New Products - July 2011
SeaChange introduces three-screen user interface
Guides are out, search and discovery is in, and companies delivering video are figuring out how to make the transition. To that end, SeaChange  has introduced multiscreen user interface (UI) software based on HTML5.
SeaChange has lined up one major MSO in the U.S. that intends to deploy its new Nitro UI. The operator, of course, won’t allow its name to be used. SeaChange lists almost every major U.S. MSO as a customer of at least one of its products (with TWC being a notable exception).
SeaChange Nitro is designed to give users intuitive features and functionality for controlling video content on any screen – TV, PC or mobile device. The UI supports linear and on-demand video viewing, multi-room DVR, virtual channels, TV listings, bookmarking, and search and recommendations. The Nitro software also allows the increasingly common facility to use mobile devices as remote controls for other connected devices.
Integrating social functionality is now de rigueur. Nitro enables what SeaChange is calling “virtual parties,” whereby users can enjoy a common VOD experience from different locations by communicating, sharing comments and inviting others to participate.
Nitro works in combination with SeaChange’s Adrenalin multiscreen video back office so that the multi-screen experience can be managed and monetized.
TV EVERYWHERE - Moto service extends TV to mobile devices
Motorola Mobility is introducing a managed multi-screen service that enables MSOs to merge video content (linear and on-demand) with social networking, games and Web-based content.
Motorola’s Medios Xperience  is a cloud-based service that combines an applications platform with the company’s Medios multi-screen service management software suite. Using the Medios Xperience, service providers can turn their mobile devices into remote controls and navigate program guides and search for content.
Consumers will be able to use their tablets, smartphones or laptops to browse an enhanced programming guide, choose a VOD or linear title, and launch it on their device or any TV in the home.
Motorola has updated the user interface (which can be branded) to improve search, navigation and discovery of content, such as movies and TV shows. The UI features personalized recommendations, streamlined decision-making scenarios and a watch queue.
Motorola is also providing a software development kit (SDK) that operators can use to customize and create applications.
Aurora doubles spectrum on return path
Aurora Networks  has expanded its digital return path products to handle the new allotment of spectrum available for upstream traffic.
The company’s Universal Digital Return technology enables cable operators to use the recently reclaimed broadcast TV spectrum that supplements the traditional 5-42 MHz range with additional bandwidth in the 54-88 MHz range.
Digital return relying on an analog-to-digital converter is the only practical way, Aurora said, to achieve the high link performance required by a fully loaded 5-85 MHz upstream pass band using 64 QAM or 256 QAM DOCSIS 3.0 upstream bonded channel technology, independent of distances beyond 100 km. Network engineers can easily deal with variations in loading and link distances, Aurora asserted.
ZeeVee introduces its new HDbridge product line
ZeeVee  has created a new product line aimed at making the on-premise HD broadcasting of multiple channel lineups easier to deploy.
Based on ZeeVee’s Generation 3 video processing and broadcast technology, the HDbridge line is designed for environments such as hotels and sports bars, where a large number of HD channels need to be deployed. The new line boasts affordability and ease of deployment, while allowing for the use of standard off-the-shelf HDTVs.
“Although our ZvBox product line shattered the cost of building an HD cable channel, our partners have told us that we need to make deployment of large channel counts, like those used in hotels, more affordable and easier to install and manage,” said ZeeVee’s cofounder and CEO Vic Odryna. “Our new HDbridge line was developed by closely working with our partners to make sure that every opportunity for improvement was captured.”
The HDbridge line is based on a modular architecture. It starts with a rack chassis that can contain up to eight modules, each of which creates an HD cable channel. These channels are combined and amplified in the rack chassis, providing a single point of connection for the installer, as well as a single AC connection. Each module accepts an HD component video input, digital audio – optical and coax – and a closed-caption input. It is designed to connect directly to satellite and cable receivers and requires no complex configuration. The broadcast channel can be set via a simple front button interface or can be remotely managed by a newly developed Web interface.
The entire HDbridge line is available immediately from ZeeVee’s distribution partners.
SoC - Broadcom’s DOCSIS 3.0 SoC aims for gateways
Broadcom’s  next DOCSIS 3.0 systemon-a-chip (SoC) adds a 1 GHz tuner and dual-band Wi-Fi, which means skipping right past modems and moving on to gateways.
Broadcom’s BCM3383 integrates the company’s own Full-Band Capture (FBC) technology, which directly samples and digitizes the entire 1 GHz downstream spectrum of a cable plant.
The company said it performs digital tuning with new signal processing techniques so that the chip ends up exceeding the performance requirements demanded by operators.
When combined with Broadcom’s set-top box SoC with fast acquisition technology, video channels can be pre-tuned, which enables faster channel changes.
Wireless reliability is increased by virtue of the use of dual-band concurrent Wi-Fi. With simultaneous 2.4 and 5.0 GHz IEEE 802.11 band streams, gateways built around the new chip can assign video its own band.
The new chip also integrates an applications processor.
The CPU of the BCM3383 is a multi-threaded 500 MHz processor, representing a 50 percent increase in CPU speed over the previous generation of chips, the company said. The BCM3383 is now sampling to early access customers.
Concurrent tool does data media analysis
Concurrent  has begun offering a service based on a set of analytical tools that monitor several media quality parameters across multiple screens. The aim is to provide analytics that will help service providers substantiate service guarantees with partners and consumers.
The company’s Advanced Media Data Logistics Platform includes data monitoring and auditing technologies, supports best practices for handling end-to-end data processes, and provides intelligence in the domain of cross-service data management solutions.
As part of the service, Concurrent will audit, in real time, the media data sources and flow and certify the level of quality and accuracy of the information to the receiving parties.
The media data logistics component will be applied to consumption and operational data generated from video-on-demand, linear, clickstream, interactive, Web-based and mobile platforms.
The service affords “guaranteed media data quality,” said Paul Haddad, Concurrent’s senior vice president of media data and advertising solutions.