Layer3 TV Taps SeaChange For In-Home Platform

Layer3 TV has selected SeaChange International as a “key vendor” for the in-home platform that will power the startup’s coming “next-generation” cable service, which apparently will be capable of supporting 4K/Ultra HD video.

Denver-based Layer3 TV hasn’t revealed a lot of details about that service, but said Monday that its in-home platform will be based on SeaChange’s Nucleus video gateway software, and that Layer3 TV has engaged SeaChange Professional Services for the integration of Nucleus and testing of Layer3 TV’s “chosen 4K IP set-top.”

As reported in this week’s Multichannel Newscover story on the emergence of “virtual” multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs), Layer3 TV expects to launch services sometime in 2015, but has not announced any set-top partners and which markets it will target first. 

Layer3 TV’s selection of Nucleus appears to shed more light on the startup’s technology direction. As described by SeaChange, Nucleus is an “implementation” of the Reference Design Kit (RDK), the preintegrated software stack for IP-capable set-tops and video devices that’s being managed by Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Liberty Global.  Among that group, Comcast already uses RDK-based boxes for its widely deployed X1 platform, Liberty Global will lean on the RDK for a new cloud-based version of its Horizon TV platform, and TWC has already selected Humax to develop the MSO’s first RDK-based box – an IP-only client.

As for Layer3 TV, a number of current job postings, including one for an embedded systems engineer/architect and another for an embedded applications developer (both to be based in Boston), highlight the RDK among the specific technologies and abilities that Layer3 TV is interested in.

Update: SeaChange confirmed that RDK is an optional component of Nucleus. 

SeaChange’s Nucleus platform is pre-integrated with Adrenalin, the vendor’s backoffice for multiscreen video services, supports several set-tops and gateways, including the Arris XG1 and DCX3600, the Pace Xi3 and RNG150, and the Technicolor DCI1807, and several “connected device” types, including the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, iOS and  Android tablets and smartphones, and select smart TVs and Blu-ray players.

SeaChange said Nucleus positions Layer3 TV “for rapid innovation of cloud-based services,” including the ability for consumers to search, stream and store TV shows, movies and personal video, and tap into “powerful applications including whole-home DVR.”

“Nucleus is helping Layer3 TV hit the ground running with an array of capabilities that can quickly evolve with consumer habits and preferences,” said Layer3 TV CEO Jeff Binder, in a statement. “Building our in-home strategy with SeaChange’s software and systems integration expertise puts us in control of our gateway hardware options and lets us keep our focus on innovating at the service layer for high-impact subscriber engagement across devices.”

“Layer3 TV is preparing to transform video services and SeaChange is thrilled to be its partner in delivering a breakthrough service-oriented IP gateway,” added Jay Samit, the recently appointed CEO of SeaChange.  “Nucleus puts our customers in the best possible position for capturing the opportunities raised by disruptive technologies. We’re eager to support Layer3 TV as it enhances the programming and distribution ecosystem with vastly differentiated entertainment experiences.”

Layer3 TV, founded in 2013, recently opened its new Denver headquarters and has raised about $21 million so far.