SeaChange International Inc. announced last week that
Tele-Communications Inc. will use its GuestServe Network to deliver video-on-demand to
Chicago hotel rooms.
TCI marks the second MSO to sign a VOD-hotel deal with
SeaChange. Time Warner Cable already uses the technology in select New York and Honolulu
The service will use TCI's redundant fiber optic ring
surrounding Chicago, as well as a headend dedicated to its Chicago hotel customers.
SeaChange's video server will also allow TCI to offer computer games and Internet
access to its hotel rooms in or near downtown Chicago.
Tyrone Thompson, manager for business development at TCI
Chicago, said TCI plans to launch its VOD-hotel service in September with movies only, but
it may add games and Internet access later on. At press time, TCI would not release the
names of the Chicago hotels that were committed to the VOD service, pending signed
Thompson said there's a lot of demand for VOD services
throughout TCI, adding that further rollouts would likely depend upon the success of the
John Delaney, vice president of marketing at SeaChange,
said the company is also developing separate VOD technology for residential use.
"It's very different, because it's developed with digital set-top
boxes," he said.
In the meantime, he said, the hotel services allow cable
operators to experiment with VOD in a market "where we know that you can make a lot
SeaChange expects to announce a hotel deal with another
large MSO within the next two months. Delaney said initial interest has been coming from
cities with large concentrations of hotels clustered around single cable fiber networks.