News

Vidiom's Founders Peel Off from ADB

10/10/2008 8:00 PM Eastern

The founders of
interactive-TV software vendor Vidiom Systems are back in the swing of things with a new venture, dubbed enableTV.

Tim Wahlers and Walden Miller formed Boulder, Colo.-based enableTV last month after purchasing key assets from Vidiom and its parent company, set-top manufacturer Advanced Digital Broadcast.

The new company picked up employees, service contracts and software — including the Vidiom-developed tru2way software stack — from Switzerland's ADB, which had acquired Vidiom in 2006.

“We're first of all going to emphasize the services people knew Vidiom for, to deliver the projects that we're taking over,” Wahlers said.

Out of the gate, the company's customer base will include Comcast, Time Warner Cable and CableLabs.

In addition, EnableTV struck a deal with engineering services firm Solekai Systems to take over that company's 7,000-square-foot Boulder testing and engineering facility. As part of the deal, 10 Solekai employees are joining enableTV.

“With the facilities we have here, we expect to play a big role for testing interactive TV applications,” Wahlers said, noting that the company now owns fully operational headends from Motorola and Cisco Systems.

Financial terms of the deal with Solekai were not disclosed, although San Diego-based Solekai will retain an interest in the new venture.

“There will be an ongoing relationship between enableTV and us in terms of investment,” Solekai president and founder Martin Caniff said, adding that he hopes to work with enableTV at some point in the future.

EnableTV now has about 60 employees, with operations in Colorado and Portland, Ore.

The firm, in addition to picking up the Vidiom software for tru2way applications (formerly known as the OpenCable Application Platform, or OCAP), also obtained patents on application hosting and music video-on-demand, and products including the Vision Workbench application development tool set and ITV Dashboard, a multifunction set-top application to provide on-screen information.

ADB retains the ownership of the OCAP stack developed by Osmosys, its other interactive TV middleware subsidiary.

Wahlers has largely self-funded enableTV, but he's looking for outside investors to further develop the product side of the business and has a commitment from venture-capital firm Stage1 Ventures.

One new area of focus for enableTV next year will be “end-to-end solutions” that support interactive advertising, Wahlers said.

Wahlers founded Vidiom as an engineering consulting company in 1997, after working for interactive CD-ROM tools vendor OptImage.

Between 2001 and 2004, Vidiom worked with Time Warner Cable on the development of the Mystro system.

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