Clearleap, Roku team up on over-the-top VOD

Thu, 06/24/2010 - 8:20am
Mike Robuck

Clearleap is merging its cloud-based VOD platform with Roku's Internet-connected set-top box to offer cable operators and other service providers a means of serving up video over the Internet.

The arrangement will use Clearleap's cloud-based Universal Video Platform for content management and service delivery, giving pay TV operators and premium programmers the opportunity to offer content and generate additional revenues with a branded channel on the Roku player.

Clearleap's platform will enable paid VOD transactions to post directly through viewer's pay-TV subscription information, allowing Roku users to consume free or pay VOD titles congruent with their subscription package, with transactions posting as part of their monthly TV service bill.

Clearleap said the partnership signaled its intentions to expand its platform from a cloud- based solution found inside cable and IPTV ecosystems to a universal video technology platform designed for any type of operator and programmer.

Clearleap's platform is currently deployed in 30 pay-TV systems, including six of the top-10 U.S. cable operators. Clearleap's cable customers include Mediacom, Comcast Houston and Bresnan Communications, the latter of which is about to be purchased by Cablevision.

"We built this platform with an eye on helping the TV industry leverage best-of-breed technologies to offer more value to consumers, programmers and operators. We are excited to launch our connected device solutions with Roku as our first deployment because they are set up to take the ball and run with it," said Clearleap co-founder and CEO Braxton Jarratt. "This partnership illustrates a viable way to bridge pay TV and Internet-connected devices without abandoning the existing TV model. In fact, it extends the user experience while providing yet more opportunities for revenue generation and cross-platform presence."

Clearleap and Roku said their managed IP VOD solution would be in multiple trials over the next six months, and the companies expect to launch a limited commercial deployment with a pay-TV operator by the end of this year.

Roku was first to market with streaming TV services from Netflix, Amazon Video On Demand MLB.TV and Ultimate Fighting Championship.

By using an over-the-top VOD service, cable operators and other service providers can bypass the expensive VOD backend delivery systems while serving up on-demand content from the Internet, which Tier 2 and Tier 3 cable operators might find appealing.

The combined IP-based platform, which is also capable of serving traditional cable TV content to subscribers, could also be used as a cheaper alternative to providing video to other rooms within a home.

Evolution Digital, through a partnership with TiVo and Conax, and EchoStar, via its Sling product line, also offer services that bypass traditional VOD infrastructures.

Earlier this week, thePlatform made its video publishing system available to a wide range of over-the-top services.

More Broadband Direct 6/24/10:

•  Hatfield steps down as Cox's CTO; SCTE looks for new Expo chairman
•  Bresnan deploys Juniper's edge routers for MPLS network
•  Clearleap, Roku team up on over-the-top VOD
•  Survey: Online viewing will be cut by iTV
•  Verizon: Droid X smartphone coming July 15
•  iPhone 4 antenna not for lefties
•  Judge rebuffs Viacom in YouTube copyright case

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