The Comcast Media Center (CMC) and Motorola have signed a multi-year agreement that is based on providing a turnkey offering that will help smaller cable operators transition to an all-digital environment.
The technologies being developed by Motorola and the CMC will allow CMC’s HITS Quantum affiliates with 330 MHz plant capability or greater to offer a competitive lineup of advanced services by building upon their existing infrastructure.
For example, a 330 MHz system could expand its service offering to customers by converting some of its analog channels to digital, utilizing programming on the HITS platform, and then using that reclaimed bandwidth to offer hundreds of additional linear high-definition (HD) and standard-definition (SD) channels, as well as a library of video-on-demand (VOD) programming, with more than 2,000 titles also available through the HITS platform.
In addition, the affiliate could be well positioned to cost-effectively add high-speed data and voice services, digital video recorders (DVRs) and a host of interactive TV (iTV) applications, including advanced advertising and gaming.
“While the economic realities for cable systems serving smaller markets haven’t changed, the complexities for offering a competitive package of digital video services to their customers have continued to increase,” said Gary Traver, SVP and COO for the CMC.
“By strengthening the CMC’s relationship with Motorola, which partnered with us on the first generation of digital video services, we can offer our affiliates a cost-effective roadmap for rolling out advanced digital services that leverages a lot of their initial investments in digital equipment, at the headend and in their customers’ homes,” Traver said.
The combined approach will provide the cable affiliates with Motorola’s advanced digital set-top boxes (STBs) and its digital headend systems, which Motorola VP of Video Access Business Mark Depietro said would facilitate the rollout of services such as VOD and switched digital video (SDV).
The Motorola gear will be combined with the expansion of the HITS Quantum content offerings to provide HITS affiliates with a turnkey alternative for offering advanced video services to their customers while realizing a savings in cost and bandwidth. As previously announced, the CMC has consolidated more than 200 channels of HD and SD digital content and its VOD service onto three satellites that may be viewed using one TVRO satellite antenna (story here).
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