Video services

Startup Builds TV Widgets for NSN

LAS VEGAS -- TelcoTV 2010 -- Interactive media startup L4 Media used the show here today as a launching pad for its television widget platform, designed for IPTV service providers, and backed by its first customer, Nokia Networks .

Through a widget-based interface, dubbed Panorama, L4 gives consumers access to apps like Twitter Inc. and Facebook , as well as those focused on local weather and sports information. As the NSN connection goes, the app layer platform is integrated into its IPTV middleware and will be made available to NSN's Ubiquity TV customers in the coming months. (See Nokia Siemens in App Land.)

Why it matters
TV widgets are attracting attention because service providers think they can replicate the success of mobile app stores -- but this time without being cut out of the revenue equation.

The booming mobile market is encouraging a lot of companies to give widgets a whack, including big names Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), and Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO), software companies like NDS Ltd. and Rovi Corp. , and fellow startups like CloverLeaf Digital LLC.

L4 Media is a division of developer L4 Mobile, which works with brands like MTV and VH1 to create mobile apps. The company's founders, president Bruce James and CTO Brandon Albers, say Panorama is different from its competitors because it is white labeled, giving telcos control. Among other pluses, it mirrors mobile, and focuses on making TV social again.

"We allow the operators to preserve their own brand, which Google and Yahoo don’t," Albers says. "They just went through that in mobile, and our goal is to stop that from happening on the TV."

For more
For more on where service providers are placing their bets and the bevy of vendor options they have to choose from, please check out these other stories:

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

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