Concurrent Computer Corp. has released a new set of software for origin and cache servers designed to enable cable operators to stream live and on-demand video via IP directly to broadband-connected TVs made by some of the world's top consumer electronics manufacturers.
The software, which has been added to Concurrent's MediaHawk VX "unified" video delivery software for traditional QAM-based and over-the-top video services, could set the stage for cable operators to deliver their full suite of video services via "smart" TVs without the need for a separate set-top box. However, it's expected that the initial focus will be on video-on-demand applications.
The latest release provides integration with the app environments of several big TV makers, including Sony Corp., Samsung Corp., Royal Philips Electronics N.V., LG Electronics Inc., Panasonic Corp. and Toshiba Corp., according to Concurrent SVP of Strategic Marketing Jim Brickmeier.
The platform already supports Apple Inc.'s, Microsoft Corp.'s and Adobe Systems Inc.'s adaptive bit rate streaming formats for other types of connected screens, including gaming consoles, tablets and smartphones.
Brickmeier says an operator in Europe is interested in using the enhancements to extend services to smart TVs and to compete with over-the-top apps. He declined to name the operator, but Kabel Deutschland GmbH is one of Concurrent's key customers in the region.
Concurrent, which competes primarily with Cisco Systems Inc. in this particular video systems market, also counts Time Warner Cable Inc., Cox Communications Inc. and Japan's Jupiter Telecommunications Co. Ltd. (J:COM) among its larger customers. Of those, TW Cable and Cox already assembled content delivery networks (CDNs) that enable them to deliver a subset of their live TV lineups to PCs and certain models of tablets, smartphones and PCs. TW Cable, meanwhile, already has deals to provide apps on TVs made by Sony and Samsung, and has been eager to remove set-tops from the equation as those devices incorporate more and more functions. (See TWC CEO Heaps More Dirt on the Set-Top Box .)
Why this matters
This development puts Concurrent's customers significantly closer to extending their services to connected TVs and gaining an important presence alongside Netflix Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Hulu LLC and other over-the-top applications.
â€” Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable