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Bright House, Concurrent part of largest Start Over deployment to date

Mon, 01/28/2008 - 8:15am
Traci Patterson

Bright House Networks has selected Concurrent’s MediaHawk on-demand platform for the upgrade and expansion of its existing video-on-demand (VOD) service, and the upgrade includes the launch of “Start Over” in Bright House’s Tampa Bay market.

The Start Over deployment is Bright House’s first, and it represents the largest deployment of the technology to date with more than 23,000 streams. The Start Over technology enables VOD customers to restart select shows that are already in progress.

“In the market, we’re seeing a lot of movement toward Start Over, toward next-generation VOD platforms,” Jim Brickmeier, Concurrent’s VP of products and programs for on-demand, told CED. “We’ve had a couple of recent wins here that are significant, like Bright House in Tampa and Cox in Arizona. We’re seeing a lot of other opportunities for extensions of VOD platforms to next-generation VOD platforms that allow for Start Over and advanced advertising.”

Time Warner Cable provides elements in the Start Over application – such as the scheduler, which determines what programs are recorded and ingested, and the client navigator interface – and Concurrent provides the capability to take those programs and ingest them onto the server, and the vendor can turn them around with less than five seconds of delay, Brickmeier said.

Concurrent’s technology can ingest 150 channels of standard-definition (SD) simultaneously, and TWC officials have stated 150 channels as the “sweet spot” for their subscribers. Comcast has recently announced similar targets for its planned Start Over launches this year.

“Start Over provides a breakthrough approach to the TV-watching experience, which differentiates our ability to give the public what they want, when they want it,” said Jeff Chen, SVP of advanced technology for Advance/Newhouse Communications.

Bright House’s Tampa Bay division has deployed Concurrent’s MediaHawk 4500 with Gatling resilient streaming technology, which automatically detects failures and instantly routes stream demands to alternate resources in order to prevent any loss of VOD sessions, the company said. The Gatling technology can also withstand hardware failure without interrupting subscribers’ streams.

For content storage, Bright House chose Concurrent’s MediaCache 1000, making its Tampa Bay division the first Start Over system to move away from traditional disk drives for content storage. The operators also deployed the Real-Time Catcher (RTC) 2000 components, which act as a content writer.

The entire platform is powered by MHLX RedHawk series software and was launched on Oct. 24.

“With the launch in Bright House Networks Tampa Bay, Concurrent continues to strengthen its reputation as the clear market leader in time-shifted television technology,” stated Gary Trimm, president and CEO of Concurrent. “No other on-demand vendor has our track record of successful Start Over deployments.”

Concurrent supported TWC’s first Start Over launch – in Columbia, S.C., in 2005 – and now the MSO uses Concurrent as its primary on-demand vendor, with Concurrent solutions supporting approximately half of TWC’s Start Over markets.

In January 2007, Concurrent – along with TWC, Scientific Atlanta, Harmonic and BigBand Networks – was awarded an Advanced Media Technology Emmy for its contributions to the development of Start Over.

More Broadband Direct:

• Bright House, Concurrent part of largest Start Over deployment to date 

• Time Warner Cable launches navigation Web site 

• Wireless, data divisions pump up Verizon’s revenues 

• AT&T completes largest U-verse rollout to date 

• TVN rolls out interactive VOD tool 

• Zodiac introduces new mobile search engine 

• Wireless auction bidding exceeds $4B 

• Broadband Briefs for 1/28/08

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