RCN Uses SeaChange AssetFlow to Centralize VOD

ACTON, MASS.—Digital cable TV operator RCN has deployed SeaChange’s AssetFlow content workflow management software to streamline video-on-demand (VOD) content and metadata processing operations in its five markets. With AssetFlow, RCN has created a single centralized content processing operation to fully support the VOD libraries in Boston, Chicago, New York City, Lehigh Valley and Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. RCN’s ON DEMAND service includes an expansive range of movies, network programming, music and music videos.

At RCN’s central processing location, all content is ingested into the AssetFlow system, which automatically formats the content for viewing, adds the appropriate metadata and localizes the content to incorporate site-specific information for the particular market in which it will be available. What was once a manually intensive operation that was repeated five times at each site is now automated and takes place at one location, from which the prepared content is multicast to each of the other VOD sites.

“Incorporating AssetFlow into RCN’s VOD infrastructure is significantly improving the overall efficiency of our ON DEMAND service,” said Jason Nealis, senior director, video engineering, RCN. “We’ve been able to move faster and radically reduce the workload that goes into supplying content for our world class on-demand offering, which we anticipate will also allow RCN to realize operating cost savings.”

“The implementation of AssetFlow represents a major shift in the way RCN prepares and processes its VOD content,” said Venkat Krishnan, vice president, products, SeaChange. “Simply by eliminating the redundancies in its processing functions, RCN was able to affect an 80-percent reduction in the amount of work and cost required to prepare its content for viewing. And by leveraging AssetFlow’s rules-based automation, RCN has streamlined its processing even further, freeing up significant time and resources and dramatically cutting associated costs.”

AssetFlow directs all of RCN’s received content into SeaChange’s Universal Media Library, a massively scalable storage server that supports all of the content and metadata processing. The UML stores all VOD content along with the associated metadata and any variations for each local market. The UML also provides a critical back-up function thanks to its NAS design, which allows it to deliver content to any market should a local site go down.

RCN started its VOD operations with SeaChange back office software and video servers in 2003.