Bottleneck Buster

11:20 AM -- Video management and publishing firm thePlatform Inc. has added a new, automated "Ingest Service" to help its partners avoid bottlenecks that could emerge as video libraries continue to grow and become more dynamic.

Elements of the service include constantly monitored "Watch Folders" and ingest adapters that convert proprietary metadata formats into standard Media RSS. (See thePlatform Serves Video Ingest.)

Perhaps not coincidentally, the new service is also coming along as its owner, Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), gears up to launch On Demand Online, a broadband-fed service that will complement the MSO's traditional cable video service. (See Cable-Led Web TV Deals Still Forming and Cable Web TV: Results May Vary .)

ThePlatform, already a key component of Comcast's Fancast video hub, has already acknowledged that it will also play a big role in On Demand Online, which is expected to launch later this year and feature a large library of premium content.

ThePlatform CEO Ian Blaine readily admits that video ingest "isn't very sexy," but adds that it's an important piece of the puzzle because it's the process by which video "assets" enter the system in a way that makes them publishable.

The possibility for bottlenecking is obvious as libraries grow ever larger or, in the case of news services, become more "dynamic" as new video clips rapidly enter the system. The Associated Press, for example, has thousands of affiliates constantly uploading content, Blaine explains, noting that the ingest upgrade is being offered for free to thePlatform's customers.

And ingest isn't an issue that only needs to be addressed by Web video publishing companies such as thePlatform. Ingest is also said to be the potential Achilles' Heel of Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC)'s upcoming Remote Storage-DVR (RS-DVR) service. (See Cisco Gears Up for RS-DVRs.)

Blaine suggests that thePlatform's video ingest system could also apply to cable VoD, which is starting to offer some Web TV fare. "We are already doing stuff like that for Comcast," he says, noting thePlatform's ingest system could be configured "for any content, ultimately."

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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