Video services

SeaChange Swipes at VoD Foes

1:30 PM -- SeaChange International Inc. (Nasdaq: SEAC) posted its first-quarter numbers yesterday, with revenues and net income both rising and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) leaping onto the vendor's 10 percent-or-greater customer list, but the company's head honcho didn't hold much back when asked to size up the competition during the followup conference call. (See SeaChange Posts Q1.)

His view: Cisco's tough, and Moto's got it rough.

"Broadbus is in decline," SeaChange president, CEO, and chairman Bill Styslinger said, referring to Broadbus Technologies, the VoD server vendor Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) acquired in 2006. "We don't see much competition from Broadbus at this point." (See Motorola Scoops Up Broadbus.)

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), by comparison, "continues to be the strong competitor, but they haven't made much in the way of in-roads against us, and we have stronger and stronger systems coming," the SeaChange chief said with confidence.

Both SeaChange and Cisco are believed to be among the vendors involved in Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC)'s ambitious and controversial RS-DVR. (See Cisco Gears Up for RS-DVRs and Cablevision Girds for Remote DVRs.)

Motorola did lay off about 80 people from the unit responsible for VoD and switched digital video late last year, but the company is still investing in server and on-demand tech, launching a new Flash-based edge server called the B-3, and a new content aggregation system that pushes titles closer to the network edge based on popularity. We've asked Moto to supply any recent VoD deployment figures. (See Moto Unveils Mini VoD Server and Moto Trims Video Division .)

Update: Moto has no new VoD deployment news in North America to present, but it has announced relatively recent wins with Ziggo B.V. of the Netherlands and StarHub of Singapore. (See Ziggo Uses Moto for VOD and StarHub Picks Moto for VOD.)

Styslinger also slinged a shot at competitors that are building large Flash-based servers/switches, including Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS), which is marketing such a product in partnership with Verivue Inc. , which has since introduced a compact Flash server to complement its larger chassis-sized cousin. (See Arris Pumps Up Video With Dolce's Verivue , Verivue Flips New Media Switch , and Verivue Flips Smaller Flash Switch.)

"A giant Flash memory [server is] quite expensive… It's too expensive in terms of storage to be a large storage server… [and] too big to be a distributed Flash server," said Styslinger, whose company, by the way, happens to have distributed, edge Flash servers in its arsenal. (See SeaChange Flashes Server Growth and Cablevision Mexico Gets Flash With VOD.)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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