Monday, July 24, 2006

Motorola to Acquire Broadbus for TV-on-Demand

Motorola, agreed to acquire Broadbus Technologies, a start-up offering solutions for Television On-Demand. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Broadbus has developed a solid-state server architecture that enables the distribution of on-demand content to consumers through multiple devices. The company's technology leverages intelligent configuration and management of dynamic random-access memory (DRAM). As a result, the platform can use less space and power than traditional hard-disk based technology, while providing performance, reliability and scalability improvements for video ingest, streaming, and storage.

Motorola said the acquisition would enable it to extend its video delivery platform with new content management and distribution capabilities that address growing market opportunities such as mobile video, video on-demand (VOD), time-shifted TV, network-based digital video recording (nDVR), on-demand ad insertion (ODAI) and switched digital video (SDV).

Broadbus Technologies, Inc. was founded in 1999 and currently has more than 60 video-on-demand deployments with service providers worldwide, including Comcast, Charter Communications, and Time Warner Cable. Key financial investors included Battery Ventures, Charles River Ventures, Comcast Interactive Capital and Star Ventures.

  • In November 2005, Broadbus Technologies released version 3.0 of its B-1 Video Server with Stream Commander, which uses DRAM-based streaming server technology to scale to 80 Gbps of output. Broadbus said its design can produce nearly 20,000 streams per chassis and offer virtually unlimited ingest capabilities. The B-1 can ingest hundreds of live and pre-recorded programs simultaneously, enabling television on-demand (TOD) and network PVR (nPVR) applications.

    The Broadbus Stream Commander) management application is designed to configure, coordinate and monitor up to 256 networked B-1 video servers via a web-based graphical user interface. The software manages all ingest, storage and streaming activities and maintains an active database of configuration profiles and status, alarm, stream and content statistics. It also manages the propagation of content to and from near-term storage libraries virtually eliminating content replication.

    Broadbus said that by separating DRAM video streaming and RAID content storage structures, its B-1 server permits independent configuration and low-cost upgradeability for additional streams and storage. The decoupled design means that stream counts and storage modules can scale to meet the exact needs of service providers and that modules can be hot-swapped.

    New enhancements included in version 3.0 of the B-1 and Stream Commander include hot-swappable blades with full failover capability, hot-swappable, redundant Fibre Channel controllers, improved diagnostics, application and process-level resiliency, and the ability to stream live television within five seconds of ingest.

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