RCN Corp. has upgraded its video-on-demand (VOD) technology by nearly doubling its subscribers’ content choices – which include high-definition (HD) programs – and by adding a more intuitive on-demand portal and virtual on-demand channels.

The on-demand expansion will include HD and standard-definition (SD) TV programs, movies and subscription packages. The new offering will be available, by June, to all RCN digital subscribers in Boston, Chicago, Washington D.C., New York and Pennsylvania.

RCN launched its on-demand service in 2003 with software and servers from SeaChange.

SeaChange’s Axiom On-Demand software solution is an end-to-end solution and a standards-based framework.

RCN’s on-demand overhaul includes an upgrade of its operational software, replacement of all of its video storage and steaming resources, and a navigation software upgrade that will provide a new, custom on-demand user interface.

Every video server will be replaced with SeaChange MediaServer MDS 201 hybrid memory disk streamers, RCN said.

Combining the standards-based hardware with SeaChange’s MediaCluster technology, the MDS 201 is designed to meet the varying demands of VOD usage patterns.

“With SeaChange’s new server upgrades, we have the ability to easily manage and expand the VOD infrastructure going forward,” said RCN’s Senior Director of Video Operations Jason Nealis. “In addition, we are very excited about the launch of SeaChange’s VODlink Portal 4.0, which allows us to provide individual, on-demand channels for specific network content.”

RCN is also rolling out SeaChange’s VODlink Portal 4.0 – a video-rich navigation interface for on-demand content. VODlink allows operators to integrate full-motion video into menus and user interfaces that can be changed to reflect new promotions and branding; to enable the use of movie posters in screen design; and to set the stage for advanced capabilities such as DVD games.

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