Cable Operators

Interactive-TV Firm Ensequence Targets Over-the-Top Video Platforms

5/16/2011 12:01 AM Eastern

Ensequence is taking interactive TV
beyond cable and satellite.

The New York-based company has historically specialized
in developing interactive applications for pay
TV providers and programmers. Now it is extending its
focus to deliver ITV apps to connected-
TV devices, as well.

“We’re going to be wherever
our programmer customers want
us to be,” Ensequence vice president
of marketing and product
management Kevin Hurst said.

“What we’re hearing is, programmers
want to take the interactivity
they have on cable and take it
everywhere.”

The company built a showcase
application that displays maps of
live traffic conditions that runs on the Yahoo Connected
TV Widget Engine.

Ensequence targeted the Yahoo platform because it’s
currently the most widely deployed, Hurst said. Nearly
10 million TV sets from Samsung, LG, Vizio, Sony and
Toshiba have shipped with the widget software, according
to Yahoo. He added, however, that Yahoo doesn’t
track exactly how many are connected to the Internet.

The free live-traffic widget is powered by MapQuest’s
maps and traffic data for the U.S. and Canada. Viewers
can customize the app by saving multiple routes,
and zoom in to a street-level map overlaid with up-tothe-
minute traffic conditions, construction delays and
alerts.

Cable’s Enhanced TV Binary Interchange Format
is still a core focus for Ensequence, Hurst said. “EBIF
is the biggest interactive-TV platform out there,” he
said, with close to 20 million homes enabled for the
interactive spec.

The foray into connected TV
is to “take our chops from the
traditional interactive TV space
and apply it to the new space, to
understand what’s possible and
what’s now,” Hurst said.

Ensequence’s customers include
NBC Universal, MTV
Networks, ESPN, Showtime
Networks, The Walt Disney Co.,
Turner Broadcasting System,
HBO, Comcast, Time Warner Cable,
Canoe Ventures, Dish Network, DirecTV and Verizon
Communications.

March