Deals Aplenty in Anaheim

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TVN Entertainment Corp. signed a video-on-demand distribution deal with Buckeye Cablevision, Scientific-Atlanta Inc. released its HDTV/digital video recorder set-top, and ESPN announced it will offer college football and basketball HDTV games on VOD. All of these developments — and a bounty of others — were announced here last week at the Western Show.

TVN said Buckeye will use its technology to deliver VOD programming and services to the MSO's subscribers in Toledo and Sandusky, Ohio, plus southeastern Michigan.

TVN will supply movie titles from Hollywood studios, its Kids Unlimited package and adult programming. Buckeye said premium on demand content from Home Box Office, Showtime Networks Inc. and Starz Encore Group LLC will follow shortly. Buckeye also envisions offering local content via TVN.

TVN also said it signed a carriage deal for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. movie titles.

nCUBE Corp. said Mediacom Communications Corp. will use its server technology to launch VOD in its Florida and Georgia systems. The deal gives nCUBE access to about one -third of Mediacom's VOD-enabled subscribers, the vendor said.

Mediacom will use nCUBE's nABLE interactive management software and its n4x video server.

S-A showcased the dual-tuner Explorer 8000HD DVR, which the equipment manufacturer said Time Warner Cable is deploying in its 150,000-subscriber Green Bay, Wis., system.

For its part, ESPN said it will offer HD college football and basketball games, starting in December and continuing through March. College football games will include Tennessee vs. Auburn, Ohio State vs. Wisconsin, Miami vs. Virginia Tech and Virginia Tech vs. Pittsburgh. The Peach Bowl and Outback Bowl are also possibilities, ESPN said.

The total sports network will offer college-hoops action from the Big East, Atlantic Coast Conference and Big Ten regular seasons, as well as games from the Big East and Big Ten season-ending tournaments, plus the Big 12 tournament championship game.

N2Broadband Inc. said it inked a deal with Gotuit Media Corp. to integrate N2's OpenStream VOD platform with Gotuit TV's indexing technology for VOD content. One trial is underway at an MSO, N2 said.

And Advanced Digital Broadcast said it signed Cable Television Laboratories Inc.'s Point-of-Deployment Host Interface License Agreement (PHILA), which will allow the company to license patented DFAST technology for CableCard-enabled set-tops.

Corporate executive vice president and ADB Americas president Bill Luehrs said the company plans to introduce cable interactive set-tops with OpenCable Applications Platform middleware in 2004. ADB was showcasing its OCAP applications at the CableNET conference last week.

Voice And Data

Voice-over-Internet protocol telephony provider Vonage Holdings Corp. made news at the show, signing its second cable deal with Cable America and announcing a new $14.99-per-month pricing plan.

The Cable America deal comes on the heels of Vonage's agreement with Armstrong Utilities. Cable America will offer Vonage as a co-branded service to its subscribers in Arizona, Missouri, California and Michigan. The company will offer Vonage's residential and small-business service.

Motorola Inc. said Bresnan Communications Inc. will use its BSR 64000 equipment in the company's Rocky Mountain systems, covering four states. Cox Communications Inc. is also rolling out the equipment in Phoenix.

Core Networks said it will release CoreEnsemble, a home-networking management software solution. The software is designed to provide monitoring and management over CableHome residential gateways and networks devices in the home and small office LAN locations. Tools include firewall security and parental controls.

Alpha Technologies noted that it will use Tollgrade Communications Inc.'s IP-based Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification status monitoring equipment for Alpha power supplies. Alpha plans to deploy a Tollgrade-embedded DOCSIS transponder in Alpha's XM2 and Lectro by Alpha power supplies.

C-COR.net Corp. introduced the GigE Max, a new optical transport module for the company's CHP Max5000 headend platform. The GigE Max integrates Gigabit Ethernet grooming/aggregation, packet switching, and optical transport for VOD transport. C-COR.net said the new module eliminates external grooming switches and is being offered in capacities ranging from 2.5 Gigabits to 10 Gb.

Nortel Networks Inc. debuted its OPTera Metro 5000 CWDM Enclosure, designed for cable operators that deliver high-speed data services to schools and businesses. Nortel said the enclosure is designed to increase network flexibility in delivering Gigabit Ethernet, storage connectivity and other optical broadband services to customer premises.

Arris Group Inc. said it will distribute Ellacoya Networks' 4000 and 16000 series IP-service management systems to broadband operators worldwide.

ICTV Inc. announced a deal with Delivery Agent Inc. to develop commerce-based applications for ICTV's HeadendWare VOD menuing solutions. ICTV said operators will be able to sell apparel, accessories, home furnishings, and travel packages.

Allot Communications announced that Northland Cable Television will use Allot's NetEnforcer traffic-management systems for its high-speed rollouts. Northland operates cable systems in Alabama, California, Georgia, Idaho, the Carolinas, Mississippi, Texas and Washington. Northland will use the product to manage the peer-to-peer traffic on its networks.

Lemur Networks said Adams Cable Service will deploy its I-Fabric firmware manager for its systems serving 25,000 subscribers in Pennsylvania and New York. The cable system will use the software to track installed cable modems and remotely perform firmware upgrades, allowing the MSO to take advantage of DOCSIS 1.1 quality-of-service features.

BigBand Networks Inc. said Cox Communications has deployed BigBand's ad splicing gateway on the BigBand BMR (broadband multimedia-service router) in its New England systems for digital ad insertion.

BigBand also said Time Warner Cable is completing deployment of its BMR product in Houston, which serves 1.5 million homes passed across 25 hub sites. The Houston rollout covers BigBand grooming, HDTV, ad-splicing and transport gateways and broadcast edge systems.

ADC debuted its Cuda 3000, a new, carrier-class cable modem termination system aimed at cable operators serving markets up to 50,000 homes passed. It's a small-scale version of ADC's Cuda 12000 and will be available in February.

P-Cube Inc. debuted its Engage 2.0 software, allowing MSO's to optimize network data traffic. Enhancements include new reporting components, support for new P2P and VoIP protocols.

Got Games

On the gaming front, TvHead Inc., which bills itself as a video-gaming content aggregation company, said it's signed licensing pacts with games creators to develop dedicated games channel for cable operators.

The TvHead Games channel will offer 40 single and multiplayer games at its proposed first quarter 2004 launch, as well as tournaments, high-score boards, and chat sessions. The company has signed deals with Midway Games, PopCap Games and Gamer.tv, covering Diamond Mine, Bookworm, Dinky Bomb, Rampage, Gauntlet and SmashTV. Tv Head also said it's working with ICTV to create a gaming package for that platform.

"This is the first of several partner releases over the coming months as we rapidly build up our games library," said Sangita Verma, founder and CEO of TvHead, in a statement. "We know the power of games, and have the expertise to bring them to the cable industry.

"At a time when the industry is under increased competitive pressures, real-time, two-way gaming offers significant subscriber acquisition and retention possibilities," Verma said.

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