, a worldwide leader of on-demand technology that is shaping the future of television, announced that Chinese cable operator Shekou CATV has chosen to launch the first commercially available Video-On-Demand (VOD) service in China using Concurrent's MediaHawk VOD platform. As part of this deal, Concurrent is partnering with Chinese technology manufacturer SZCOM to equip existing set-top boxes for advanced, two-way cable services.
"Shekou is the first operator to bring video-on-demand services to China because of strong partners like Concurrent," said Shekou CATV Director Liu Qingqing. "When Shekou initially set out to launch this new service, we relied on an alternate vendor that failed to meet our timeline. Concurrent was able to immediately integrate their server technology with our backend, greatly accelerating our on-demand launch."
Shekou CATV launched VOD earlier this month to subscribers in the Chinese provinces of Shenzhen, Shekou, and Guangdong. Shekou CATV currently provides cable television service to approximately 30,000 digital subscribers and broadband data to approximately 10,000 subscribers.
"The flexibility of Concurrent's MediaHawk platform allows us to quickly and reliably deploy VOD services delivering the quality television our customers have come to expect of Shekou," said Shekou CATV's Deputy Director, Wan Yuyun. "Concurrent has a global reputation for reliable product performance and highly responsive customer service that will ensure our subscribers enjoy an unequaled entertainment experience."
"Concurrent was selected because of our industry leading technology and our proven capability of delivering the localized products and support necessary to ensure success in this new market. China boasts over 100 million cable subscribers and is growing by millions every year. This deployment represents the opening of the world's largest cable market to Concurrent's services and we are very excited to be working with this industry leader," said Concurrent CEO Gary Trimm.
Shekou CATV is using Concurrent's MediaHawk VOD platform as well as a content acquisition and pre-processing system locally developed by Concurrent's China office for the unique requirements of the Chinese market. Additionally, Concurrent will test the interoperability of their on-demand platform with local partner SZCOM's special add-on hardware module, the IPR 200, that allows low-cost, one-way digital set-top boxes (STB) to be upgraded to two-way digital STBs capable of supporting interactive services.
"For SZCOM, the partnership with Concurrent represents a major step forward that opens our mutual markets to each other in providing interactive video services to Chinese television viewers," said SZCOM General Manager, Xiong Yi. "Concurrent's commercial off the shelf on-demand server technology provides a perfect complement to our digital STB upgrades, enabling Chinese cable operators like Shekou to quickly and cost effectively deploy advanced services without incurring the extravagant costs of switching out cable boxes."
As the telecommunications business model evolves along with the networks delivering video and data services, service providers continue to investigate and deploy advanced technologies that will refine and improve the consumer television viewing experience. Concurrent recently acquired Everstream, a leader in business intelligence software and a noted vendor in the cable industry, to complement the company's commitment to improving operational reliability and business performance capabilities in its worldwide MediaHawk Video-On-Demand deployments. Concurrent's MediaHawk On-Demand System is currently deployed on thousands of servers commercially in 24 countries.