Cable Technology Feature Article
Nitro Now: Bringing the Set-top On-demand Experience Up to Par with Online Competition
By Nick Ruble, TMCnet Contributing Writer
With services like Netflix, Hulu (News - Alert) Plus or even YouTube, most of us have pretty much abandoned the video on-demand services that set-top boxes provide. It’s not that the movies on set-tops are outdated or any different than the ones on the Internet at all – it’s just that bland and outdated interface that viewers have to rely on when browsing.
SeaChange noticed this ugly problem – that’s why it has set out to give conventional video on-demand services a much-needed facelift, with Nitro Now.
Nitro Now aims to provide viewers with an interface similar to all the popular streaming services on the Web – on their set-top box. It’s a lightweight subscription-based portal that the cable industry hopes will give Netflix a run for its money – best of all, it will even be compatible with those ancient boxes from the 1990s.
Executive director of product management at SeaChange, Anthony Landamia, announced, "The effect [of Nitro Now] is a completely contemporary experience that doesn't require a single truck roll even for homes that last received a new set-top during the 1990s."
What’s more, operators are able to customize the interface to their heart’s content, allowing for smoother integration and a better fit for their brand – it should look like an attractive upgrade to the current on-demand services that user’s cable companies are providing.
Alright; the streaming service sounds great, but what else is it besides an improved interface? Possibly a means of purchasing any and all video-related merchandise – like Blu-ray discs, movie and TV series soundtracks, videogames and more, all from the comfort of the subscriber’s couch.
Satellite and digital cable services have always had those banner ads and other various snippets of related content that the user might be interested in purchasing, but something like Amazon or CinemaNow via television might be a little more convenient for movie fanatics.
Even though the TV is still number one in the way of home entertainment, cable providers are looking for ways to stay on top of online competitors. It’s interesting to see attractive new services like Nitro Now surfacing, essentially reinventing the way we receive content and watch our favorite movies and shows.
Edited by Brooke Neuman