BELL ATLANTIC TO OPEN INTERACTIVE PRODUCTION CENTER; FCC APPROVES N.Y. VOD TEST; KIDS INTERACTIVE NETWORK COMING; OTHER NEWS:

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Bell Atlantic Corp. will open a digital production center in Reston, Va., in July to support its Stargazer interactive TV test. The production center will be able to convert programming from studios, TV networks and marketers into interactive services consumers can access. The center also will house equipment to deliver interactive programming and record transactions. Bell Atlantic recently completed a technical test of interactive services including video on demand and expects to start a market trial this summer, pending regulatory approval.

Rochester Telephone Corp., an independent phone company, was granted Federal Communications Commission approval to test video on demand services in 100 homes in Rochester, N.Y. The six-month test is slated to begin in May in conjunction with USA Video Corp., Century City, Calif. Offerings will include movies, home shopping, sports and educational services. Rochester Telephone has 1.5 million customers in 22 states.

DaVinci Time & Space was formed by computer designers Carol Peters and Jeff Apple to develop an ad-supported, interactive TV network for children. The company, with offices in Los Angeles and San Mateo, Calif., has raised $5 million to date from Oak Investment Partners, Greylock Management Corp. and Venrock Associates. DaVinci plans to produce interactive kids programming for various upcoming TV tests and will begin offering services in 1995. Ms. Peters, chairman/co-ceo, is a former director of engineering for Silicon Graphics. Mr. Apple, co-ceo, headed his own TV production company in Los Angeles, Apple Productions.

U.K. cable TV company Encom Cable TV & Telecommunications has agreed to purchase 200,000 interactive Videoway set-top boxes from Montreal-based Groupe Videotron. ... Prodigy Services Corp. is adding new services including an expanded sports section with ESPN, an online edition of Newsweek and a TV listing guide with TVSM's Total TV. ... IT Network, Dallas, is planning an initial public offering of 3.2 million shares of common stock, pending Securities & Exchange Commission approval. .. Cheryl Snyder to director of marketing and sales, a new post at FutureVision of America Corp., Philadelphia, from northeast regional sales manager, Instant Video Technologies, San Francisco.

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