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OpenTV/BigBand team on network streamlining

Tue, 07/10/2001 - 8:00pm
Anne Kerven

OpenTV and BigBand Networks will jointly market a combined technology that lets cable operators insert ITV content at master or local headends.

The two combined OpenTV's OpenStreamer and middleware software with BigBand's Broadband Multimedia-Service Router, which they note is a "new class of router based on NativeMedia architecture," that routes and integrates video, audio and data in native formats.

The combined system was designed to provide scalability and interoperability for networks with multiple equipment manufacturers and VOD vendors, OpenTV says. It also is intended to incorporate redundancy and fault tolerance.

BigBand's device manages the system's bandwidth, making the broadcast stream more efficient by squeezing out the maximum efficiency, says OpenTV Director of Business Development Frank Kruszenski. There are inherent inefficiencies at the cable headends and the device eliminates those, allowing unused bandwidth to be utilized.

OpenStreamer is the server end of a client server, he says. It retrieves information from a Web site or database, encapsulates that into an MPEG-2 transport stream and "carousels" the data with other interactive content, and primary video and audio programming, he says. It allows such functions as pulling up real-time scores and player information during a sports event.

The system is available immediately, a BigBand spokesman says.

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