Evolution Digital said it has reached a deal with the National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC) to distribute its eVUE-TV IP video-on-demand service to the NCTC’s membership of independent operators.
eVUE-TV, a platform introduced by Colorado-based Evolution in February, supplies “thousands” of hours of movies and TV shows on-demand while also integrating IP linear and VOD across a unified interface. Evolution’s future plans for the platform include cloud-based services, including a cloud DVR.
Evolution noted that eVUE-TV is the first offering to be introduced as an option for NCTC members for “VU-IT!,” a new platform that includes a solution for backoffice integration, OTT apps and “enhanced services” to enable IP-based linear and VOD services.
VU-IT will initially be available on TiVo-powered devices, such as Evolution’s recently re-branded, hybrid IP/QAM “eBOX,” but will also be deployed on other platforms, as well as mobile devices, Evolution said. Notably, GLDS announced Monday (July 18) that it had completed the integration of VU-IT! With its own BroadHub billing and customer management system, with Vyve on board as the first operator to deploy the integrated GLDS/NCTC solution. Vyve and TiVo announced their original partnership in February 2014.
As for the eVUE-TV approach, on-demand content is uploaded from the cable operator’s local VOD and transcoded, enabling an “exact replication” of the MSO’s VOD catalog in IP.
“Today’s agreement ensures that members of NCTC have access to the best on-demand content on one, easy-to-use platform at a price point that makes sense to the operator,” Marc Cohen, executive vice president of sales at Evolution Digital, said in a statement. “As a disruptor in the pay-TV industry, we are committed to driving growth for NCTC members and, with the deployment of eVUE-TV, we will provide an unparalleled viewing experience to customers.”
“We are pleased to offer Evolution Digital’s eVUE-TV on our platform, providing cable operators a low-cost solution to deliver VOD,” added Rich Fickle, CEO and president at NCTC. “Evolution Digital continues to be a key partner for NCTC, from its pioneering of DTAs to now driving solutions that enable IP video services.”
Evolution’s latest NCTC distribution deal, announced ahead of next week’s Independent Show in Orlando, follows one with the co-op announced in February that centers on Evolution’s hybrid set-top box.
Among operators, WideOpenWest plans to use the Evolution/TiVo eBOX combo to underpin a new service called “SW!VEL” that will feature a skinny TV bundle that includes the major broadcast TV networks and a suite of OTT apps. WOW also plans to deploy eVUE and has put a cloud DVR on its product roadmap.
Update: Evolution’s agreement with WOW is separate from Evolution’s arrangements with the NCTC. But Evolution has “a number of irons in the fire” with tier-2 operators that are looking to take advantage of the NCTC accords, Brent Smith, Evolution Digital’s president and CTO, explained. Though Evolution will focus on the combination of its eBOX and eVUE platforms, he noted that eVUE is agnostic in the sense that the platform can be combined with other types of set-tops and CPE.
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