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Cable Technology Feature Article

November 06, 2008

Comcast Media Center's MPEG-2 VOD Platform Crosses 30 Million Mark

By Rajani Baburajan, TMCnet Contributor

Comcast Media Center (CMC), a business unit of Comcast Cable, today announced its MPEG-2 video on demand (VOD) platform now encompasses over 90 percent of top cable multiple system operators (MSOs) and serves more than 30 million VOD-enabled households in the country.
CMC currently delivers more than 9,000 VOD assets from over 275 content providers to Comcast (News - Alert) and other cable MSOs. CMC’s lineup of VOD programming includes both standard definition (SD) and high definition (HD) contents.
The company offers centralized content management and distribution solutions for cable systems, video content providers and advertisers through its content distribution platforms including HITS Quantum all-digital portfolio, which consists of over 280 linear HD and SD digital video and audio services that reach more than 2,000 local cable system head-ends.
Launched in 2003, the MPEG-2 VOD platform is one of the best in terms of turnaround time for video content. This feature of the platform enables video content providers to schedule time sensitive programs such as full-length sports events in real time. CMC VOD has been expanded to support MPEG 4 as well as MPEG 2 encoding and transport to cable systems nationwide, the company said in a statement.
Also, the VOD service is capable of capturing content in any format and can encode them with a speed from 1 Mbps to 50 Mbps. This platform-independent service can aggregate programming packages from different partners and provide in-house meta-data creation and validation that can be customized to meet various head-end configurations. The content can be delivered via satellite and Internet delivery platforms. 
“HD VOD provides cable system operators with a significant competitive advantage,” says Gary Traver, senior vice president & chief operating officer for CMC. “Working with the content community, we will continue to expand the scope and depth of HD content that’s available to affiliates using MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 VOD systems.”
In collaboration with Arris, CMC offers a managed VOD service “VOD In a BOX (VODIaB)”, which delivers up to 3,300 hours of VOD programming per month, including HD content. This service allows cable systems to accept content from multiple sources without the need to manage the content at each head-end. This process eliminates the need for multiple VOD servers and on-site asset management.
CMC also maintains a rigid quality control authorization process, which provides 24/7 content monitoring and support services and features browser-based access to all CMC-generated VOD reports.

Rajani Baburajan is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Rajani's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi