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OMG, My Cable Is Out!

4/12/2010 12:01 AM Eastern

Can a Facebook app help cable
operators
zero in on video glitches?

That’s the premise of IneoQuest Technologies’
Vloop venture, which aims to
harvest viewers' feedback about
the quality of their TV service.

“The first thing you do when you lose power
is, you look out the window to see if the rest
of the block is affected,” IneoQuest CEO Marc
Todd said. In the same way, he said, Vloop will
let users see if others in their area are experiencing
video problems.

IneoQuest, which sells equipment to service
providers for monitoring video quality
and availability, will debut Vloop at the 2010
National Association of Broadcasters Show,
which runs April 12 to 15 in Las Vegas.

Vloop — which is free to consumers — uses
Facebook’s back-end system to let users chat
with each other, rate TV shows and report
problems with their service. The Vloop.com
site will be supplemented with apps in development
for Apple’s iPhone and the Yahoo Widget
platform for Internet-connected TVs.
Vloop uses TV listings from Tribune Media
Services to let viewers find shows.

Eventually Vloop (pronounced “va-LOOP”)
plans to sell metrics gathered from viewers
to help operators troubleshoot issues. It also
hopes to strike deals with cable networks
looking to interact with their audience. “We
think we have a good chance of going viral
with the Facebook app on the front end, then
making money on the back end,” Todd said.

IneoQuest is looking for outside investment
for Vloop, which has been established
as an independent company, Todd added.

Other notable demos set for the NAB floor:
Microsoft will show prototypes of devices
built with system-on-chip (SOC) partners Intel
and Broadcom for delivering Silverlight streaming
video to living-room TVs. Microsoft’s beta
version of Silverlight for SOCs is planned to be
ready for hardware and device manufacturers
to evaluate by the end of 2010. Adobe Systems,
Microsoft’s chief competitor in this space, similarly
is working with
Intel and Broadcom
to deliver Flash-enabled
consumerelectronics
devices.
The software giant
also is set to demonstrate
live, highdefinition 3D video
using Silverlight
and Internet Information
Server
Smooth Streaming,
in conjunction
with Avail-TVN,
Inlet Technologies,
Level 3 Communications
and
THX.

SnapStream will show off “the world’s largest
DVR,” capable of simultaneously recording
50 digital channels and storing more than
13 years’ worth of content — 115,200 hours of
standard-definition TV programming, with
more than 100 Terabytes of storage space. Th e
Houston company’s high-end DVR system is
aimed at commercial users who need to search
TV programming, which SnapStream indexes
using closed-captioning text.

September