Light Reading

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
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
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Networks of the future will rely on "white box" switches and servers rather than proprietary hardware and that's going to alter the shape of the communications industry. Who says so? John Chambers.
LRTV Custom TV
The Benefits of HyperScale Clouds for NFV

3|27|15   |   01:50   |   (0) comments


Hyperscale cloud has been developed by the Internet giants to support the creation and delivery of software-based services at blistering speeds, and at the lowest possible cost. The original ETSI NFV vision was to adopt hyperscale cloud architecture and practices. This vision has become somewhat obscured along the way, due to misunderstandings about the hyperscale ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
eLTE Rapid Meets the Need for Speed

3|26|15   |   4:45   |   (0) comments


Designed especially for emergency and dedicated ad hoc local mobile communications coverage, Huawei's eLTE Rapid solution can deliver trunked voice, video and data coverage for multiple users over a 6km range and be set up in just 15 minutes, explains Huawei's Norman Frisch.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
On Videos: Challenges & Opportunities

3|26|15   |   5:56   |   (0) comments


Most everything is now connected. And along with 4K and 4G technologies, everyone could be creating and broadcasting video contents. Users are expecting better video experience with any screen, anywhere and anytime. Operators will meet new challenges, but also see some big opportunities.
LRTV Custom TV
JDSU: Delivering Dynamic Networks for a Personalized Experience

3|26|15   |   5:59   |   (0) comments


Light Reading speaks to JDSU at Mobile World Congress 2015 about new solutions in the areas of HetNets, VoLTE, backhaul, virtualization, big data analytics, and real-time intelligence.
LRTV Custom TV
Smarter Service Chaining & New Ways to Benefit From Qosmos Technology

3|25|15   |   03:11   |   (0) comments


David Le Goff, director of strategic and product marketing at Qosmos, explains how the company has added application awareness to subscriber information to make service chaining more efficient and reduce costs for networking and infrastructure. In addition, Qosmos technology, which has been delivered as C libraries, is now also available as a virtual machine, ...
Between the CEOs
Qosmos CEO: The Changing Face of DPI

3|24|15   |   13:53   |   (0) comments


LR CEO and Founder Steve Saunders sits down with the head of Qosmos to talk about the changing state of the art in deep packet inspection technology, including its role in SDN and NFV architectures. Also, how the comms market is becoming more like the automotive industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
FC Schalke Scores With Its Agile Stadium

3|24|15   |   6:23   |   (0) comments


Top German soccer club FC Schalke 04 has deployed a new, agile WiFi network from Huawei in its Veltins-Arena stadium and is reaping the benefits in terms of customer satisfaction and business opportunities, explains marketing chief Alexander Jobst.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Insights on Mobile Video

3|24|15   |   7:51   |   (0) comments


More people than ever are now watching videos on smartphones. Seventy percent of mobile traffic will be video traffic until 2018. In this video, Huawei's exports give their insights on mobile video in terms of business model, network planning and 4G network construction.
LRTV Documentaries
The Rise of Industry 4.0

3|24|15   |   02:26   |   (9) comments


Are you ready for the fourth industrial revolution? It's a big deal for influential operators such as Deutsche Telekom.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Getting Connected With eLTE

3|23|15   |   06:04   |   (0) comments


Trunked radio communications have entered the 4G LTE world, and with Huawei's eLTE solution, can now deliver a full range of data and video services as well as push-to-talk voice, explains Huawei's Norman Frisch.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Funkwerk’s on Track With Huawei

3|19|15   |   3:23   |   (0) comments


GSM-R technology specialist Funkwerk and Huawei have forged a partnership that is benefiting both parties, notes Funkwerk's Gottfried Winter.
LRTV Documentaries
How EANTC Tested Cisco's Virtualization Solutions

3|18|15   |   5:49   |   (0) comments


Carsten Rossenhövel, managing director of independent test lab EANTC, tells Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the innovative approach his team had to take when validating Cisco's service provider virtualization and cloud solutions.
Upcoming Live Events
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 5, 2015, Hyatt McCormick Place, Chicago, IL
May 6, 2015, Georgia World Congress, Atlanta, GA
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
The Rise of Industry 4.0
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 3/24/2015
Google Hires Wall Street's Most Influential Woman as CFO
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 3/24/2015
AT&T Woos SMBs With Small-Scale WiFi
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 3/26/2015
Net Neutrality Suits: Only The Beginning?
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 3/24/2015
Average US Broadband Speeds No Great Shakes
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 3/25/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
LR CEO and Founder Steve Saunders sits down with the head of Qosmos to talk about the changing state of the art in deep packet inspection technology, including its role in SDN and NFV architectures.
Chattanooga’s EPB publicly owned utility comms company has become a poster child for how to enable a local economy using next-gen networking technology. Steve Saunders, Founder of Light Reading, sits down with Harold DePriest, president and CEO of EPB, to learn how EPB is bringing big time tech to small town America.
Cats with Phones
Interspecies Phone Love Click Here
"No, you hang up."
"No, YOU hang up."
Latest Comment