HSN unveils new iPhone application powered by Inlet streaming

Shoppers at HSN, an interactive lifestyle network and retail destination, can now purchase merchandise via their Apple iPhone or iTouch players. The 45 million subscribers to the devices that download the HSN Shop application can view HSN programming 24 hours a day, seven days a week, throughout the United States. The free application offers a live-video “three-screen experience” that allows consumers to browse and shop the network’s 35,000-plus array of products from home or on the go.

Inlet Technologies’ Spinnaker live streaming appliance provides the encoding backbone for the HSN Shop application’s streaming video. Spinnaker fully supports Apple’s HTTP adaptive streaming, which reduces buffering and other interruptions to create a high-quality viewing experience and diminish latency, helping HSN customers move through the purchasing process quickly. Inlet, a provider of encoding solutions for new media, has been an HSN Web-streaming partner since 2008.

In addition to the standard “at home” shopping fare, the HSN Shop application offers the interactive “shake2shop,” which, with a simple shake of the device, generates random product recommendations as well as deals and promotions targeted at HSN’s mobile customers.

The application also makes for a seamless transactional experience, allowing the user to call HSN directly or use the device’s browser to purchase an item. Items can also be saved for later purchase, or e-mailed to a friend.

The network’s Web site will soon feature a tutorial that walks all new users through the application’s various fundamentals and features.

HSN is currently undergoing a companywide, multichannel convergence effort, which includes expansion of its Shop-by-Remote service and complete transition to the HD (1080i) format.