Video on demand continues to be a hot topic in the UK and continental Europe. The latest push comes from British operator ntl, which announced its plan to roll out the service to an additional 100,000 customers by the first week in August. That brings its total to some 375,000. Last October, Seachange International announced that it had won ntl’s deployment launch business. Set-tops, By the Numbers Reported 2005 fourth quarter numbers from Scientific-Atlanta include sales of 1.19 million set-tops; 542 thousand digital video recorders (DVRs); and 454,000 high-definition set-tops. (Those numbers include 300,000 HD DVRs.) Second quarter numbers from Motorola include shipments of 1.12 million "core interactive digital set-tops; 191,000 HD standalone set-tops with no DVR; and 644,000 HD/DVR set tops. As for digital set-tops worldwide, UK-based IMS Research says that China supplied 35 percent of this market in 2004 and expects it to produce 56 percent of these boxes by 2010. China exports about half of the digital set-tops it produces, and is expected to continue doing so despite high, anticipated domestic growth rates. DVRs Rank Third, Says Jacob Motorola also trumpeted the views of 10-year old "Jacob," whom they made available for media interviews. According to the press release, the tech-savvy grade-schooler, who helps his parents with the DVR, ranked his favorite electronic toys as follows: 1, iPod; 2, PSP; 3, DVR; 4, Xbox; 5, PS2 IPTV, Italian-style Telecom Italia has launched IPTV trials in four major Italian cities. Deployments in 21 Italian cities are expected this fall. Partners for this 4 Mbps ADSL service include Alcatel, Microsoft and Pirelli. Interactive Movements Grande Communications is working with ICTV to expand the operator’s next generation television services. The ICTV-based interactive services, which have been deployed in  Austin, San Antonio and San Marcos, are now being launched in Corpus Christi, Midland, Odessa and Waco. Meanwhile, ICTV announced that Jeff Miller has assumed the position of president and CEO. Previously SVP of engineering, he replaces Mike McGrail. Meanwhile, the Game Show Network plans to bring 1-screen interactivity to the contiguous US. Already deployed in Time Warner’s Hawaii-based Oceanic system (named by Communications Technology a 2005 Top Tier System), GSN is planning to launch in two to three additional markets in the continental U.S., according to GSN’s Interactive SVP John Roberts. Deploying this service requires Gold Pocket Interactive’s headend equipment. On-Demand Asset Milestone IMAKE’s OpenVision Asset Manager now supports more than 4,800 on demand video and music titles and over 2,500 hours of content each month, says the company. The OpenVision product suite is an open standards-based platform that supports broadcast, on demand and IPTV content.

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YouTube Originals No More, Daniels Departing

Susanne Daniels , YouTube ’s Global Head of Originals, is stepping down on March 1 and the company as a whole is pivoting away from its YouTube Originals initiative. While its YouTube Originals slate won’t

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