SeaChange Jolts VOD Platform With 'Adrenalin'

SeaChange International wants to give video-on-demand customers a couple of shots of Adrenalin.

The vendor's Adrenalin software, to ship in early 2011, is an overhauled video back-office system built around its current Axiom On Demand platform that incorporates Web-centric features and supports thousands of devices.

"It takes a long, long time to make a feature change [on current cable platforms]," SeaChange president Yvette Kanouff said. "We've taken what we feel are the best components of the Web in order to create a whole platform that can still be managed in a high-quality environment."

SeaChange expects to demo the Adrenalin software at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo this week in New Orleans, showing video streaming to set-tops, iPads, Android-based mobile devices, a PlayStation 3 videogame console and other over-the-top clients.

Adrenalin is operationally efficient and immensely scalable, according to SeaChange -- with support for up to 100 million assets and 20 million subscribers. By comparison, the current version of Axiom can handle 150,000 assets and up to 10 million users per site.

The software, which uses a service-oriented architecture, incorporates elements of the products from SeaChange's acquisitions in the last two years of eventIS, a Dutch video software company, and U.K. mobile-video vendor Mobix Interactive. Adrenalin supports multiple formats, including MPEG-2 and MPEG-4/H.264 video, adaptive HTTP streaming, Adobe Flash, Microsoft Silverlight and Apple QuickTime.

"It's pretty easy to put together a demonstration," Kanouff said. "We have gone through all the work to make sure this is a scalable environment, and it has not always been easy."

As proof points, Kanouff noted that SeaChange powers "three-screen" video services for Virgin Media in the U.K. and StarHub in Singapore.

Other cable technology suppliers also are looking to deliver Web-friendly video-delivery products and systems, including Motorola, Cisco Systems, Concurrent, ActiveVideo Networks, Clearleap and BNI Video, a startup whose backers include Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cisco.

Adrenalin is the fourth generation of SeaChange video back-office systems. Its modular design is intended to let customers gradually migrate their existing Axiom VOD software. "You don't want to just forklift everything out every six months," Kanouff said.

Adrenalin's first release for SeaChange software subscription and upgrade customers is scheduled for early 2011. The system incorporates business applications such as an offer manager to execute multiscreen promotions; content management capabilities, including session and resource management for on-demand and broadcast across all screens; Web-based management and monitoring; and client publishers (which renders user interfaces on different devices) with support for third-party search, recommendation and t-commerce applications.

Adrenalin embodies SeaChange's strategy to shift toward software, as hardware sales have dipped in recent quarters. Last month the company said it would restructure its Servers and Storage unit, after turning down several offers for the hardware business, claiming they undervalued the business. Institutional investor Ramius later criticized the vendor for rejecting those bids.