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Time Warner Cable Licenses ITV Code

Time Warner Cable signed a five-year agreement with interactive-TV software developer BIAP to use the vendor's set-top-based software as part of an advanced-advertising platform.

The license agreement, financial terms of which were not disclosed, will allow Time Warner Cable's digital set-top boxes to run Enhanced TV Binary Interchange Format applications developed in-house, or by television networks and other third parties.

In addition, Time Warner Cable will use the BIAP ETV User Agent as part of the next version of its Mystro Digital Navigator program guide and the MSO has licensed the BIAP software-development kit.

BIAP's ETV User Agent is “a robust application platform that will serve Time Warner Cable well in the deployment of EBIF and properly support our interactive applications and advanced advertising,” TWC executive vice president for advanced engineering Mike Hayashi said in a statement.

The BIAP client software will primarily be used on the installed base of Time Warner Cable set-top boxes, mainly from Scientific Atlanta. TWC uses its own EBIF headend server.

Aaron Ye, BIAP's chief technology officer, said the company is in the midst of integrating the EBIF agent with the TWC resident application. “Once we finish the work, it's up to TWC to determine when they go live with it,” he said.

Time Warner Cable has already passed the BIAP EBIF platform through a series of application tests, Ye said.

The operator has deployed other BIAP applications, including an interactive fantasy-football tracker. BIAP's interactive TV-platform is currently available on 24 million set top boxes, principally with Time Warner Cable and satellite-TV provider Dish Network.

EBIF is a multimedia content format standard developed by CableLabs and designed to run on cable set-top boxes with a wide range of capabilities. EBIF is one of the key technologies to be used by Canoe Ventures, the six-operator advanced-advertising initiative currently in development.

Plano, Texas-based BIAP provides a platform to develop and deploy EBIF applications, as well as a portfolio of EBIF-based applications. The vendor also offers an advanced advertising product called “Canoe in a Box,” which can generate ad-targeting information for addressable advertising to individual set-top boxes.