Charter Eyes EBIF For 50% Of Digital Footprint By End Of 2010

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Charter Communications expects to have deployed support for the Enhanced TV Binary Interchange Format -- the CableLabs interactive TV spec that forms the basis for Canoe Ventures' initial services -- to about half its digital set-tops by the end of the year to deliver interactive programming and advertising.

As of the end of 2009, Charter had approximately 3.2 million digital video subscribers with 4.8 million digital set-tops deployed, meaning the MSO is aiming for around 1.6 million households to have EBIF-enabled set-tops by the end of 2010.

Charter has selected the EBIF platform from FourthWall Media (formerly BIAP). In addition, the cable operator will use FourthWall's Event Stream Collection to compile anonymous usage data across its linear, DVR and interactive platforms in conjunction with Concurrent's video-on-demand and back-end data solution.

Canoe, owned by Charter and the five other largest U.S. cable operators, expects to debut a request for information interactive TV service in the second quarter of 2010 that is based on EBIF.

"EBIF is the agreed-upon standard among cable operators and is supported by Canoe, so Charter's platform will be consistent with Canoe's ITV roadmap," Charter said in a statement.

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