Evolution Digital and WideOpenWest (WOW) have forged a distribution deal that will enable the operator to offer IP-VOD services alongside its live TV offering.
WOW, Evolution said, is the first operator to deploy eVUE-TV, an IP video platform unveiled in February that offers “thousands of hours” of video-on-demand content. Evolution introduced eVUE following its acquisition of IP-VOD specialist i-Velozity, a move that will help Evolution’s partners offer their own VOD and live TV services via a unified platform.
WOW will integrate eVUE-TV with its new “SW!VEL” service for the eBOX, a hybrid IP/QAM set-top that is powered by TiVo’s software, user interface and search platform. Evolution has also developed a version of eBOX that uses “eGUIDE,” an interface that uses Rovi’s Fan TV platform. TiVo and Rovi are in the process of merging under a $1.1 billion deal announced in late April.
At last month’s INTX show in Boston, WOW chief technology officer Cash Hagen hinted at the operator’s next-gen video plans.
He said WOW operator will use the eBox to targeted a segment of the market that wants a slimmed down pay TV package. During the initial phase of the rollout, SW!VEL, he said, will include the broadcast basic channels and integrated OTT apps. Phase II, slated for a summer launch, will add IP-VOD to the mix (via eVUE), and Phase III, expected to launch early next year, will add a cloud DVR service.
“With the rise of OTT streaming service providers, eVUE-TV puts the power back into the cable operators’ hands with a full library of leading content that’s easily accessible and navigational for the consumer,” Evolution Digital president and CTO Brent Smith said, in a statement. “We are extremely pleased that WOW! is taking their entertainment experience offering to its customers one step further by offering an instant and affordable platform so viewers can take advantage of the full breadth of WOW!’s video offering.”
"Now, with eVUE-TV, our customers can easily find their favorite content to ‘binge watch’ from start to finish, without having to switch inputs and streaming providers to access that content,” Hagen added.