The Comcast Media Center’s Hits division has added a national terrestrial fiber distribution service into its product roster that was designed to deliver video programming to cable operators.

In addition to the Comcast Media Center’s expertise, the new service uses Tier 1 conditional access from Verimatrix, while Harmonic has provided video processing and delivery components. The service uses Comcast’s national backbone to deliver the video content to Hits affiliates.

Connecting to the fiber network makes it easier for MSOs to broaden their portfolio of HD to their subscribers today and adds an array of services in the future, including iTV, 3-D TV and more. The Hits fiber-based service can either be used for the primary delivery of video content or serve as a redundant backup path for satellite-delivered programming in the event of satellite interruptions, thereby reducing downtime and minimizing the impact to customers.

The service will be available by the fourth quarter of 2010.

“The new Hits fiber-based solution represents the evolution of transport technology in the cable business today,” said Gary Traver, senior vice president and chief operating officer of the CMC. “Fiber delivery has the bandwidth and resiliency to deliver the large number of video services and encoding formats that can help MSOs compete in today's environment. The Hits fiber-based solution offers a reliable and potentially cost-effective content delivery method that an MSO can leverage in their long-term business strategy to add future services and revenue streams.”

A recent study by Hits found that more than two-thirds of MSOs surveyed had plans to centralize services and fiber their headends together. Once an MSO has a local fiber system established, it can connect to the Hits fiber-based solution either directly or through a last-mile provider.

The CMC said MSOs can take advantage of centralized 24/7 content management capabilities to receive and deliver video services to their subscribers at a fraction of the cost for building their own infrastructure.

More Broadband Direct 5/06/10:
•  Bundles, data drive Charter's Q1 profit
•  Subscriber growth boosts Cablevision's Q1
•  Comcast Media Center serves up fiber delivery via Hits platform
•  DirecTV's Q1 profit almost triples as revenue rises
•  FCC announces Title II lite for net neutrality
•  Motorola adds flexibility to new edge QAM
•  Arris to expand CPE line with modems, EMTAs, gateways
•  A-L losses widen on component shortage
•  Sprint Nextel to revamp Virgin Mobile