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Arroyo Accelerates Video, ITV

Backed by $13 million in venture capital — including funds from Time Warner Investments and Comcast Interactive Capital — Arroyo Video Solutions Inc. is set to develop a next-generation video platform that will allow cable operators to deploy robust video-on-demand and ITV services.

The Arroyo software sits on an Intel Corp.-based server at a cable headend and can speed up applications by a factor of 10, according to Arroyo vice president of marketing and business development David Yates.

All applications run on a Linux operating system, he said, but those applications can talk to currently deployed set-top boxes and back-office systems, Yates said.

“There is no change in set-top boxes or the back-office systems,” he said.

In a VOD scenario, for example, a consumer would request a movie and Arroyo’s software would be integrated with an N2 Broadband software-management system to speed the movie to the home, saving bandwidth.

The Arroyo server can today store 2,500 hours of content and handle 12,000 simultaneous streams, Yates said. Arroyo’s unit can sit along side existing servers, or allow MSOs to replace legacy equipment, he said. Yates envisions a television-commerce application in which consumers who order VOD content would get appropriate ads, based on the demographics of their household.

The software video accelerator features of Arroyo’s product can address problems Yates sees with respect to running OpenCable Applications Platforms applications from servers — those servers can’t host a lot of applications, and the processing can be very slow.

Arroyo’s software speaks to longstanding operator needs for open platforms, standards-based architecture and technology that can scale, Yates said. “We can speed applications 10 times and make older set-top boxes a viable delivery mechanism for OCAP apps,” Yates said.

Yates said Arroyo will enter MSO trials in the next several weeks. He also said the company has joined Itaas, the application developer program developed by Scientific-Atlanta Inc. The program provides tools and support to assist developers in integrating new applications with S-A’s SARA guide, its PowerTV operating system and the vendor’s digital set-top platform.