Cablevision Goes Wide With Interactive TV, EBIF

Cablevision Systems has now deployed Zodiac Interactive's interactive TV platform -- including support for the industry's EBIF specification -- across the MSO's entire New York-area footprint serving 2.9 million digital cable subscribers.

The operator is using Zodiac's PowerUp framework software, running on Cisco Systems' native set-top box environment, to run several interactive applications and services. These include iO TV Shortcuts, search, an enhanced program guide, video-on-demand navigation and dedicated ITV channels.

The companies also are working together on Cablevision's remote-storage DVR -- which the operator has been planning to launch this year -- and the MSO is using Zodiac's PowerUp Advanced Messaging Solution (AMS) software to integrate Web and mobile applications with set-top boxes.

In addition, the Cablevision deployment includes Zodiac's EBIF user agent and headend systems, as previously reported by Multichannel News. CableLabs' EBIF, the Enhanced TV Binary Interchange Format, forms the foundation Canoe Venture's initial interactive advertising services. Cablevision is one of the six founding MSOs behind Canoe, along with Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Charter Communications and Bright House Networks.

"Through Zodiac Interactive's PowerUp Platform, we are able to design and build pioneering interactive applications for TV, as well as guarantee that our millions of subscribers have access to advanced next-generation applications, like mobile integration with home-based services," Cablevision senior vice president of software technology Richard Neill said in a statement. "In addition, Zodiac's unique offering allows us to write once and deploy everywhere, which is crucial in today's hyper-competitive market."

Cablevision is the biggest customer for Valley Stream, N.Y.-based Zodiac.

"We are honored to continue working with Cablevision and look forward to helping the company maintain and expand its position as a clear leader in its market and one of the world's largest and most successful cable and technology companies," Zodiac CEO Brandon Brown said in a statement.

Zodiac announced the availability of an EBIF agent for Cisco set-tops in December 2008.