Cable Show 2010: Charter Picks Itaas For EBIF

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Charter Communications has reached an agreement with interactive-TV developer Itaas for the license, installation and support of the TVWorks Enhanced TV Binary Interchange Format platform.

Under the pact, Charter will use the TVWorks-developed EBIF user agent for Motorola set-tops; the Pathway Communications Suite; and the OCAP Services Library (OSL) components of the interactive platform. The software is developed by Comcast subsidiary TVWorks; Itaas has a license agreement to make the EBIF software available to other MSOs.

Charter, with the EBIF platform, expects to begin deploying interactive advertising and services. The MSO is also using EBIF software from FourthWall Media (formerly BIAP) and has said it expects 1.6 million EBIF-enabled homes in 2010.

"The TVWorks EBIF platform is a key component for providing new interactive applications to our customers," said Doug Ike, Charter's vice president of advanced video and applications engineering.

"Licensing and supporting EBIF deployment to MSOs such as Charter is critical to increasing the footprint of EBIF enabled set tops and is an integral part of the Itaas EBIF offering," Itaas chief operating officer Jaspal Bhasin said. "This is a natural extension of our iTV commitment that helps accelerate the pace of deployment and provide rich interactive to consumers faster."

Earlier this week, Comcast and Itaas announced they have completed development and integration work on an EBIF user agent for Cisco Systems set-tops running the i-Guide interactive program guide. Comcast has deployed the TVWorks EBIF user agent to more than 20 million Motorola set-tops to date.

Meanwhile, an industry effort led by Canoe Ventures this week announced the "SelecTV" consumer-facing brand initiative to promote cable's interactive television services.

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