Published: 08.01 Europe/London, June 13, 2011

Alcatel-Lucent and thePlatform have combined to launch a new multiscreen video platform to cable and IPTV providers. The platform supports the delivery of live scheduled TV, video on demand and so-called ‘TV everywhere’ services to a variety of screens. It will allow pay-TV subscribers to access video content in the home or on the move.

The system uses a content delivery network (CDN), deployed by the service provider, and includes the type of security found in set-top boxes. This is significant, given the reluctance of some content providers to release their content for such services.

Alex Glass, VP global operations, thePlatform said the strategic alliance would both bridge the gap with the traditional IP world, while bringing a seamless provision of video content over the web. “It was really important for us to put behind us a company that had both the expertise and the personnel to take thePlatform to the scale that we really feel our software is ready to go to,” He admitted that 150 staff in Seattle did not on its own provide it with a place on the global stage. “We’re aligning two best of breed strategic elements in the acquisition and content management capabilities of thePlatform with the content delivery network we have with the Velocix product set,” added Clayton Wagar, VP, Cable/MSO Solutions, Alcatel-Lucent.

The three main components are a Multiscreen Cloud, the central element of which is thePlatform’s cloud-based mpx video management system which provides the central logistics system for multi-screen video publishing; a Multiscreen CDN – based on Alcatel-Lucent’s Velocix Digital Media Delivery Platform – enables service providers to build and operate their own dedicated CDN as an alternative to shared third-party CDNs and a suite of subscriber applications known as Multiscreen Clients.

“It became clear a couple of years ago that technologies like smooth streaming and Apple HLS [the streaming communications protocol were going to be the basis on which these new wave of devices would consume content”. Wagar explained that Alcatel had already worked with a “definitional customer” in the United States that had led to the addition of new features into Velocix including per user encryption in the edge cache that were still unavailable elsewhere.

Glass said that business models were constantly evolving with RFPs differing from one proposal to another.