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Satellite company rolls out video distribution services

Tue, 08/06/2002 - 8:00pm
Susan Rush

PanAmSat Corp. is spreading its wings in the video distribution sector with the introduction of two new digital services.

PanAmSat's first service, dubbed simply Video on Demand, enables cable operators to deliver content, including movies, news, educational programming and sports, to their subscribers in North America.

After examining the international scope of the video distribution business, PanAmSat has launched the Digital Store & Forward service. The service enables the digital storage and delivery of video content around the globe. It negates the need for analog tapes to shipped overseas so content can be shown internationally. DSF enables production companies to use satellite links to beam content around the globe.

The services were developed in partnership with PanAmSat's core video customers, the company said.

The new services are in line with the plan company CEO Joseph Wright Jr. outlined when he took over the reigns at PanAmSat in October 2001. At the time he said the satellite provider planned to refocus on its core customer base, including cable networks and their future delivery needs. The company has poured more than $2 billion into refurbishing or replacing portions of its satellites.

In May, PanAmSat inked a VOD deal with Intertainer. The deal called for the two companies to mesh satellite delivery with Intertainer's Demand E.S.P. video delivery platform. PanAmSat's VODcast pitcher-catcher delivery scheme, developed by SeaChange International Inc., is designed to funnel content directly into video servers from vendors using standard formats. This eliminates the need to manually input content at the cable headend.

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