ThePlatform to bring cloud-based video management to Comcast TV service

Online video publishing company thePlatform, which in February was selected as the central video management system for Australian pay-TV operator Telstra's BigPond TV service, will serve a similar capacity for Comcast, and its next-generation Xfinity TV service.

The company said its cloud-based mpx video management system will be behind Comcast's entire TV service.

The deployment "demonstrates the ability of mpx to deliver pay-TV services on a vast scale with enterprise-grade reliability," said a company spokesman, raising the bar significantly for the OVP category.

"It's a little more involved than [Telstra] in that, one, this is managing as a hub for both linear and on demand, that's a big step up," thePlatform CEO Ian Blaine told FierceOnlineVideo. "And in terms of complexity, it's an order of magnitude more to think about because Comcast's footprint is complicated. It really validates as [an] mpx for video anywhere, including the set-top and the television."

Now in a market trial in Augusta, Ga., the Xfinity TV service offers a personalized user experience on the television, making it easier to navigate, search and select from tens of thousands of choices. ThePlatform worked closely with teams across Comcast to design a system that provides greater flexibility and versatility for managing live TV or video-on-demand. This deployment also showcases the ability of mpx to deliver pay-TV services on a vast scale with enterprise-grade reliability for one of the largest TV service providers in North America.

Blaine said thePlatform didn't develop a specific platform for Comcast, but one that could be used by other operators as well.

"They're using our products," he said. "This is not a one-off that we built specifically for them. This takes us from a TV Everywhere enabler to a TV enabler, that's a big difference."

Sam Schwartz, president of Comcast Converged Products, said the deal leverages "the best aspects of web-based video architecture to reshape the television experience itself.

"We acquired thePlatform five years ago in order to bring some of the brightest minds in video systems design and management into our senior planning teams," he said. "ThePlatform has been instrumental in our efforts to date and is playing a strategic role in the development of our next-generation services."

ThePlatform earlier this week announced a deal with Alcatel-Lucent to offer TV Everywhere services globally. (See related story.)

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