Finnish Cable TV starts commercial iTV services

Ortikon Interactive Ltd announced today that its ORTIKON ACE® MHP-based interactive TV services, platform and head-end management solution have passed all the acceptance tests set by the major Finnish cable consortium comprising 3KTV (Finnet), TTV (Elisa), Turku Cable and VLP (Vaasa Telephone Company), which together reach over 60% of Finnish cable households.

In the autumn of 2004, the consortium will launch commercial interactive MHP services which will include launcher, DVB-HTML browser, EPG, e-mail, welfare services, eLearning solutions, T-Commerce services, enewspapers, mobile communication services with SMS and enhanced MMS solutions and pay-TV package-ordering services. A head-end solution for automatic service-information management and tools for object carousel management will also be implemented. The whole package is based on the ORTIKON ACE® Platform which offers interfaces to payment, subscriber management, content databases and return channel systems as well as to CRM systems.

A pilot service was used to test the technical functions and the usability of the new services. “The pilot and the feedback from our pilot users were important in the development of MHP-based value-added services. We are now ready to offer MHP services to all of our 280.000 households,” explains Mikko Saarentaus, Content Director at 3KTV.

To expedite content creation and production, Ortikon Interactive has launched content-production guidelines for DVB-HTML-based digital television browser. By using this specification (available at contents and services are easily created to an MHP compatible digital TV environment.

Service production has attracted businesses outside the traditional media. For example, real estate agents and restaurants have found that this new marketing channel offers easy access to the right target groups with the possibility for real interactivity. Regional TV operators have also realized the importance of reaching the local public via services such as news, targeted interactive advertising and enewspapers.