Unified Video Technologies simplifies IP-based VOD deployments

A new white label video delivery service from Unified Video Technologies (UNIV) called uVOD is looking to make it easier, quicker and less costly for operators to launch VOD services and compete for the ever-increasing video consumption. Addressing the increasing number of cord cutters everywhere, operators deploying the UNIV service can offer their subscribers complete packages of programs or only the individual channels they want to watch.

Pablo Goldstein, CEO of UNIV, said that telcos, smaller MSOs, ISPs and other types of content distributors need “affordable ways to reach customers they can’t otherwise.” Because UNIV does all of the heavy lifting, uVOD services can be deployed in a fraction of the time of on-premise systems and at a fraction of the cost (about 25 percent less or more).

The uVOD platform is a hosted and managed service that leverages the Akamai content distribution network (CDN), special content management software and middleware that supports a myriad of CDNs while allowing system operators to offer VOD without equipment or in-house expertise. The company will also install the required NOC equipment if necessary.

Goldstein said he’s also able to offer overseas customers an array of programming options, which he currently cannot (due to rights) in the U.S. This could allow an ex-patriot in the U.S. from Brazil, for example, to watch programming from their home country over an IP connection. Being based in Miami, he sees this as a big potential market opportunity.

The new service supports subscription (sVOD) and per-use, transaction-based (tVOD) business models and allows operators to adopt uVOD as a managed service, which includes provisioning, fulfillment and billing. A per-subscriber pricing model reduces fixed costs and capital outlays as well as the time it would take to deploy and launch a VOD service.

“The whole point is that we’re making it easy for companies to get involved without having to spend lots of money on equipment and infrastructure," Goldstein said, and they can easily expand as their subscriptions grow.

The uVOD portal and player is highly customizable and can be branded with the client’s logo and can be used with a choice of languages. It includes bookmarks, history, search and filters to make finding content easier. Operators can also offer highly customized GUIs for individual subscribers with specific tastes. Users can watch content anywhere, including on all Apple iOs, Google Android and Windows PCs. There are also social media connections to Facebook, Twitter and other platforms.

The service includes full back office support including automated content management from ingestion to publication. There’s a single sign-in across platforms, subscriber and rights management, product catalog, storefront and analytics and reporting. The system integrates with enterprise billing, customer relations management and subscription management systems.

“In the past, as a rule telcos and ISPs didn’t really want to get involved with video, but now they have no choice if they want to stay competitive,” Goldstein said. “Hiring a company like ours helps them get up and running quickly and at a price that more established players can’t offer.”