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September 29, 2003
ATLANTA and LOS GATOS, Calif. -- N2 Broadband®, the leading provider of scalable, open-standard solutions for on-demand services, and ICTV™, creator of HeadendWare®, the world's first centralized platform for the delivery of interactive television services, today announced an agreement for the creation of a new Web Services interface for N2 Broadband’s OpenStream™ solution.
The interface, which combines HeadendWare’s support of standard Web technologies with N2 Broadband’s open platform, allows cable system operators to quickly bring to market new applications that capitalize on the software industry’s cutting edge tools and talented developer pool to accelerate the return from on-demand services.
For example, operators and programmers delivering VOD via OpenStream’s “plug-and-play” environment can develop and deploy ambitious, headend-based menuing and merchandising that overcome the constraints of the digital set-top box. Using HeadendWare support for audio and full-motion video and its immediate access to web-based application logic, VOD providers can increase “take rates” and revenue through multimedia promotional elements, detailed information about on-demand titles, content reviews, and preference engines that help content “find” subscribers.
N2 Broadband will offer the interface as an enhancement to the currently-deployed CORBA-based interface for OpenStream.
“Developers who are using interface standards like Web Services can now quickly and easily start putting their ideas and skills to work in the cable environment,” said Reggie Bradford, president and CEO, N2 Broadband. “This joint agreement with ICTV enables cable operators to inexpensively develop compelling multimedia user experiences that enhance their return from existing services, or that generate new revenue on their own.”
“Both ICTV and N2 Broadband have been committed to offering operators greater flexibility in their deployment of on-demand services,” said Mike McGrail, president and CEO of ICTV. “Operators deploying OpenStream have been able to choose among multiple equipment and billing providers for any part of the delivery process. Now they similarly can develop sophisticated new services and deliver them to any digital set-top box.”
With commercial deployments in more than 40 major markets, N2 Broadband’s OpenStream platform is the cable industry’s most widely used commercial VOD back-office solution. OpenStream uses published interfaces that tie together all the components that make up a complete on-demand system, allowing operators to choose from a variety of vendors for video servers and applications as “pre-integrated” solutions, supported by N2 Broadband.
The OpenStream platform is a highly scalable system that supports cable operators of all sizes – from small, growing cable systems to large systems with substantial transaction volumes. The OpenStream platform is deployed today with a real-time, two-way billing interface and comes with a feature-rich, customizable reporting tool so operators can more effectively manage, view and control their VOD network. OpenStream supports digital networks from both Motorola and Scientific-Atlanta.
The HeadendWare software platform enables interactive, revenue-generating programming to be accessed by any digital set-top. Operating in real time on a two-way cable network, HeadendWare allows TV-friendly interactivity in ways no satellite provider can. The platform enables a rich array of services including VOD merchandising, interactive multimedia games, and managed content services.
HeadendWare application servers can be distributed across the operator's optical fiber backbone network. This modular approach enables an operator to support as many as 500,000 digital subscribers from a single headend rack. The platform offers optional back office server applications, including plug-and-play customer data gathering tools for tracking and production of personalized service offerings. Service providers alternatively can choose to integrate HeadendWare with other vendors' standards-based billing, provisioning, and management systems.
N2 Broadband Inc.
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