itaas Develops EBIF Solution to Expand Availability of Interactive Platform

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010
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itaas ports the TVWorks user agent to the Cisco Systems platform to expand the footprint of EBIF enabled devices to cover the vast majority of deployed set tops

ATLANTA, GA — itaas today announced that it has completed integration and development work with Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) on a user agent built on CableLabs’ Enhanced Binary Interface Format (EBIF) specification for use on Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) set-top boxes. This will enable MSOs, including Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), to expand their current EBIF-enabled footprints and accelerate deployment of interactive advertising and other enhanced applications – such as caller ID, widgets for news and weather, customer self-service and instant subscription type interactive applications – to set tops already in customers’ homes.

The user agent is built on the EBIF engine developed by TVWorks, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Comcast, and builds on the companies’ collaborative efforts to help cable operators quickly and reliably deploy a standard interactive television platform. Through a licensing agreement with TVWorks, itaas offers MSOs an EBIF deployment package for use with Motorola set-top boxes that includes a license, deployment support and maintenance services.

“We are excited to provide development expertise to extend the reach of the EBIF platform” said Vibha Rustagi, CEO of itaas. “The in-depth experience that we have gained in porting this user agent lends itself to our ability to support it for other MSOs also wishing to deploy EBIF applications in the near future, regardless of which set-top boxes their customers are using.”

Comcast has deployed the TVWorks EBIF user agent across 12 million homes, representing over 20 million set-top boxes, and plans to begin trialing the newly ported user agent in its Cisco footprint later this year.

“We’re using EBIF to help our customers enjoy new ways of interacting with the programming and services on their televisions, like caller ID, and this is an important step in being able to bring these types of enhanced experiences to even more people,” said Mark Hess, Senior Vice President of Advanced Business and Technology Development for Comcast.”itaas continues to be a terrific partner in helping us efficiently and effectively support EBIF on as many set-top types as possible.”

itaas’ portfolio of services includes a full range of software design, development, integration and support services for MSOs, Programmers, Application Developers and Technology Providers. In addition, itaas supports the development and deployment of interactive applications and services through the istart developer program. This program offers SDKs and support for Time Warner Cable’s MDN, ODN and MAS software, Cisco’s SARA/PowerTV and OCAP Axiom, FourthWall Media’s EBIF user agent and the TVWorks ETV platform. itaas also recently announced the ability to make enhancements to the SARA guide platform and to test DTA devices in anticipation of deployment.

Several EBIF applications running on this user agent will be on display at the itaas booth (#439) at The Cable Show 2010, May 11-13 in Los Angeles. itaas will also have a sample EBIF application using the TVWorks user agent on Cisco, Motorola and Pace plc set top boxes in the booth. Over 14 other applications, 3D concept demo, and many more interactive demonstrations will be shown as well.