Comcast Media Center Lets Ops Tap VOD In The 'Cloud'


Comcast Media Center is letting independent operators hook into its parent company's nationwide content delivery network to access thousands of additional video-on-demand titles -- without having to add more local VOD storage.

To access the HITS On Demand service, CMC affiliates connect into Comcast's CDN via a fiber connection. The Comcast CDN comprises four regional centers with large VOD content libraries, which feed about 100 mezzanine gateways that cache and deliver content to local VOD servers.

HITS On Demand provides MPEG-2 video content; CMC declined to specify how many VOD titles are available through the service. The availability of large stores of content in a cloud-based environment allows cable operators to increase their on-demand offerings without the need to add incremental local storage capacity. Algorithms in the CDN use centralized content hosting, edge caches and local VOD servers to maximize storage.

"The new HITS On Demand CDN satisfies growing subscriber demand for more content that fits their schedule, delivered using a familiar interface and leverages cable providers' existing infrastructure," HITS general manager Leslie Russell said in a statement. "This helps to keep customers turning to cable first for compelling video entertainment."

CMC is promoting the new service at the National Cable Television Cooperative's Winter Educational Conference in Austin, Texas.