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BT Hops on Comcast's thePlatform After Junking Microsoft IPTV

BT has deployed the video publishing system from Comcast subsidiary thePlatform as the central nervous system for its IPTV services, after the U.K. telco wound down the Microsoft Mediaroom system last year.

The telco is using thePlatform’s MPX cloud-based video publishing system to power both BT Vision, originally launched in December 2006 on the Mediaroom IPTV platform, and the newer YouView from BT, which it introduced last fall.

BT is using MPX for a variety of functions, including managing video workflow, coordinating playback data with recommendations engines and enforcing viewing rights by household.

As of the end of last year, BT Vision had about 771,000 subscribers, including 60,000 customers with a YouView set-top box. The YouView service, backed by BT as well as the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, Arqiva and TalkTalk, provides more than 70 digital TV channels with DVR features and seven-day catch-up TV on demand. BT’s YouView service offers additional VOD content.

Microsoft did not immediately provide comment on the BT announcement. AT&T U-verse is the largest telco in the world using Mediaroom; other customers include Deutsche Telekom, Canada’s Telus and Swisscom.

"ThePlatform has a history of success managing video on behalf of some of the largest pay-TV operators and media companies in the world," Alex Green, BT’s director of TV, said in a statement. "ThePlatform enables us to simplify many of our back-end processes by providing a centralized video logistics system capable of publishing video to our new set-top boxes, and other IP-connected devices in the future."

Service provider customers of Seattle-based thePlatform include Cablevision Systems, Comcast, Cox Communications, Liberty Global, Rogers Communications and Time Warner Cable.