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New widget platform taken on by Nokia Siemens for IPTV with social links

The idea that the TV industry can just have one App platform has pretty much gone by the by already – our first widget platform came from Yahoo, and G

By PETER WHITE

Published: 18 November, 2010

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The idea that the TV industry can just have one App platform has pretty much gone by the by already – our first widget platform came from Yahoo, and Google TV is a TV app store with Android Market shoved on the side, and Apple TV is the same with its App Store added. But still more and more widget and app platforms are being launched and we see this as healthy and potentially many of these could survive, especially where they bring critical competitive function to a major pay TV supplier.

This week, one such system was launched in the form of L4 Media at the Telco TV show in the US. The new L4 system is intriguingly called Panorama, and the company says it is designed for IPTV providers who want to make it easy for consumers to access personalized content, like Twitter and Facebook updates, weather forecasts, and sports scores, directly from their televisions.

However the L4 announcement does come with a little clout, in that Nokia Siemens Networks is one of the first companies to integrate Panorama into its IPTV system. This automatically implies that the operators such as Belgacom and KPN will be sympathetic to the system, and are likely to be introduced to it in the near future and if they like it take it to millions of customers. Belgacom and KPN are the largest operators which use the Myrio middleware which got acquired by Siemens, who in turn formed part of NSN.

“We are launching L4 Media to enable people to discover content and interact with each other while watching TV” says L4, – well we’ve heard that before, and it’s not the same as a widget platform, instead this is a widget platform with social media widgets already built and ready to go.

L4 is clearly getting down to one of the most critical things in the future of TV. If you are not going to watch linear TV, or are going to watch it less and less, how do you find out about new series and programs which you might like – social networks may well be the answer, and right now they are likely to be the only answer which sticks out like a sore thumb. Everyone HAS to try them.

“We are launching L4 Media to enable people to discover content and interact with each other while watching TV,” said Brandon Albers, L4 Media Founder and CTO. “We want to usher in a new era where it is easy for mainstream television viewers to actively engage with the programs they are watching – to chat with celebrities, vote for contestants, and use social media to discuss shows with friends in real time.”

Panorama claims it is the only television widget platform architected from inception to incorporate mobile phone integration, social networking features, and unique revenue-generation capabilities. There is little technical detail on just what differentiates this offering but the company has been in “stealth mode” which means it has been working on this system for years without announcing anything, so the system should at least be mature and well thought out.

No sign of any such system in Europe yet, though in the US they all have to go up against Google TV, Apple TV and the old favorite TiVo.

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