MidStream, nCUBE Collaborate on VOD

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MidStream Technologies Inc. and nCUBE Corp. have signed a deal to collaborate on the sale of VOD server systems to operators.

Under the arrangement, MidStream would supply the server hardware and nCUBE would proffer its VOD software-management system.

The pact is in response to operators who want to incorporate additional mix-and-match elements into VOD system design, according to senior executives from both companies.

"With this agreement, the on-demand television market has evolved from a time when one company only provided one VOD end-to-end hardware and software solution to an environment where cable operators can choose how to build their system for each individual market to deliver the best performance, function and flexibility," said MidStream president and CEO Ed Huguez.

"People want a lot of choice," nCUBE CEO Michael Pohl said. "We've got to give the people the right to choose. This will allow people to build their platform."

Of course, nCUBE also is in the server business, with large deployments with Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications Inc., among other operators. But Time Warner also has shown interest in other server venders beyond nCUBE, Concurrent Computer Corp. and SeaChange International Inc., including MidStream.

Pohl said the move to work with outside server vendors like MidStream, under the terms of this particular deal, makes sense. "This is an OEM deal," he said.

The nAble on-demand management system from nCUBE handles session setup, system control, status monitoring and content-distribution oversight. MidStream will bring its IP2000 series line of video servers to the partnership.

Both companies will continue to sell their server products individually, as well as through the partnership.

MidStream will continue to function solely as a server vendor, said Huguez, but said it wanted to partner with a software provider to provide convenience to operators.

"We wanted an established software solution," and chose nCUBE, he said.

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