Intelsat launches open architecture content management service

MUMBAI: Satellite operator Intelsat has introduced Ampiage. This is a new satellite-based, open-architecture, content delivery and management service for US multiple system operators (MSOs) seeking to cost-effectively upgrade to MPEG-4 and telecommunications operators (telcos) looking to enter the IPTV market.

Intelsat CEO David McGlade says, "Our goal is to offer services that help our customers reach their goals, and Ampiage will benefit phone companies and cable operators in two very different ways. This is a game-starter for phone companies looking to launch IPTV services for their subscribers and make a video play.

"Separately, it is also a cost-effective way for cable companies to upgrade to MPEG-4 without having to invest new capital in equipment. Lastly, Ampiage also showcases Intelsat’s ability to introduce innovative services that address new and growing markets created by the convergence of telecom and media.”

Modelled on a “super head-end” for content distribution Ampiage will upgrade and convert video stream for MSOs from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 using state-of-the-art equipment. The move to MPEG-4 is being driven by the desire for both higher transmission quality and efficient utilization of bandwidth. The service is designed to include fully redundant facilities and transmission capacity, thus it is expected that Ampiage services will have the ‘gold standard’ service excellence and high availability for which Intelsat is known.

Intelsat says that Telco customers will realise cost savings by taking advantage of Intelsat’s packaged offering, which, if the elements were procured separately and on their own, would cost them millions of dollars. Telco customers are expected to benefit from Intelsat’s volume relationships with content creators worldwide, its ability to secure transport rights and its relationships with coveted niche and international programmers, which will enable them to create local packages that are highly customised to demographic concentrations.

Ampiage cost-effectively packages the acquisition, aggregation, encoding, encapsulation and encryption of licensed TV programming from content providers and has the ability to redistribute it in MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 format to cable and telecom service providers. This allows MSOs and telcos either to establish or enhance their digital programming lineups quickly and with low capital investment.

Ampiage completely centralises the aggregation of national TV programmer content and offers hundreds of video and audio channels in full digital quality. This enables telcos to efficiently bundle an attractive standard and high definition programming package with their voice and broadband services without incurring a significant upgrade cost.

Ampiage originates from Intelsat’s Video Operations Center, where video and audio are received and processed for distribution to telco and MSO video hubs nationwide. Leveraging the complete coverage of North America offered by the Intelsat Americas fleet, Ampiage distributes the programming to regional telecom and cable service providers. Telcos and MSOs then distribute this programming content via xDSL, fiber, conventional cable networks and other broadband networks to their residential subscribers across North America.

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