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July 11, 2006 at 12:31 PM

UIEvolution goes after IPTV

No wonder Bellevue-based UIEvolution, a subsidiary of Japan-based Square Enix, is expanding the applications of its mobile phone platform to IPTV. (IPTV, for Internet Protocol Television, is digital TV delivered over a broadband connection, like fiber or DSL.)

Global IPTV subscriptions are expected to jump from two million to 34 million between 2005 and 2010, according to a report released by The Diffusion Group today.

In that time period, the number of North American IPTV households is also expected to near 14 million, with the U.S. accounting for nearly 80 percent of the subscriptions.

The last time I talked to UIEvolution President Chris Ruff, he gave me the lowdown on how it had been helping a company in Japan roll out a service that allows customers to download movies on demand. In the U.S., UIEvolution is trying to expand its image from being only a mobile phone software platform.

“In the U.S., we are trying to begin to tell the UIEvolution story around [Video on Demand] and cable set-top boxes,” Ruff said.

Ruff says he sees a lot of similarities between mobile and IPTV. The company is focused on making a really easy-to-use interface so that people can scan through thousands of movie titles easily. On a mobile phone that’s difficult because of the small screen and limited keypad. That’s also true on TV. Although the screen is typically much larger, the keypad — or remote control — is still limiting.

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