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Cutting Edge

Emmys for Advanced Media

The National Television Academy has created two technical Emmys: one for interactive television and another for new-media content and applications. The official titles of the categories: Outstanding Achievement in Advanced Media Technology for the Enhancement of Original Television Content and Outstanding Achievement in Advanced Media Technology for the Creation of Non-Traditional Programs or Platforms. The deadline for entries is Aug. 11 for work that was aired or distributed between Sept. 1, 2002, and July 31, 2003.

Comcast, TWC Test Microsoft TV

Comcast and Time Warner Cable will perform trials of Microsoft TV's interactive program guide using Motorola DCT2000 set-top boxes. Time Warner's trial will take place in Beaumont, Texas; Comcast will conduct its test in Seattle. The Comcast trial will also include Microsoft TV Foundation, the company's digital-TV software platform designed to help network operators tie in on-demand and other digital TV services.

BBC Tech Profit Jumps 225%

BBC Technology reported an operating profit of 6.8 million Euros in 2003, a 225% increase from an operating loss of 8.5 million Euros in 2002. Deals with DirecTV, the Associated Press and ESPN helped give the company enough momentum to report a 298% profit on ordinary activities before interest and taxes and retained profits for the year of 4.9 million Euros, up 327%.

Surf's Up for TMS

Tribune Media Services acquired a portion of iSurfTV's assets, including an interactive programming guide (IPG) application, a patent portfolio related to IPGs, and other interactive-television services. According to TMS, the assets will enable it to offer an IPG application alongside its current passive electronic programming guide and other products. TMS President and CEO David D. Williams says the acquisition will allow a new approach to graphical information displays for IPGs. The patent portfolio includes nine U.S. patents and 83 pending patent applications in the U.S., along with 20 international applications.