Miniweb, a company spun out of Sky in the United Kingdom, will be showing its interactive service provider platform that aims to enable web-style interactivity for viewers across multiple television distribution networks. Miniweb says it makes it easy to design, build and publish interactive television sites using internet technologies.
TV Sites are interactive destinations that are made available to the consumer through the TV Key homepage accessed using a TV remote control. A specific site can be accessed directly by entering a numeric shortcut known as a TV Key, which can be used as an on-screen interactive prompt and connects a viewer directly to a TV Site.
The approach was pioneered at Sky and is now being developed by Miniweb, following a management buy out. In addition to the Sky platform, Miniweb is aiming to see its technology adopted by other operators.
“Broadcasters can now deliver targeted and relevant interactivity to make their channels more engaging by enhancing their programming with broadband delivered, internet derived content,” said Ian Valentine, the chief architect and founder of Miniweb.
Ian was originally co-founder of waptv, the company acquired by Sky for its wTVML micro-browser technology. He then spent four years as director of technical alliances at Sky New Media. Patrick Sanson, the other co-founder of waptv, went on to become chief technology officer of Tamblin, which was subsequently acquired by Alcatel-Lucent. He now serves as chief technology officer of Miniweb. The company recently appointed Andrew Carver as its chief executive.
Miniweb has secured funding of up to $32 million to finance international growth, led by American venture capital backers Meritage Funds and DeGeorge Holdings.
“Miniweb answers a clear global need for interactive services using open technology that can work on existing TV devices with a remote control,” commented its new chief executive. “The standards based platform and browser are TV device and middleware agnostic, making them easy and more cost effective to deploy than proprietary solutions across cable, satellite, terrestrial or IPTV broadband networks.”
James Allen of Meritage Funds has become chairman of Miniweb. He said: “We have reviewed a number of interactive TV and advertising propositions and believe that Miniweb’s offering stands out not only by delivering its innovative, standards-based technology that offers advantages to every member of the broadcast and broadband value chain but also by being globally deployable and scalable on virtually any TV distribution network or TV device.”