MidStream, nCUBE Collaborate on VOD


MidStream Technologies and nCUBE have signed a deal to collaborate on the
sale of video-on-demand-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 that 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," MidStream president and CEO Ed Huguez said.

"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

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 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
[original-equipment-manufacturing] deal," he added.

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, Huguez said,
but it wanted to partner with a software provider to provide convenience to

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