Janus Friis and other Skype Ltd. founders have embarked on their next big project, called VDIO, and this one has the makings of a possible competitor to Netflix and LOVEFiLM International Ltd. , reports GigaOM. The service is currently in private beta and there's no word of a launch date, but VDIO will pipe TV and movies over the top, starting in the U.K.
Hulu LLC 's owners may again consider an initial public offering after the Web TV hub took itself off the sales block last week, reports Bloomberg, noting that the option would help Hulu raise funds to keep its executive team intact and add the kind of content it needs to compete with Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX), Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) and other over-the-top video players. Hulu nixed its original IPO plans last year, hopeful that a sale could fetch at least $2 billion. Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), Amazon and Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) were among those that were in the running for Hulu when the plug was pulled. (See Hulu: No Sale .)
Canoe Ventures LLC , the cross-MSO advanced ad venture, has released the implementation guidelines for "ExpandTV," a consumer-facing brand for interactive television (ITV) that's intended for use by cable operators, programmers and advertisers. ExpandTV, the replacement for SelecTV, is the moniker cable will use to indicate that an ad or program is interactive. Canoe is managing and licensing the brand on behalf of the industry. Here's the new logo:
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) U-verse TV is going social with the launch of four new apps that run on smartphones and tablets and synchs up with what's on the tube: BuddyTV (personalized recommendations and customizable TV guide); Miso (content sharing, show discovery); TV Foundry (trailers, interviews, songs and other TV companion content that can be shared on Facebook and Twitter); and Wayin (a way to share opinions, photos and other digital content tied to what a user is watching).
In case there's any lingering doubt, the cable guys still don't think AllVid, a potential successor to the current CableCARD rules, is necessary. A group of service providers and programmers fired off a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) outlining an argument that the retail market for smart video devices is developing without further government interference, and that another mandate could chill innovation. In addition to Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and TW Cable, this letter also enlisted the support of DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV), HBO, Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ).