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Video services

Northern Exposure

1:25 PM -- Canada's Cogeco Communications (Toronto: CCA) is set to use Concurrent Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: CCUR)'s MediaHawk 4500 video servers as part of a new master purchase agreement, but the deal should enable the MSO to go beyond a plain vanilla video-on-demand (VoD) service. (See Cogeco Serves Up Concurrent.)

In addition to paving the way for a larger on-demand menu and hi-def VoD (table stakes these days), the MSO is also looking to offer advanced advertising and network DVR applications like "Start Over." The MSO is also planning to extend VoD to screens other than the TV, starting with PCs, according to Concurrent VP of sales Bert Offers.

Such a system, Offers says, will enable Cogeco subs to access the VoD system through a Web-based portal and view on-demand content via their Docsis broadband connections. That will, of course, tie into a multi-screen convergence platform Concurrent introduced in March. (See Concurrent Upgrades for Mobile & PC VoD.)

It's evidently just one of the items on the VoD roadmap at Cogeco, but the operator has not announced any plans to actually deploy such a service.

South of the border, Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) has already talked about launching a new service later this year called "On-Demand On-Line," but Concurrent's role in that is questionable at best, since the MSO has already made it clear that the vendor (or its servers, anyway) won't be involved in the deployment of its next-gen VoD architecture. However, Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), which has some Web TV plans of its own, does have a closer relationship with Concurrent. (See TWC, Comcast to Put Cable Shows Online and Concurrent Not in Comcast's VOD Future.)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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