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New group forms to provide managed video services to cable ops and telcos

Taking on TiVo, new turnkey offering from Jackson Energy Authority is powered by Harmonic's VOD 360 cloud platform and features pre-integrations with Nagra, Minerva, Viamedia, FreeWheel, Enghouse and SeaChange.

Jeff Baumgartner

August 17, 2021

3 Min Read
New group forms to provide managed video services to cable ops and telcos

The market for supplying managed, IP-based video services to small and midsized cable operators and telcos got a bit more crowded with the introduction of a partnership comprised of a handful of video technology and distribution players.

Jackson Energy Authority's new, hosted headend management streaming platform, called E+ Premier, is powered by Harmonic's VOS 360 cloud platform. It's supported by integrations with several other tech partners, including Viamedia and Comcast-owned FreeWheel (for dynamic ad insertion), Minerva, Enghouse Interactive, Nagra and SeaChange International.

Figure 1: Supported by an architecture that's been pre-integrated with a mix of tech and distribution partners, E+ Premier is designed to deliver managed IP- and app-based video services as well as legacy QAM-based video services. Click here for a larger version of this image. (Image source: Harmonic) Supported by an architecture that's been pre-integrated with a mix of tech and distribution partners, E+ Premier is designed to deliver managed IP- and app-based video services as well as legacy QAM-based video services.
Click here for a larger version of this image.
(Image source: Harmonic)

In addition to delivering adaptive bit rate (ABR) streams for IP- and app-based video services, E+ Premier is capable of processing and delivering legacy MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 signals for both live TV and on-demand content. E+ Premier also supports cloud DVR services.

Jackson Energy Authority (JEA), which has transport rights for more than 300 national TV channels/networks, effectively serves as a multi-tenant headend that, in tandem with its tech partners, handles elements such as video packaging and processing, content protection, and apps for various streaming platforms. To deliver local broadcast TV signals, JEA would receive those from the partner operator, process and package those feeds at its multi-tenant headend, and then send them back on a private circuit for delivery to pay-TV customers.

Billed as a hosted, turnkey offering, E+ Premier aims to consolidate and economize existing headends, reduce infrastructure costs and enable cable and telco partners to rapidly launch new streaming services and advanced advertising capabilities, JEA and its partners said.

Targeting a larger market

The JEA-led group will now take aim at a managed pay-TV and video streaming market already targeted by companies and organizations such as TiVo, which recently acquired the assets of MobiTV, MediaKind, Tangerine Global, Adara Technologies, Com Net Inc. and a startup called Shift 2 Stream, among others.

JEA, an operator and multichannel video programming distributor (MVND) based in west Tennessee, started its integration work with Harmonic and Nagra some 18 months ago. That work initially underpinned a new, app-based IPTV service that JEA recently soft-launched to its own customers, with plans underway to follow with a full commercial launch. JEA and its tech partners are now pushing ahead with a managed, hosted platform that can be used by other operators.

"We wanted to build a platform for our own customer base and then extend that out to other operators," Ben Lovins, SVP of the telecommunications division at JEA, explained.

"The goal here is to use this solution to white-label it," said Xavier Fustagueras, SVP Americas at Nagra, which is supplying pieces such as the TV backoffice and user experience for the new managed video offering.

Lovins said the new offering will have multiple sales paths into the market, relying on partners such as Harmonic and Nagra as well as Mega Hertz, which has signed on as a reseller.

JEA is the first announced multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD) to take advantage of this new pre-integrated managed streaming platform. Other partners are expected to be announced in the coming week, according to Fustagueras.

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Jeff Baumgartner

Senior Editor, Light Reading

Jeff Baumgartner is a Senior Editor for Light Reading and is responsible for the day-to-day news coverage and analysis of the cable and video sectors. Follow him on X and LinkedIn.

Baumgartner also served as Site Editor for Light Reading Cable from 2007-2013. In between his two stints at Light Reading, he led tech coverage for Multichannel News and was a regular contributor to Broadcasting + Cable. Baumgartner was named to the 2018 class of the Cable TV Pioneers.

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