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VOD Showcased at San Francisco Cable Summit

27 Jul, 2001 By: John Gaudiosi

SAN FRANCISCO — Video-on-demand (VOD) was on display at last week’s Cableand Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CMAT) Summit, “Walk onthe Wired Side: Marketing to Consumers in a Broadband World.”

SeaChange International, Scientific-Atlanta and Starz Encore Group demonstrated their subscription VOD technology, which enables theimpulse viewing of programming with full VCR functionality and no pay-per-view fee. This model is in contrast to the more traditional pay-per-view requirement of ordering and paying for programming a lacarte with the PPV purchase.

The S-VOD demonstrations featured Starz On Demand movies running on SeaChange’s Interactive Television System and through a Scientific-Atlanta Explorer advanced digital interactive set-top box and digital network platform.

Concurrent had its own version of S-VOD, which is in trials in four major markets with three different cable operators, on display. Thetrials are on both Scientific-Atlanta and Motorola digital set-top systems and involve multiple S-VOD programming providers.

Concurrent has 18 commercial VOD market deployment commitments with AOL Time Warner, Cox, Comcast and Cogeco. The company has 242 servers shipped and installed in these markets, which provide cable televisionservice to more than 5.7 million basic subscribers, with the capability of providing commercial VOD service to a growing base of more than a million digital subscribers.

Video games were also part of the show. OpenTV demonstrated its technology, which included a games channel with nine playable video games. The simple, 2D games included bowling and solitaire.

PowerTV is working with several video game companies, including Infogrames, tobring simple games to subscribers for single or online play. MicrosofTVis developing prototype games like Blackjack and You Don’t Know Jack to show cable operators what its service can provide. Games will also play a part in MicrosofTV’s Access Channel Server, which will includechildren’s games from Infogrames’ Humongous studio.

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