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Tech Briefs

Apr 5, 2004  •  Post A Comment

In an effort to test new VOD marketing strategies, Mag Rack and Paramount have partnered to promote the April 16 VOD release of the Paramount film “School of Rock.” The pairing will also support Mag Rack’s new video magazine, Guitar Xpress, which launches that day. Mag Rack will feature in the video magazine on-demand guitar lessons for “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple, “Sunshine of Your Love” by Cream, plus the film’s original theme song “School of Rock.” These and other special segments will be featured on Mag Rack in a separate promotional video magazine titled “School of Rock,” designed to drive viewers to buy the movie on-demand. The promotion runs through June 2. Guitar Xpress includes basic guitar lessons, specific tips and step-by-step instructions for playing popular songs. To support the promotion, Cablevision and Mag Rack will host a live radio broadcast on WBAB-FM in Long Island, N.Y., to promote the on-demand premiere of the movie to Cablevision’s digital cable customers.
Liner Takes VOD to the High Seas
Video-on-demand is heading out to sea. The ocean liner Queen Mary 2 is offering VOD services onboard, using servers from nCube to power the offering. On-demand content is now available to more than 2,600 guests per voyage.
HD Reaches 84 Million Homes
High-definition television reaches 84 million homes, or more than three-quarters of U.S. cable homes, according to the latest data from the National Cable & Telecommunications Association. That’s a nearly 125 percent increase from the beginning of 2003, when 37 million cable homes could get HD service. NCTA also said that 99 of the top 100 designated market areas now have HD programming from a cable operator. The total number of DMAs offering HDTV is 155 of 210.
NDS Unveils Home Digital System
News Corp.-owned technology firm NDS said it has created a method to deliver digital content securely to various devices in the home. The company’s content protection solution, called Secure Video Processor, encrypts content as it is shuttled around a home network-from a set-top box to a personal digital assistant to a portable digital video recorder to a mobile phone, said Carmi Bogot, VP, business development, at NDS. The company is working with chip maker STMicroelectronics. NDS also plans to work with other chip makers. SVP is designed to be an open standard for digital content protection, Mr. Bogot said.