Interactive TV has been something of a moving target for vendors and cable operators, but the image is starting to gain focus thanks to CableLabs’ ETV-BIF (enhanced television—binary interchange format) standard. Today Ensequence, a provider of interactive TV authoring software and services, and TVWorks announced a partnership to help bring enhanced television applications to North American cable subscribers. “TVWorks has been a pioneer in interactive TV set-top box and deployment software and was one of the first to demonstrate and implement an interactive TV application platform on the Motorola DCT2000 and the Scientific Atlanta Explorer 2000 set- top boxes,” said Dalen Harrison, Ensequence CEO, in a press release. “We have been working together for the past year to push the limits of the interactive TV experience that can be delivered to digital cable viewers cost-effectively and quickly, using Ensequence authoring tools.” Under the terms of the partnership, programming networks, advertisers and cable operators can use Ensequence interactive TV authoring software to create interactive TV applications that run on the TVWorks enhanced TV platform. TVWorks is a joint venture between Comcast Communications and Cox Communications focused on developing next-generation interactive cable technology and services According to the press release, the TVWorks platform enables deployment of applications based on ETV-BIF. The standard speeds the time-to-broadcast and return on investment for interactive TV applications and allows a set of interactive TV applications to be created once for the majority of the installed digital cable set-top boxes in North America. Authoring tools play an essential role in enabling developers to quickly and cost-effectively create compelling interactive experiences that run on the TVWorks platform. Comcast and Cox selected the TVWorks platform as their interactive application platform on Motorola and Scientific Atlanta set-top boxes, which are already in more than 13 million customer homes. Ensequence software now supports the TVWorks ETV-BIF platform in addition to PowerTV and OCAP standards for cable. The partnership includes the integration of the Ensequence on-Q Create authoring suite with the TVWorks platform. “The Ensequence on-Q Create software provides the right balance between ease of use and depth of functionality,” said Irv Kalick, President, TVWorks Applications Division, in a prepared statement. “Ensequence software is modular, based on open standards and plugs right into our existing standards-based platform, which is a huge benefit for the cable industry.”

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