Separately, Time Warner Cable signed a memo of
understanding with Concurrent last week, picking the vendor's "MediaHawk"
video server for tests within its "Pegasus" digital-video system. Time Warner
issued a request for VOD proposals last year, and it is also working with SeaChange
In the set-top deal, GI will link its digital set-tops with
Concurrent's MediaHawk, officials said.
E. Courtney Siegal, chairman, CEO and president of
Concurrent, said in a prepared statement that the agreement means that Concurrent's
VOD system "can be deployed to [GI's] already significant and rapidly growing
customer base." Siegal was referring to the 2 million digital set-tops that GI has
GI executives said at a trade show last month that they
expect to identify series of VOD partners in time for the Western Show. Last week, Denton
Kanouff, vice president of marketing for GI's Digital Network Systems division, said
the Concurrent arrangement will produce a cost-effective VOD solution for GI's
"The ability to deliver true, interactive
video-on-demand is among the most highly desired and eagerly awaited of these [new]
services," he said.
Concurrent combines a digital-headend system with a video
server and a cable back-office software suite in what it describes as a "completely
integrated, end-to-end system."
In the Time Warner tests, Concurrent's equipment will
be linked not to GI's set-tops, but to set-tops and a digital headend supplied by
Scientific-Atlanta Inc. S-A is Time Warner's primary set-top supplier.
"The combination of MediaHawk with Time Warner's
network and extensive experience will make video-on-demand a reality," Siegel said of
Time Warner and Concurrent said they would detail the test
specifics, including location, at a later date.