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Cable Technology Feature Article

April 13, 2011

BCM Launches a Comprehensive Enhanced TV Platform Named Onyx

By Calvin Azuri, TMCnet Contributor

BCM, a leading provider of interactive television solutions, has launched Onyx, a comprehensive Enhanced TV (ETV) Platform. This platform helps programmers like cable operators and broadcast television stations to develop, insert, complete and report late-bind EBIF software applications into their advertisements and programs. Onyx is completely compliant with EBIF.

It has two major components – a web-based management console named Onyx Vantage, and an ETV carousel or streamer named Onyx MetaCast. Onyx Vantage provides the programmers the complete access and control over all their ETV applications. Onyx MetaCast can synchronously provide the ETV content to the multiplexer for the interactive events while the video and audio content is supplied by the other equipment of programmer.

In a release, Daniel Hassan, chairman and CEO of BCM, said that, “BCM was the first company to bring local television stations and cable operators together with the successful deployment of a working, interactive EBIF application with Clickable TV. The Onyx platform takes this one step further by providing our customers with a way to enable customized EBIF and non-EBIF applications on local broadcasters. The platform is easily integrated into existing workflows and will allow broadcasters to leverage the full value of their content and audience.”

Onyx allows the programmer to select one among the various ETV applications like ‘Request for Information’ (RFI (News - Alert)) for inserting. BCM has also developed one ETV RFI application named Clickable TV that has been fully installed and operating commercially in Montgomery, Alabama. Clickable TV enables the local broadcasters to create interactive events called Clickable Moments that can be scheduled for synchronous play-out with the video content. It also allows the broadcaster to receive consumer responses and real-time reports about the event insertion.

Madeleine Noland, CTO of BCM, said that, “The Onyx platform provides local broadcasters with a tool to insert EBIF applications into their programming. This allows the cable operator to offer the broadcaster’s enhanced programming to subscribers with minimal operational overhead. Programmers can insert interactive events into their ads via connection to the ad server or to their news programming via the user interface. This opens up a wealth of options to create a more enhanced experience for their customers and to create additional streams of revenue.”

In other news, BCM recently announced the launch of Clickable TV in Montgomery, Ala.According to a release, WSFA 12 News and WCOV Fox 20 along with their NBC and Fox affiliations are participating in the launch to Knology (News - Alert) digital HD cable subscribers in the Montgomery area. BCM, Knology, WSFA and WCOV will collaborate to promote and introduce this service during the first quarter of 2011 Clickable TV is the first of several products and services that will be announced by BCM in 2011.

Calvin Azuri is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Calvin’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell