New Products - June 2010
iTV - SeaChange intros ready-now t-commerce offering
SeaChange International  has introduced Watch & Buy, a t-commerce service that enables cable operators to use existing video-ondemand infrastructure to sell-through DVDs and related merchandise to subscribers.
The service is deployable today for operators using the SeaChange VODlink applications platform.
Boasting a lightweight set-top application, user interface customization and fully managed backend order fulfillment, Watch & Buy integrates with any third-party back-end fulfillment solution.
In an operator’s VOD library, a DVD symbol will appear next to select titles that are available for purchase as a DVD. Subscribers will have the option to order the movie as a VOD session, as well as receive a copy of the title’s DVD in the mail (and subs might have the option to buy different formats, such as Blu-ray, or to buy an entire season of a TV show on DVD).
Operators can choose to package their offerings, for example allowing their subscribers to enjoy a free movie on VOD with the purchase of the DVD, or offering additional items for order such as movie-related soundtracks or video games.
“While SeaChange continues our work to support and develop EBIF and tru2way standards and applications, operators are simultaneously asking for solutions they can use today that generate additional revenue streams and differentiate services, which is why Watch & Buy was developed,” said Anthony Landamia, product manager of in-home strategy and iTV applications at SeaChange.
Alpha smartens up outside plant
Alpha Technologies  has introduced the i2M – Intelligent Inverter Module – for the XM2-HP and XM2 CableUPS.
The i2M offers MSOs several new features for the management of their broadband power networks.
According to Jim Heidenreich, vice president of product management and customer fulfillment at Alpha: “The i2M increases the level of intelligence in the outside plant. With an optional Smart DOCSIS Transponder, technicians can verify network communications with the NOC before they leave an outside plant location. Further, they can specify the AlphaCell battery model in the i2M and then track individual battery voltages onsite.”
As a new standard feature on all new XM2-HP and XM2 power supplies, the i2M is a common inverter module for the majority of an MSO’s existing Alpha outside plant. Existing XM2 power supplies are easily field-upgraded as needed with the backwards-compatible i2M.
The new battery set-up menu of the i2M allows the selection of AlphaCell models to optimize charging and prolong battery life. Technicians can view individual battery voltages, allowing for quick identification and replacement of bad batteries during preventive maintenance visits.
“One of the primary goals with the launch of the i2M is to help make sure a power supply is installed and provisioned correctly on the first pass,” said Heidenreich. “We want to help minimize the need for second or third truck rolls to tweak a setting or troubleshoot a communications problem.”
Extreme intros cable tech app
Extreme Broadband  said it has launched the first mobile training application for drop cable components.
The new app for the iPhone gives field technicians all of the information they need on the job to browse the Extreme product catalog, read installation guides and spec sheets, and play how-to videos on their smartphone.
The application contains easy-to-follow videos covering a wide range of Extreme products, including an installation guide for the new Infinity Premise Enclosure and a MoCA training module.
And it comes with a Signal Level Calculator and a Skills Test to allow technicians to check their skills and compare their scores with other technicians online.
The app is being developed for RIM’s Blackberry, as well.