Upping the interactive quotient on its digital-TV platform, Cablevision Systems Corp. last week added five new ITV applications and rolled out its entire service package to its 1.1 million iO: Interactive Optimum subscribers.
The new applications include weather, traffic, information, in-house promotion and puzzles. The MSO-wide deployment now means Cablevision joins Charter Communications Inc. and Insight Communications Co. in offering interactive features to large portions of their subscriber bases.
“This is a watershed moment in the development of our iO digital cable service,” Cablevision vice president of ITV development and operations Patrick Donoghue said.
Among the free features:
- Metro Weather Interactive will feature highly localized weather information, plus regional, national and international reports, as well as detailed marine forecasts and advisories.
- Metro Traffic Interactive will include delay advisories, specific reports on bridges, tunnels and road conditions and select live camera shots of frequently traversed roadways.
- iO Dashboard is an interactive informational portal with embedded video, allowing viewers to scan current news, sports and entertainment headlines as well as personally relevant traffic, weather, lottery and horoscope information.
- iO Showcase is a promotional channel that provides information on Cablevision’s digital services, video-on-demand and HDTV packages.
- Move 'n’ Match Puzzles includes educational games for children.
The five new features join iO games’ Variety Pak (with such games as “Bob the Baloney Frog” and “Tetris”) and a new Casino gaming package. Cablevision charges $4.95 a month for each offering.
The new Casino offering includes “Blackjack,” “Caribbean Poker,” “Roulette,” “Video Poker,” “Battle Royal,” “Slots” and “Keno.”
Cablevision said it plans in the next few weeks to give consumers the capability to upgrade to any of those gaming packages via remote control.