New Products - May 2010
VOD SUPPORT SERVICES - SeaChange offers on-demand monitoring
SeaChange International  has launched a new service, available to its VOD customers, in which it will provide remote monitoring and management of video assets.
SeaChange’s Remote Managed Services is available to assist operators through 24/7 systems analysis and maintenance, the company said.
The aim in developing the service package was to help customers prevent problems without adding overhead. With on-demand viewing increasing rapidly, SeaChange said its own data (aggregated from multiple customers) shows that one-third of all issues reported to technical support could have been prevented by proactive, disciplined monitoring and maintenance.
“Add to this situation the shortening of content release windows and operators’ increasingly creative tactics like retail ‘day-and-date’ releases that drive subscribers to use on-demand more often, and you can easily see the increased responsibility for technology providers to think and act ever more preemptively,” said Tom Kracz, SeaChange’s vice president of professional services.
“We recognize that operators don’t have to create more overhead before the challenge results in opportunity cost or churn.” Running remotely over a secure high-speed network, SeaChange’s Remote Managed Services covers the maintenance tasks and analysis spanning the on-demand operations chain from movie and TV program ingest to individual subscriber sessions.
These tasks include proactive system monitoring, system “health checks” and audits, system patching and maintenance, system performance analysis, and content management.
Elemental speeds up encoding for streaming
Elemental Technologies  has introduced Elemental Live, which it describes as an enterprise-class video processing system designed to provide content distributors with video and audio encoding for live streaming. The distinction from other such systems, Elemental says, is that its system is based on a graphics processing unit (GPU) rather than a CPU or DSP.
GPUs are massively parallel (unlike CPUs or DSPs), which makes them particularly suitable for processing images, including video. According to the company, the GPUaccelerated Elemental Live delivers four times the performance of systems based on CPUs, and at half the price.
The system supports adaptive bit rate protocols, HTML 5 and multiple HD streams. It can encode four simultaneous 1080p output streams, or up to eight 720p output streams, in a single appliance. And by creating all of the required streams for a live event in a single system, Elemental Live eliminates the need for multi-appliance solutions, a big part of its claim of reducing total cost of ownership.
Elemental Live speeds up the delivery of video content to the consumer and improves the monetization of content for the provider. Quality video, flexibility and ease-of-use makes Elemental Live suitable for streaming live content to virtually any target device, Elemental said.
“Content providers are making a concerted move to live streaming using adaptive bit rate protocols. Given the number of video streams these architectures require, current enterprise encoding solutions can’t keep pace in terms of raw performance, usability or total cost of ownership,” said Sam Blackman, CEO and chairman of Elemental Technologies.
Multicom transmitter has 1 GHz range
Multicom  has added the new, wide-bandwidth 1310nm MUL-1310TX-1000 optical transmitter to its fiber-optic product line.
The MUL-1310TX-1000 is suited for use in HFC and FTTx networks, as well as many other fiberoptic-based data, video and voice networks, including broadband stimulus and FCC national broadband projects and applications, and the optical transmitter provides a cost-effective wide bandwidth solution, according to the company.
The MUL-1310TX-1000 features 54-1000 MHz bandwidth; microprocessor-controlled, high-quality DFB lasers; dual redundant auto-switchover power supplies; and a backlit front panel control display – all in a temperature-controlled, brushed aluminum, 1 RU rack-mount chassis. It is also available in a variety of output power levels to meet project requirements.
Multicom’s fiber-optic product line also includes Corning fiber-optic-based products and a selection of fiber-optic accessories, splitters, jumpers, pigtails and media converters designed to meet the requirements of data, video and voice networks.