TV Watching

A recently announced deal between Innovative Systems and Aureon is aimed at enabling smaller telcos to provide vMVPD services. Those services offer a cable TV-like content lineup but are distributed over broadband infrastructure.

An example of a vMVPD (virtual multi-channel video programming distributor) service from a larger broadband provider is AT&T TV Now.

Telecompetitor spoke recently with Scott Sobolewski, Innovative Systems vice president of sales, about the Aureon deal and a similar one that Innovative Systems inked with Midwest Video Solutions (MVS).

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The Deal

The Innovative Systems Aureon deal calls for Innovative Systems to provide middleware to support vMVPD services delivered through Aureon’s headend infrastructure, which smaller broadband video providers use on a shared basis.

As Sobolewski explained, “Middleware is the software – everything except content.”

Smaller providers must obtain their own content distribution agreements, which they typically obtain through organizations such as the National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC), the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC) or Vivicast, Sobolewski noted. The content is then distributed through headend infrastructure operated by companies such as MVS and Aureon.

Prior to the Aureon deal, “middleware was hosted at the service provider instead of at Aureon,” said Sobolewski. Providers, he said, “would have separate agreements with Aureon and Innovative Systems.

“We’re cutting down the equipment required” and reducing cost and complexity, Sobolewski said. Providers “will just buy from Innovative Systems—we handle everything from Aureon.”

The Innovative Systems middleware works with a range of streaming devices such as Apple TV, Roku and Android TV.

“We also have our own set top box… that can also act as a streaming device but looks like a regular set-top box,” said Sobolewski.

Additional information about the Innovative Systems Aureon deal can be found in this press release.

Distributing linear video over broadband infrastructure using a vMVPD approach minimizes the complexity of providers’ infrastructure and may enable them to offer lower-priced offerings.

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