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EBIF – A Sign of the Times


Even as tru2way held the spotlight at The Cable Show this year, EBIF was equally present, and perhaps even more top of mind for MSOs. If tru2way is the gold standard, then EBIF is the currency you can use to cash out quickly.

Part of the evidence on site included a number of EBIF applications demoed across the show floor. Every time I turned around I bumped into one particular Showtime app that teases the premium channel with marketing vids, program details, and even free episodes of top shows. With a couple of clips you can order the channel right from your TV screen. The application has been trialed with Time Warner Cable, and reportedly will see major distribution later this year.

Meanwhile there was also plenty of talk around The Cable Show about Canoe’s efforts to introduce  EBIF-based interactive TV apps in the next several months.  And Comcast has also now said that it will have EBIF on 10 million set-tops by year’s end.

Of course, folks who are really paying attention know that Verizon is already out of the gate with EBIF. With very little fanfare, Verizon began deploying EBIF applications for FiOS TV across Motorola set-tops last year. Interactive TV is already here.

7 Responses

  1. As much as Tru2way wants to be the ring leader EBIF is the early adopter for now since reach is the #1 priority.

    The EBIF user agents are going to cause major pains for developers who jump on the bandwagon early to deploy interactive apps/ads.

    The variations in user agents is one thing I havent got people from canoe or cable industry to fess up to

  2. I’m a bit hazy on the extent of the differences between user agents too. I get the sense that the situation is somewhat analogous to designing a web page to be optimized for multiple different types of browsers, but I don’t know how accurate that is.

  3. […] it turns out Showtime is actually making money from the interactive application the company showed off at The Cable Show last month: a couple million dollars in annual revenue. Someone is making money from interactive […]

  4. […] buy premium content like ESPN pay-per-view events. Sound familiar? It’s a lot like the Showtime EBIF app that was demoed everywhere at The Cable Show this year. It’s a lot easier to get people hand […]

  5. […] While set-tops get bad-mouthed pretty regularly, they’ve become increasingly popular with consumers in the latter half of this decade. Set-tops brought digital video recording to the mass market. They made in-home TV networking possible. They’ve enabled the growth of Video on Demand services. And they’re supporting new interactive TV apps. […]

  6. […] OCAP) front and center at CES. Last year, the reality of legacy equipment in the field set in, and the focus shifted (back) to EBIF. This year EBIF has gotten an update, and several cable operators have committed to widespread EBIF […]

  7. […] bit more in the try-and-buy department. For example, when will we see widespread deployment of that Showtime teaser app demoed so heavily at the 2009 Cable Show? Give me free movies and TV episodes coupled with an easy […]

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