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Broadband Briefs for 11/12/08

Wed, 11/12/2008 - 7:00am

Verizon hits 1,000 HD VOD benchmark early
By Traci Patterson

Verizon's FiOS TV customers now have access to more than 1,000 high-definition video-on-demand (HD VOD) titles each month. Verizon’s goal of providing 1,000 HD VOD options was originally slated for the end of the year, but the telco was able to meet the goal about a month and a half ahead of schedule.

Meanwhile, subscribers to Verizon’s FiOS TV service in the Tampa Bay area now have access to new interactive features for the TV service. FiOS TV's Interactive Media Guide (IMG) offers innovative features, including free casual games, streaming of recorded HD video, purchasing power via a remote control, channel sorting options, more widgets that provide on-demand access to information and entertainment, and VOD Performance Enhancement.

Verizon is also planning to launch several other new IMG features in the future, including Fantasy Football; My Videos, where customers will be able to access personal videos stored on their home computers and enjoy them on their TV sets; and remote DVR programming.

RGB’s MMC deployed by Pembroke Telephone Co.
By Traci Patterson

RGB Networks’ Modular Media Converter (MMC) has been deployed by Pembroke Telephone Co. for the provider’s PAC-TV television service, which is based on IP.  Pembroke is using the MMC to deliver local broadcast TV channels over its telecom network to subscribers in North Bryan County in Georgia.

“Using RGB’s MMC has helped us keep our costs down as we’ve upgraded and expanded our IP-based PAC-TV service, enabling us to offer a superior IPTV service while maintaining our investment in much of our current equipment,” said Paul Boyette, product development manager for Pembroke Telephone Co. “We’ve had a great experience working with RGB as we seek to deliver more advanced IPTV services to our customers.”

At Pembroke’s central headend, off-air receivers take in the locally broadcast channels via antenna and output the programming to the MMC, RGB said, and the MMC then converts the video from ASI to Gigabit Ethernet so it can be transported throughout the core of Pembroke’s network. By performing this ASI-to-Gigabit Ethernet conversion, the MMC enables Pembroke to continue using its existing off-air receivers, the company said. 

Harmonic’s video processing solutions chosen by MTS Allstream 
By Traci Patterson

Harmonic’s MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) high-definition (HD) and standard-definition (SD) video processing solutions have been selected by MTS Allstream Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Manitoba Telecom Services Inc., for an IPTV service expansion.

The upgrade will enable MTS Allstream to deliver equivalent MPEG-2 quality at half of the bandwidth, and it will allow the provider to offer a broader HD and SD channel lineup to its customers in Manitoba, Canada.

Harmonic's DiviCom Electra 7000 and DiviCom Ion AVC encoders will power MTS Allstream's expanded IPTV service. Harmonic's NMX Digital Service Manager will provide MTS Allstream with complete management and control of their video headend operations, and the NMX easily interfaces with third-party systems.

ActiveVideo licenses RevX metrics module
By Brian Santo

ActiveVideo Networks has licensed RevX Systems’ Data Mediation and Reporting System, which will provide audience measurement and business metrics for ActiveVideo Networks’ Web-infused television services.

The RevX product provides metered audience viewership, ad exposure, click-through, service usage and event processing. This enhanced visibility provides operators, broadcasters and advertisers with real-time insight into audience behavior and network activities.

“Traditional Web analytic tools could not address our range of network elements, volume of interactive events and variety of media applications,” says Don Gordon, COO at ActiveVideo Networks.

Thomson intros SmartVision VOD 6.0
By Traci Patterson

Thomson has launched the latest version (6.0) of its SmartVision video-on-demand (VOD) server, which gives both IPTV and cable operators the ability to maximize network digital video recording (nDVR) opportunities.

With a total streaming capacity of up to 16 Gbps, each SmartVision VOD 6.0 unit is now able to record more than 200 TV channels that can be time-shifted to a large number of subscribers.

“Thomson’s SmartVision VOD range of products were designed with nDVR in mind and the need to offer a solution that can deliver many streams and record many channels, all within the same unit,” said Tiaan Schutte, general manager of Thomson’s Software Service Platforms. “SmartVision does not require the operator to choose between either a high number of TV channels inputs or a high output of video streams – making it a VOD solution with a truly symmetrical architecture that scales linearly.”

Mixed Signals adds 5 new resellers for Sentry
By Traci Patterson

Mixed Signals has picked up five additional resellers that specialize in serving telecom and cable providers across North America, South America and Europe – Capella Telecommunications, Elsis, Kontur-Media, TVC Latin America and VGL.

All five companies are reselling Mixed Signals’ Sentry digital content monitoring solution, enabling their video service provider customers to offer quality of experience (QoE) to their subscribers.

“More than ever, operators are in need of our service-assurance solutions in order to deliver an exceptional viewing experience that keeps their subscribers happy and unwilling to switch to another provider,” said Eric Conley, CEO of Mixed Signals. “With the addition of these new resellers, we are able to expand into new markets and enable service providers to deliver the best possible service.”

More Broadband Direct:

• AT&T completes Total Home DVR rollout

• BigBand signs follow-on with Verizon

• BlackArrow, Motorola integrate systems

• Dish comes through with promised DVRs

• SES Americom secures IPTV with Verimatrix

• Broadband Briefs for 11/12/08

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