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Midcontinent gears up for HD VOD with SeaChange

Thu, 04/02/2009 - 8:40am
Mike Robuck

Midcontinent Communications is working with SeaChange International on aggressively upgrading its high-definition (HD) video-on-demand (VOD) library.

Midcontinent’s goal is to dramatically increase the amount of HD VOD content available to its viewers from its centralized VOD operations using software and systems from SeaChange International. The project is adding nearly 9,000 hours of capacity to each of Midcontinent’s five video server systems, which are managed by a single SeaChange software platform.

“We recognized that adding HD content in general, and particularly HD VOD, could not only help differentiate us from competitive satellite operators, but also generate additional revenues,” said Tom Heier, corporate engineering manager for Midcontinent. “Midcontinent’s longstanding relationship with SeaChange, which dates back to our first analog ad insertion systems and our later launch of VOD, made for a natural decision to continue to expand upon the foundation that we have built together.”

Laying the groundwork to add more HD VOD titles, as well as complement its linear HD channels with related VOD material, Midcontinent increased the capacity of its five SeaChange server systems from 2,500 to 11,000 hours each.

The systems, which service 18 headends dispersed over nearly 200,000 square miles of high plains that comprise Midcontinent’s service area, are driven by SeaChange’s Axiom On Demand open content delivery software. The Axiom software is running at Midcontinent’s master digital headend in Sioux Falls, S.D., making it more cost effective and efficient to operate a network that covers the vast area.

Midcontinent, which is jointly owned by Comcast and Midcontinent Media, provides triple-play services to its 220,000 customers, which are primarily located in South Dakota and North Dakota. Midcontinent also has customers in parts of Minnesota and Nebraska.

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