The Headend in the Sky (HITS) multichannel service, operated by Denver-based Comcast Media Center (CMC) and a subsidiary of Comcast Cable., is now offering Comcast’s Express Lane content management solution to independent cable operators.
Express Lane allows operators and MSOs to cost-effectively deliver locally produced video-on-demand (VOD) programming to their customers without making the capital investment typically required for headend-based solutions.
HITS said Express Lane was designed for remote systems that do not have access to a centralized headend. Local content can be delivered to these systems from cloud-based storage. With this solution, operators serving smaller, remote markets can add local content and only pay for the content they use, because Express Lane does not require a minimum content commitment.
A major differentiator for cable operators is their ability to offer community-based programming to their customers, giving them a competitive advantage over DBS providers.
“Express Lane is a cost-effective way for cable systems to offer digital video customers more local programming without using linear channel capacity or investing in plant upgrades typically required for offering local VOD content,” said Leslie Russell, vice president & general manger of HITS.
The web-based Express Lane solution provides cloud encoding, metadata creation, quality control and storage. It also allows cable operators to authorize third-party content partners to submit content to the Express Lane bull pen for review, approval and delivery of local television programming to VOD-enabled households.
HITS multiplatform content distribution services are designed to help cable MSOs maximize their investment in MPEG-2, increase competitive position and create additional sources of revenue. HITS offers multiple services, including linear programming delivery, video-on-demand and interactive services.