MSO Hangs 10 on MPEG-4 Wave
Several of Avail-TVN's cable partners have been using its PPV and VoD components, but this is the first time a cable op with multiple systems has also opted for the company's MPEG-4 linear offering. The service trio is a product of the 2009 merger between Avail Media and TVN Entertainment. Several telcos that use IPTV have already hooked into the company's MPEG-4 transmission platform. (See TVN, Avail Media Merge.)
NewWave is plugging those services into systems serving parts of Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
Avail-TVN chief marketing officer Brian Matthews says cable operators are starting to deploy MPEG-4 and leverage its bandwidth-saving properties. Zito Media LP , an operator run by former Adelphia Communications exec James Rigas, was the first MSO to deploy Avail-TVN's linear MPEG-4 service, using it to get more punch out of systems that have just 450MHz or 550MHz of capacity. (See MSO Taking the MPEG-4 Plunge.)
In the case of NewWave, it's taking a "cap and grow" strategy with MPEG-4, simulcasting some programming in the new format and using the technology as the basis for new digital HD tiers that require new boxes that can do both MPEG-4 and legacy MPEG-2. NewWave has yet to specify its MPEG-4 strategy, as deployment of the technology isn't expected to start the rollout until the third quarter.
The operator could go all-MPEG-4 later, "but this [approach] gives them a good transition path," Matthews says.
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable