CMC Takes VoD 'Express Lane'

Express Lane features automated workflows and remote management capabilities for accelerating the delivery of VOD content

March 31, 2009

3 Min Read

DENVER -- Comcast Media Center (CMC) is introducing “Express Lane”, a new service for video on demand (VOD) content providers at Cable Show ’09. Express Lane features automated workflows and remote management capabilities for allowing video television networks, advertisers, cable MSOs and other content services companies to accelerate the delivery of VOD content to near real time by publishing their VOD content directly into the CMC’s video on demand distribution platform, which currently reaches more than 30 million VOD-enabled households across the country.

In addition, the CMC’s Express Lane service allows VOD content providers to direct the delivery of individual VOD assets to specific cable system headends enabling more flexibility to produce and deliver content to a particular marketplace. It also adds the functionality to post VOD programming to a "bull pen" where content providers can preview the video programming and select the cable systems that should receive a particular VOD asset.

Cable Show ’09 attendees may see a demonstration of the Express Lane service in the CMC’s exhibit (booth 1613) at the annual conference for the industry, which is being held in Washington, DC from April 1-3.

“Express Lane represents a significant breakthrough in the delivery of on-demand content by accelerating the delivery of personally relevant content to the industry’s VOD customers,” stated Gary Traver, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for the Comcast Media Center. “Moreover, Express Lane uses the CMC’s best in class and ‘trusted source’ content management technology to provide greater flexibility and efficiency for VOD content distribution, which reduces our clients’ operating costs while improving their time to market capabilities.”

Launched in 2003, the CMC’s MPEG-2 VOD platform features among the fastest turnaround times for VOD content, allowing affiliates to schedule time sensitive programming, such as full-length sports events and event highlight shows. The CMC has expanded its VOD capabilities to support MPEG 4 as well as MPEG 2 encoding and transport to cable systemsnationwide.

The CMC’s reliable, secure and platform-independent VOD service can capture content in nearly any format, from anywhere, and provide encoding with the highest quality from 1 Mbps to 50 Mbps. The CMC can also aggregate programming packages from a range of partners; provide in-house meta-data creation and validation that can be can customized to meet various headend configurations, and delivers content via satellite and Internet delivery platforms. In addition, it maintains a rigid Quality Control authorization process; provides 24/7 content monitoring and support services and features browser-based access to all CMC-generated VOD reports.

In collaboration with ARRIS Group, the CMC also operates a managed VOD service, “VOD In a Box,” (VODIaB), which can deliver up to 3,300 hours of VOD programming per month, including HD VOD content. VODIaB allows cable systems to accept content from multiple sources without needing to manage the content at each headend, eliminating the need for multiple VOD servers and on-site asset management. Centralized services available from the CMC include acquiring and managing content, creating and validating metadata, pitching VOD content to the ARRIS servers, and providing 24/7 quality assurance monitoring. CMC’s VOD content management services also include a secure Internet portal that allows cable systems to track when programming has successfully propagated from the CMC catcher to the local VOD system, and it can list VOD assets by programmer or provide a total view of all VOD assets.

Comcast Media Center (CMC)

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