'TV Everywhere' Takes Caribbean Cruise

Cable & Wireless Communications' Lime telecommunications subsidiary, which serves 13 Caribbean countries, has picked Avail-TVN to deliver a multiplatform IPTV service to subscribers starting in Jamaica and Barbados in the fourth quarter.

Lime will use Avail-TVN's AnyView service, which provides adaptive bit-rate MPEG-4 video of 130 live standard-definition TV channels as well as video-on-demand content. Avail-TVN also will supply the user interface and electronic program guide, as well as monitor broadcasts from the company's network operations center.

Currently, Lime does not offer video services. In Jamaica and Barbados, Lime plans to offer TV services to 130,000 households. The company currently has 200,000 broadband users in the two island nations.

The video service will be delivered via Lime's private broadband network, available initially on set-top boxes and followed by video to PCs. Lime plans to expand the subscription-video service across the Caribbean in 2012.

"Lime's goal is to provide consumers with a pay-TV product that is functionally superior to their current experience, one that delivers higher levels of service and is easy to use," Lime vice president of TV and entertainment Diane Bissoon said in a statement. "Avail-TVN has provided the full package -- from technology to content -- that allows us to quickly and cost-effectively launch a compelling, multi-screen video offering that delivers true value to our subscribers, with the quality and security our content partners demand."

Lime is the first Cable & Wireless subsidiary that will launch multiplatform video services with Avail-TVN, with the potential for expansion of the relationship to 37 additional markets across its global footprint.

Avail-TVN operates AnyView out of its headend facility in Burbank, Calif., which sits alongside its traditional multicast distribution infrastructure. The company has a 10-Gigabit fiber network that connects with Lime's network in New York and Miami.

The service encodes video in 11 different bit-rate profiles, with the highest-end profile for TVs, the midrange profiles targeting PCs and tablets, and the low end for mobile phones.

In the U.S., Avail-TVN expects to commercially launch AnyView in the first quarter of 2012. The company is conducting AnyView trials with four American cable operators, according to Avail-TVN chief operating officer Jon Romm. He declined to identify them.

"We tried to pick different providers with different ecosystems and challenges, and we want to make sure we're interoperating with all those ecosystems," Romm said.