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Clearleap Jumps on First Win

8:30 AM -- Clearleap , an Atlanta-based startup that helps MSOs and IPTV players bridge Web TV and other Internet fare to older (non-IP) digital set-tops, has scratched out its first official deployment, with Atlantic Broadband. (See Atlantic Broadband Deploys Clearleap and Clearleap Brings Blip.tv & Others to Cable .)

The MSO has Clearleap's clear|flow system up and running in its Johnstown/Altoona, Pa., system, and expects to deploy it later this year in Miami Beach, as well. Those two systems cover roughly 75 percent of the operator's digital customers, according to Atlantic Broadband VP of products David Isenberg.

Although the deal allows the MSO to bring in video from Web-based sources such as Next New Networks and Revision3 , Isenberg said the operator was eager to use Clearleap's Web-based platform to rapidly load local content onto its video-on-demand (VoD) system.

"This system had a very simple… workflow," he says, noting that Clearleap also allows the operator to sandwich ads around that content. Atlantic Broadband used Clearleap's system over the weekend to offer VoD highlights from the Thunder In The Valley motorcycle rally in Johnstown.

There, Clearleap was able to stitch that programming into Atlantic Broadband's legacy cable system. In Johnstown, Atlantic Broadband uses digital boxes and an interactive program guide from Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), and a VoD server/backoffice from Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS). Isenberg said it took his local engineers about a half-day to set up Clearleap.

Atlantic Broadband marks the first announced customer for Clearleap, a startup that has raised about $12.3 million so far. The company claims to have five deployments in 17 markets with both cable and IPTV service operators. The bulk of those deals, so far, is with cable MSOs, says Clearleap CEO Braxton Jarratt.

Although the early traction has come by way of smaller, relatively nimble MSOs, "a big priority of the company is to sign some of the bigger guys this year," he adds.

And the idea of bringing Web-like functionality to the cable domain is starting to gain ground among larger operators, too. Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC), for example, is expected to offer a similar platform from Clearleap competitor ActiveVideo sometime this summer. (See Cablevision Tunes Up With ActiveVideo.)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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