Motorola Shrinks VOD Servers

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Motorola is giving the large-scale B-1 video-on-demand server a little brother.

The company's B-3 Video Server is aimed at small and medium-size sites, with the ability to serve about 350 streams in a 1-rack-unit device. The B-1, by comparison, provides between 2,000 and 20,000 streams per 18-rack-unit chassis.

The B-3, which uses flash-based memory for storage, can be configured as a standalone server with integrated content library or as an edge server deployed alongside a B-1 that functions as a centralized library.

Motorola senior product marketing manager Jim Owens said the B-3 will be sold in clusters of 1-RU boxes -- which the company is calling "blades" -- targeting sites that serve between 250 and 3,000 concurrent streams.

"We're adding the element of flexibility in how it can be configured, as well as flexibility in supporting different sizes of deployments," he said.

Motorola's scaled-down VOD server will compete with other systems based on solid-state storage, particularly Edgeware's Orbit server, which can deliver up to 5,400 standard-definition streams in a 1RU unit.

The B-3 supports MPEG-2 and H.264 video formats. The boxes use Intel-based microprocessors and each provide two Gigabit Ethernet ports for streaming.

Motorola is not announcing pricing. Owens said the B-3 will be "priced to the stream prices we're seeing in the market today." The system requires one Stream Commander box per site, which manages subsidiary storage and streaming units.

The B-3 will be shipping in April. Units currently are in trials with customers, according to Owens.

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