Starz Unveils 'Enteract Now,' New Interactive TV Feature Allowing Easier Access to On Demand from Linear Channels

CableLabs and Comcast Join Starz for Demo of 'Enteract Now' - a New Interactive Application - at The Cable Show '09

WASHINGTON, April 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Cable Show '09 -- Robert B. Clasen, chairman and CEO of Starz, LLC, today officially introduced "Enteract Now," the first of several interactive television products the premium movie provider is developing that leverage new technologies to enhance the consumer viewing experience. Enteract Now gives viewers the ability to "Watch Now" and instantly link to the on demand version of a movie or other program they're watching on a traditional television channel using on-screen shortcuts. Clasen demonstrated Enteract Now in CableNET(R), a technology showcase co-sponsored by CableLabs and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) at The Cable Show '09 in Washington, D.C.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090402/LA91522)

Dr. Richard R. Green, president and CEO of CableLabs, and Brian Roberts, chairman of CableLabs Board of Directors and chairman and CEO of Comcast Corporation, joined Clasen onstage to applaud the new feature that's built on the CableLabs' Enhanced Binary Interchange Format (EBIF) specification for interactive TV being rolled out by cable operators. Because Enteract Now is built on the industry standard EBIF specification, it can be launched easily on any cable system where the EBIF platform has been deployed.

Once cable providers launch Enteract Now, viewers tuning to one of the standard or high-definition Starz, Encore or MoviePlex channels will see an icon on the television screen indicating that the movie or program also is available on demand. A quick click of the remote on the Enteract Now icon will instantly take them to the beginning of the on demand version of the program. Without Enteract Now a viewer tuning to a program that's already started on a linear channel would have to go through several different steps in order to first see if it's available on demand and then select it from the cable provider's on demand menu to be able to watch it from the beginning.

"This easy-to-use, non-intrusive feature will dramatically improve the viewing experience for our subscribers," Clasen said. "In fact, we think it's as important a consumer innovation as the introduction of preset radio station buttons in car radios were when they first came on the scene over 50 years ago."

Clasen said that while the usage of on-demand services has increased steadily in recent years, the rollout of Enteract Now will encourage more widespread use of on demand and HD on demand. Enteract Now also gives viewers the ability to instantly access a list of upcoming programming on the channel they are watching or link to a list of all movies available on demand from Starz, Encore or MoviePlex without changing the channel.

"Starz is delighted to be working with CableLabs' specifications, and we're looking forward to working with our cable affiliates to make this exciting new feature available to our customers," said Clasen noting that the Starz, Encore and MoviePlex services provide the best opportunity to introduce Enteract Now because they offer one of the largest collections of on demand product of any programming service. Collectively the three services offer up to 350 standard-definition and 70 high-definition movies and original programs on demand. The actual amount of programming available to consumers varies from cable system to cable system.

"Enteract Now is among the first of a number of new interactive applications being developed by programmers using the EBIF standard and is a terrific example of how cable is continuing to give consumers new ways to interact with programming on television," Roberts said. "As we roll out the EBIF interactive platform, we'll be looking for new applications like this that will give our customers features that bring more interactivity to the television experience."

"We greatly appreciate Starz working to achieve this kind of innovative application that is based on our industry specifications," said Dr. Green. "We look forward to seeing the development of many more applications like this."

Enteract Now will be on display for the balance of The Cable Show '09 in CableNET, the Starz Entertainment booth (#1505), the enableTV booth (#807), and the HITS AxIS section inside the Urban Loft area of the Broadband Nation exhibit. The Cable Show '09 runs through April 3 at the Walter E. Washington (D.C.) Convention Center.

Starz Entertainment, LLC, is a premium movie service provider operating in the United States. It offers 16 movie channels including the flagship Starz(R) and Encore(R) brands with approximately 17.7 million and 31.7 million subscribers respectively. Starz Entertainment airs more than 1,000 movies per month across its pay TV channels and offers advanced services including Starz HD, Encore HD, Starz On Demand, Encore On Demand, MoviePlex On Demand, Starz HD On Demand, Encore HD On Demand, MoviePlex HD On Demand, and Starz Play. Starz Entertainment (www.starz.com) is an operating unit of Starz, LLC, which is a controlled subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation, and is attributed to Liberty Entertainment Group, a tracking stock group of Liberty Media Corporation.

CableNET is a registered trademark of Cable Television Laboratories, Inc.

    Contacts:

    Tom Southwick                       Eric Becker
    Starz Entertainment                 Starz Entertainment
    (720) 852-5821 (direct)             (720) 852-4065 (direct)
    (303) 513-3758 (cell)               (303) 638-3469 (cell)
    tom.southwick@starz.com             eric.becker@starz.com

    Jenni Moyer                         Mike Schwartz
    Comcast                             CableLabs
    (215) 286-3311                      (303) 661-3766
    jenni_moyer@comcast.com             m.schwartz@cablelabs.com

SOURCE Starz Entertainment



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