National Cable Show, May 6 2010 – HITS®, a business unit of the Comcast Media Center, (CMC – Cable Show Booth #2141) today announced a national terrestrial fiber distribution service for delivering video programming to cable MSOs. The new solution is made possible by the cable industry expertise of the CMC, supported by tier 1 conditional access from Verimatrix and video processing and delivery powered by Harmonic Inc. The HITS fiber-based solution provides industry-proven content security and addresses access control concerns.
The new fiber service uses the expansive Comcast network to deliver video content to its HITS affiliates. Connecting to the fiber network makes it easier for MSOs to broaden their portfolio of HD to their subscribers today, and adds a wide array of services in the future, including iTV, 3DTV and more. The HITS fiber-based solution can either be used for the primary delivery of video content or serve as a redundant, backup path for satellite-delivered programming in the event of satellite interruptions, thereby reducing downtime and minimizing the impact to customers. The CMC can help MSOs develop a fiber strategy now that will be available by the fourth quarter of 2010.
“The new HITS fiber-based solution represents the evolution of transport technology in the cable business today,” said Gary Traver, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the CMC. “Fiber delivery has the bandwidth and resiliency to deliver the large number of video services and encoding formats that can help MSOs compete in today’s environment. The HITS fiber-based solution offers a reliable and potentially cost-effective content delivery method that an MSO can leverage in their long-term business strategy to add future services and revenue streams.”
Content security provided by Verimatrix and Harmonic provide key components that help enable HITS to deliver content to third parties through a centralized fiber infrastructure. “Verimatrix, the clear leader in software-based content and revenue security solutions, is pleased to be recognized as a strategic vendor helping to power the new HITS fiber solution,” said Steve Oetegenn, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer for Verimatrix. “Our strong partnership with Harmonic enabled a rapid integration of all necessary components, creating a secure flexible platform on which to deliver the business services of the future.”
“Working closely with the CMC and Verimatrix, we implemented an integrated and centrally managed solution for video processing at the edge, including scrambling, descrambling and blackout management. Harmonic’s ability to support a wide range of compression standards allows us to address the wide scope of video encoding requirements from the CMC’s MSO customers,” added Nimrod Ben-Natan, Vice President of Product Marketing, Solutions and Strategy for Harmonic Inc.
A spring 2010 HITS study found that more than two-thirds of MSOs surveyed had plans to centralize services and fiber their headends together. Once an MSO has a local fiber system established, it can connect to the HITS fiber-based solution either directly or through a last mile provider. MSOs can take advantage of centralized 24/7 content management capabilities to receive and deliver video services to their subscribers at a fraction of the cost for building their own infrastructure.