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blinkx moves into TV with set-top box deal

LONDON - blinkx has struck a deal with interactive TV (iTV) company Miniweb that will see its video search services become available on digital set-top boxes across the UK.

The deal will significantly widen the audience for blinkx’s search offering, which indexes a broad range of online video content, including everything from YouTube to the web TV services offered by broadcasters, as well as recommendation and personalisation features.

Miniweb currently supplies the white label iTV software to Sky’s 9 million UK set-top boxes. The company, founded by Ian Valentine, former technical alliances director at Sky, allows advertisers, broadcasters and other content owners to launch what are effectively scaled down websites on the digital satellite platform.

There’s no garauntee that the deal will see blinkx become available in Sky’s 9 million homes, but teaming up with Miniweb will allow the company to offer tailored elements of its video search service to TV viewers across the UK.

blinkx via set-top boxes could also prove highly attractive to advertisers as profiles of the video search service’s users can be used to target ads. Broadcasters could also recommend specific on-demand shows to audiences based on their viewing habits.

blinkx is moving to blur the boundaries between TV and the web, recently launching a service that brings together all the British TV shows legally available free of charge on the web.

The blinkx Remote tool aggregates full-length TV content from a range of video-on-demand services, including BBC iPlayer, ITV, Channel 4’s 4oD and Demand Five.