN Options

6|28|17   |   03:09   |   (0) comments


Paul Ruelas, director of network products for Masergy, explains how adding SD-WAN has changed the service mix for his company's customers. In some cases, the change is incremental, enabling more granular customer control. Masergy's newest version, SD-WAN Go, gives up some of those controls for a streamlined version targeting mid-sized customers with the most ...
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Intel Ushers in the Revolutionary 5G Era

6|28|17   |   5:00   |   (1) comment


5G will bring job opportunities for women in telco and IT, as well as a whole new era of communications for consumers and industries of all kinds, says Caroline Chan, vice president and general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division at Intel.
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX at ANGA COM

6|27|17   |     |   (0) comments


At ANGA COM 2017, Cyrille Morelle, president and CEO of VeEX, updates Alan Breznick with VeEX's new products and technology. This includes VeSion cloud-based platform for network monitoring, AT2500-3G advanced spectrum analyzer and MTTplus-900 WiFi Air Expert module. He also comments on DOCSIS 3.1 deployment and Remote PHY technology.
LRTV Custom TV
The Overall Objective Is to Win the Game

6|26|17   |     |   (0) comments


SCTE•ISBE's Chris Bastian discusses Energy 2020's success to date and the importance of a flexible approach that allows for changes in specific strategies in order to reach significant milestones.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink: Let's Get Past SD-WAN Hype

6|23|17   |   04:02   |   (0) comments


Technology becomes a "shiny object" unless it's properly focused on solving business needs for enterprise customers, says Bill Grubbs, network solutions architect for CenturyLink. He explains to Light Reading why SD-WAN deployments have to be tailored to specific needs – and more.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Infinera's Sales Director Paints Tech's Big Picture

6|21|17   |   4:14   |   (1) comment


Shannon Williams, Infinera's director of sales, shares how she achieves work's many balancing acts -- between her role and the broader company, today and tomorrow's tech and more.
LRTV Custom TV
SD-WAN Innovation & Trends

6|20|17   |     |   (0) comments


Versa CEO Kelly Ahuja discusses with Carol Wilson the current status and trends in the SD-WAN market, Versa's innovation around building a software platform with broad contextualization, and the advantages that startups can bring to the SD-WAN market.
LRTV Interviews
Ovum's Dario Talmesio on 5G in Europe

6|20|17   |   02:16   |   (0) comments


At 5G World 2017, Dario Talmesio, principal analyst and practice leader on Ovum's fixed and mobile telecoms European team, explains the emerging trends amongst European operators as they prepare for 5G.
LRTV Custom TV
Putting Power on a Pedestal

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


ARRIS's John Ulm says a major accomplishment of SCTE•ISBE's Energy 2020 program is increased focus on power cost and consumption, including inclusion of energy requirements in operators' RFPs and RFIs.
LRTV Custom TV
Gigabit Access: The Last-Mile Pipe for All Future Services

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


A Gigabit access platform being deployed today must be able to deliver all types of services to an increasing number of devices. A non-blocking architecture is necessary to support the ever-increasing growth in bandwidth demand. The Huawei Gigabit access solution is based on a distributed design that is fully scalable to deliver a unprecedented performance.
LRTV Custom TV
Key Factors to Successfully Deploy an SD-WAN Service

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


As service providers transition their SD-WAN solution from trials and limited deployments into production at large scale, there are important considerations to successfully operationalize these solutions and realize their full potential, without adding complexity, introducing uncertainty or disrupting current business operations. Sunil Khandekar, CEO and Founder ...
LRTV Custom TV
IoT Solutions: Rational Exuberance

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


IoT solutions are morphing from hype into viable business opportunities. Huawei has the platform and ecosystem support to help carriers successfully address new business opportunities in the IoT space.
Upcoming Live Events
October 18, 2017, Colorado Convention Center - Denver, CO
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
No Imagination: UK Chip Biz Goes Up for Sale
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/22/2017
Does AT&T Deserve Time Warner?
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 6/23/2017
Hulu Is Greatest Threat to Pay-TV Providers – Study
Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation, 6/27/2017
Calix: Russo's Not-So-Overnight Success?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 6/28/2017
Verizon Takes 'One Fiber' to More Cities
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 6/22/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Following a recent board meeting, the New IP Agency (NIA) has a new strategy to help accelerate the adoption of NFV capabilities, explains the Agency's Founder and Secretary, Steve Saunders.
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.