Video on demand (VOD) news over the past several weeks includes purchases, integration and new applications.

Concurrent Computer last week announced a $2 million order from Time Warner Cable for VOD systems destined for deployment in the MSO’s San Diego and Los Angeles markets. More could come.

"Based on the size of the system and subscriber count, we anticipate follow-on business in the Southern California market moving forward," said Tim Dodge, Concurrent vice president of marketing and business development, On Demand. The recent contract pertains to the MediaHawk content delivery system.

That announcement signifies the replacement of incumbent VOD vendors SeaChange and ARRIS in these markets, Dodge said, adding that Concurrent is a "market share leader" with Start Over, the offering that allows viewers to restart a program already in progress on select channels.

Concurrent already is Time Warner’s VOD vendor in other markets, including Columbia, SC; Greensboro, NC; and Hawaii, all areas where the operator offers Start Over. (For more on Time Warner Cable Carolina Region, click here.)

Bright House Networks also has partnered with Concurrent on Start Over, having launched the service in Tampa in January. In a statement released at Cable-Tec Expo, Bright House SVP Advanced Technology Jeff Chen commented on Concurrent’s launch of a unicast-to-multicast file transfer protocol (FTP) converter dubbed the Real Time Pitcher 2000.

"We have always planned to build Start Over as a fully resilient service," Chen stated. "With the launch of the RTP2000, we can further enhance our customer experience by ensuring no loss of content when any component fails."

In other Concurrent news, on July 8 the company’s stockholders approved a 10:1 reverse stock split that appears to have staved off a potential NASDAQ delisting. Former Mitel Networks and Nortel Exec Dan Mondor, having joined Concurrent in early April, is now in his fourth month as CEO. More on-demand ARRIS Group featured its "Unified Video Management Platform" at Cable-Tec Expo, with addressable advertising being one of its themes.

One of its Expo releases concerned the completion of an interoperability test between ARRIS’s VOD delivery system and an addressable advertising system from BlackArrow. At the Cable Show in May, ARRIS had demonstrated interoperability between its systems and several vendors compliant with the SCTE 130 advertising standard, including Atlas, Invidi Technologies and RGB Networks.

Advanced advertising is a common theme for on-demand and systems players. Bolstered by its acquisitions of the Broadbus B-1 server and Terayon’s ad insertion technologies, Motorola has plenty to say about the category, as this article by Moto exec Ray Bontempi in the current issue of Communications Technology indicates.

Concurrent’s Everstream unit includes the kind of data collection and ad campaign and inventory management that help bridge the gap between network provider and ad agency. Advanced advertising is one of several features of Seachange International’s Axiom On Demand platform.

One Axiom on-demand app unveiled at the Cable Show and demonstrated also at Cable-Tec Expo was its search and social networking tool called Affinity.

Consisting of customized Web portals on the subscriber end and a software application that adds personalized content to existing on-demand guides on the operator side, Affinity aims help Web-savvy subscribers exploit the increasing volumes of content available on television.

– CT

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