SeaChange in Deals with HBO LAG, Cablevision Mexico, RCN, Camiant

VOD technology provider, SeaChange International, and digital video
specialist, Thomson, said last week that they have deployed an
advanced content delivery system for HBO Latin America Group.
The
system, which uses digital watermarking for enhanced security, is being
used by HBO LAG to make movies available on the VOD platforms of
a number of cable operators throughout Latin America. "As easily and
efficiently as we can disseminate our content, it is equally important
that we can ensure the content's integrity," Pierre Jaspar, SVP of
technology and operations at HBO LAG, said in a prepared statement.
"The combination of SeaChange's delivery solution and Thomson's
watermarking technology provides us with the most effective and
reliable means of achieving those goals."

According to SeaChange and Thomson, the solution they are supplying
to HBO LAG is based on SeaChange's Vodcast content delivery system
and Thomson's NexGuard video watermarking technology. They claim
that the solution enables HBO LAG to securely and cost-effectively
transfer file-based movie content "faster than real time," from a single
origination point in Miami to hundreds of server locations
simultaneously. The content is serialized on a per-operator basis,
permitting any illicit copies to be traced back to the source of the leak.
Using secure satellite transmission, the Vodcast system integrates the
NexGuard software at each receiver site, where the MPEG files and
streams are invisibly watermarked upon receipt of new content. The
watermark data is based on a unique identifier on the catcher device,
and the process is fully automated--which, the companies say, makes it
impossible to be bypassed at the receiver site.

In other VOD-related news from SeaChange:

  • The company says that Mexico's largest digital cable operator,
    Cablevision Mexico, has become the first of its customers to use its
    MediaServer Flash Memory Streamers (note: Cablevision Mexico
    launched VOD, using SeaChange's platform, in 2005; the service
    includes 720 broadcast programs that are ingested weekly for VOD
    consumption using SeaChange's Record System software). The
    SeaChange MediaServer Flash Memory Streamer is a
    100%-flash-memory-based solution that is designed to decouple
    on-demand streaming from disk-based content storage. According to
    the company, the solution allows Cablevision Mexico to push its
    streaming resources to the network edge and meet its goal of growing
    its centralized content library to 14,000 hours of movies and TV
    programs. SeaChange also touts the Streamer as an optimal solution for
    time-shifted television, providing up to 4,400 hours of clustered storage
    in a single footprint, and (unlike DRAM) retaining real-time ingest
    content regardless of server failures. "On-demand has driven
    Cablevision's digital uptake at a remarkable clip, so we've been very
    aggressive about growing our library and streaming capabilities to meet
    subscriber expectations," Cablevision Mexico CEO, Jean Paul Broc,
    said in a prepared statement. "We identified flash memory as the very
    means to help us stay on target and on budget. Once again, SeaChange
    was in the position to bring pragmatic innovation to market first."
    SeaChange touts the MediaServer Flash Memory Streamers as the
    industry's only non-volatile flash memory streaming solution (no
    spinning disks) which also takes full advantage of the company's
    MediaCluster server architecture. According to the company,
    MediaCluster, without costly mirroring, stripes content files across
    flash modules in a server and across servers in an InfiniBand-connected
    cluster, in order to ensure service fault-resilience and scalability, since
    only one copy of a video is ever required at a server location. Overall,
    the company says, flash memory runs on one-tenth the power required
    by disks, and thus enables reduced overheads. According to
    SeaChange, its MediaCluster technology extends flash memory's life
    expectancy by a factor of five to at least 10 years: whereas content
    "write" hotspots would dramatically reduce life expectancy in any other
    architecture, the company claims, MediaCluster eliminates write
    hotspots by load-balancing content writes across all flash modules in a
    server and across all servers in a cluster.
  • Triple-play provider, RCN, which launched VOD services in 2003,
    using SeaChange software and servers, has tapped the company once
    again to provide the technology for an extensive overhaul of its VOD
    platform. The overhaul sees RCN upgrading its operational software,
    replacing all its video storage and streaming resources, and upgrading
    its navigational software in order to provide a new VOD user interface.
    The operator says that the various upgrades will allow it to almost
    double the amount of content it offers, including HD programs, and
    provide a more intuitive VOD portal and virtual on-demand channels
    for easier accessibility. It promises that its revamped VOD service will
    be available to all its digital subscribers in Boston, Chicago, New York,
    Pennsylvania and Washington, DC by June. Specific elements of
    RCN's upgrade include: 1) The deployment of SeaChange's Axiom On
    Demand end-to-end standards-based VOD software framework--RCN
    says the software will provide it with personalization capabilities,
    operations efficiency and support for third-party applications. 2) The
    replacement of all its video servers with SeaChange's MediaServer
    MDS 201 hybrid memory disk streamers--SeaChange bills the
    streamers as combining the advantages of standards-based hardware
    with its patented MediaCluster technology, and as providing
    high-density streaming and ingest, clustered memory caching, and
    scalable storage, in order to meet the varying demands of VOD usage
    patterns. 3) The deployment of SeaChange's VODlink Portal 4.0, a
    video-rich navigation interface. The product is billed by SeaChange as
    allowing operators, "without the hassles of difficult middleware
    packages," to easily integrate full-motion video into menus and user
    interfaces that can be changed quickly, in order to reflect new
    promotions and branding, enable use of movie posters in screen design,
    and support advanced capabilities such as DVD games.
  • The company has partnered with Camiant, a provider of policy
    control and application assurance technology, on an integrated solution
    that is designed to guarantee quality of service and increase the quality
    of the subscriber experience for wireline, wireless and cable VOD
    service. According to the companies, the integrated solution--which
    combines Camiant's policy control resource management solution with
    SeaChange's Axiom VOD software environment--has been deployed
    by "a major broadband operator in North America" to support its
    nationwide VOD service. According to SeaChange and Camiant, the
    growing popularity of video, VoIP and gaming applications is making
    it increasingly necessary for operators to implement policy control, in
    order to guarantee the quality of high-bandwidth, time-sensitive
    applications for any subscriber at any time. Cable and IPTV operators
    use policy control resource managers in order to reclaim bandwidth and
    manage network resources in such a way as to ensure QoS: "With the
    opening of broadband networks, and the elimination of walled gardens,
    we are experiencing unprecedented growth of what operators perceive
    to be bandwidth-killers: video and gaming applications," Steve Slattery,
    president and CEO of Camiant, said in a prepared statement. "This puts
    policy control front and center with wireless, wireline and cable
    operators around the world, and Camiant is delighted to be in a
    leadership position in this sector. This deployment with SeaChange is
    the first of multiple deployments that enable service providers to
    guarantee quality of service for emerging multimedia applications. It's
    all about the user experience: the immediate availability and
    outstanding performance of video and gaming applications that leads to
    increased adoption of these services. With policy control, these services
    become revenue opportunities to embrace, not bandwidth-killers."
    According to the companies, the integration of Camiant's policy control
    solutions with SeaChange's Axiom VOD software allows QoS to be
    guaranteed for all or for selected sessions. This in turn, the companies
    say, permits enhanced content delivery, advertising personalization and
    improved on-demand services over dynamic network infrastructures,
    and allows new services to be launched with minimal impact on
    network operations. The integration of the companies' respective
    technologies will "enable operators to take full advantage of
    SeaChange's asset management and content delivery capabilities,
    aligned with Camiant to efficiently control resources for blended
    services, such as IPTV, VOD, VoIP, gaming and broadband data," they
    say.
  • The company has promoted Yefim Nivoro to VP of sales for the Latin
    America region. He was previously SeaChange's director of sales for
    the region.