TellyTopia has come up with the complete inverse of – and what sounds like a perfect complement to – the TV Everywhere and Sling concepts. At least one major East Coast MSO is planning to deploy it, the company says.
TV Everywhere is about taking high-value content that communications service providers (CSPs) have sole access to (e.g., HBO, AMC, FX, etc.) and delivering it to PCs (and other devices), but only to subscribers of their video services. The Sling version of that is to stream any of a subscriber’s content to that subscriber no matter where he or she is. One way to look at TV Everywhere and Sling is that the “everywhere” part of the concept refers to the location of the playback devices.
What TellyTopia is doing is taking the “everywhere” element of the equation and applying it not to the type of playback device or its location but to the location of the content. The company has devised a system that will enable a service provider’s VOD system to ingest any piece of content accessible anywhere in the world and play it out for a subscriber.
“We can bring movies in from anywhere – New York, L.A., India, wherever,” said TellyTopia CEO Kshitij Kumar.
The service provider installs one of TellyTopia’s iCatcher units in its headend. Installation is warranted to be fairly easy; Kumar testified that TellyTopia installed an iCatcher for one MSO in one (long) afternoon, using a unit he happened to have sitting in the back seat of his car.
If the CSP has deployed EBIF, TellyTopia has an EBIF-based application that will allow a subscriber to search the cloud for content through their TVs. Otherwise, the sub can conduct the search using their PC or mobile device and make his or her selection.
Once a selection is made, the content is ingested like any other VOD asset, and played out like any other VOD asset. The sub goes to his or her VOD menu and a message – “Ready to order?” and the price – pops up. The iCatcher merely arbitrates the transfer process, Kumar explained.
“The content provider is happy, because they’re no longer restricted to 10 or 15 titles in anyone’s VOD system. MSOs like it because they can get anything,” Kumar said. “VOD companies are all looking beyond VOD, and they see it as a path to over-the-top. This makes their VOD even more powerful.”
If the feature becomes popular, the CSP can scale it by adding more iCatchers.
The company has interfaces with five of the top VOD system vendors.
The system is currently being used by New Frontier Media, which “delivers nine full-time transactional adult-themed pay-per-view networks to cable and satellite operators across the United States,” in its own words.
Next up is the East Coast MSO. TellyTopia is, of course, not at liberty to disclose which one it is. One hint, though, is that the company said its product is now available to 1.2 million subscribers, but it expects to be in front of more than 5 million subscribers in five or six months.