Tech Briefs

Mar 15, 2004  •  Post A Comment

In an effort to make digital television from local broadcasters more easily and widely available, automation company Crispin Corp. and DTV technology firm Linx Electronics have partnered to produce an automated real-time DTV guide. In industry lingo, that’s the PSIP, or program and system information protocol, which refers to the information that tells DTV viewers what’s on. Automating this information in real time allows stations to eliminate the need for manual entry of such data, said Steve Smith, VP, engineering, with Liberty Corp., which operates 15 TV stations around the country. Liberty is an investor in Linx and also is the first broadcaster to use the automated PSIP solution, at its NBC affiliate WAVE-DT in Louisville, Ky., CBS station WTOL-DT in Toledo, Ohio, and NBC affiliate WIS-DT in Columbia, S.C. The system will be installed at the 12 remaining Liberty stations by end of the year and is available to the rest of the industry. “[Digital] TVs can’t work right if they don’t have the right PSIP,” said Jim Zagrobelny, VP, software development, at Crispin.
Hustler Readies TV on Demand
LFP Broadcasting said it will launch Hustler TV on Demand next month. LFP said Hustler Video titles have been top performers for other adult networks. Hustler will use its videos, DVDs, magazines, Internet and other owned media to cross-promote the VOD service.
ESPN to Add VOD Content
ESPN plans to add VOD-exclusive content to its more than 3,000-hour VOD offering. That includes interviews with athletes and other excerpts from the “SportsCentury” series that haven’t been seen before, and content from the network’s series “The Life.” Exclusive content should help operators sell their VOD services, ESPN said.
Mag Rack Adds Hotel Rooms
Rainbow Media-owned Mag Rack has partnered with On Command Corp. in a deal that provides Mag Rack’s on-demand niche video magazines to more than 300,000 hotel rooms across the country. The five most popular titles have been available since February, offering selections from “Classic Cars,” “Motorcycle Freedom,” “Your Next Car,” “Yoga Retreat” and “Personal Trainer.”
Cable’s High-Speed Net Subs Rise
Cable operators added about 4.5 million high-speed Internet customers in 2003, or about 60 percent of the total broadband additions across both cable and DSL, according to new findings from research firm Leichtman Research Group. Overall the top cable companies claim 63 percent of the broadband market, with more than 15.5 million high-speed customers, compared with 9.1 million for DSL. Last year was a record one for high-speed, with the top 20 cable and DSL providers adding a combined 7.4 million high-speed customers.