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SeaChange wields 'Ingest Blade'

Mon, 12/05/2005 - 6:11am
Jeff Baumgartner, CED

SeaChange International has taken the wraps off an "Ingest Blade" that's designed to simultaneously capture hundreds of television programs for "immediate" access by on-demand subscribers.

Having such ingest capabilities has become vital for video-on-demand (VOD) vendors in the wake of Time Warner Cable's new "Start Over" service, which enables viewers to restart shows already in progress. Time Warner launched the service this fall in Irmo, S.C., and plans to introduce it in several other areas. In South Carolina, Time Warner is enlisting a Real Time Catcher from Concurrent Computer Corp. to ingest content and then pour it into the Start Over system.

Although some shows are turned around for on-demand access in about 15 minutes to 30 minutes following their live showing, the "tolerance" required by Start Over is approaching just five seconds, John Callahan, the SVP of Time Warner Cable's advanced technology group, said in the Nov. 8 edition of xOD Capsule, CED's weekly electronic newsletter on VOD and interactive television.

SeaChange said the Ingest Blade is slated for shipments in early 2006, and will be backward-compatible with its legacy, installed VOD systems.

C-COR Inc. noted that its n5 server, which it acquired after buying nCUBE earlier this year, has had massive ingest capabilities for about five years. Broadbus Technologies recently said the 3.0 version of its "B-1" server platform can ingest "hundreds" of live and pre-recorded programs simultaneously, and stream live television within five seconds of ingest.

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