Profile: Digital Video Arts’ George Breen

May 12, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Title: President, Digital Video Arts, a subsidiary of SeaChange International.
Background: Mr. Breen co-founded Digital Video Arts in 1991. The company develops software applications for interactive manufacturers, equipment providers, middleware vendors and programmers.
From VOD to DVD: DVA has spent the past three years developing the VODlink product it rolled out earlier this year that enables DVD-functionality in a video-on-demand service. “VOD is more like VHS-on-demand,” Mr. Breen said. “So we have built into VODlink capability that works like a DVD. It allows you to have full DVD functionality,” he said. DVA’s technology examines the content on a finished, mastered DVD and creates an MPEG file that plays like a DVD inside the set-top box. “What we’ve done in VODlink software is turned these very low-end set-top boxes into DVD players. If you look at how DVDs have overtaken VHS tapes, we have to believe VOD is going to be all about DVDs,” he said. DVA licenses the software to VOD providers like iN Demand.
My Favorite Channel: VODlink includes channel overlay applications so that users press a button on the remote to navigate through that network’s library of on-demand content. “We as a company are big believers in the idea of everything-on-demand and that when people sit down to watch TV they will not only see what’s on TV but what’s on demand,” Mr. Breen said. “Most people watch eight or nine channels of TV. It makes sense that a lot of the on-demand content [viewers] would be interested in would be associated with those channels. If VOD is done well and associated with a linear channel, I believe people will use their TVs differently. They will go to a channel they watch and hit the menu button to see what’s on demand for that channel.”