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Cable Show 2011: SeaChange Spreads 'Nitro' Interface Across Multiple Screens

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SeaChange International is officially jumping into the guide game, with plans to show off its Nitro multiscreen video navigation and social-media user interface software at the Cable Show next week.

The product is designed to provide a common look and feel across any devices, letting pay-TV providers deliver an integrated experience for navigating linear and on-demand content across TVs, mobile devices, tablets and computers.

Nitro is built on the open HTML5 specification and supports multiroom DVR, virtual channels, TV listings, bookmarking, search and recommendation, and handheld-as-a-remote capability. The vendor said a major cable operator is the first Nitro customer with an initial deployment planned for later this year, but SeaChange didn't identify the MSO.

In addition, Nitro provides social media features with support for "virtual parties," to let user can enjoy a common VOD experience from different locations by communicating, sharing comments and inviting others to participate.

SeaChange is positioning Nitro as providing a front-end to the vendor's Adrenalin multiscreen video back-office system, which has already been deployed with operators worldwide including the U.K.'s Virgin Media. Future releases of Nitro will provide access to third-party back-offices, according to the company.

"SeaChange has proven that our software can handle the rigors of managing and delivering multiscreen video through Adrenalin," SeaChange general manager of in-home solutions Shiva Patibanda said. "Now we've created a dramatically compelling front end that makes it as easy as possible for consumers to enjoy that video how, when and where they choose."

According to recent Nielsen research, about 70% of tablet owners and 68% of smartphone owners surveyed said they use their devices while watching TV -- the largest of the categories asked about in the survey.

The Nitro system supports the following digital rights management systems: Microsoft PlayReady, Widevine, Verimatrix, Apple HLS and Adobe Flash Access 2.0.