nCUBE and Vela Research Announce Video-On-Demand Technology Agreement

On March 2, nCUBE, a developer of scalable video servers, announced a reseller agreement with Vela Research LP, a developer of video-compression products for the cable and broadcast industries. nCUBE will integrate Vela's MPEG2 video-encoding technology as part of an approach that enables cable operators to offer video-on-demand (VOD) and near video-on-demand (NVOD) services over analog networks and real-time feeds for digital networks.

Vela Research products will be used for analog systems and to provide real-time encoding for both analog and digital systems. nCUBE is currently evaluating Vela's products that decode MPEG2 video streams to allow broadcast of digitally stored movies and provide near video-on-demand services over existing analog cable plants. Together with Vela Research's decoders, nCUBE video servers will allow cable companies to use new formats without the expense of full conversion to a digital system.

"We are pleased to announce this alliance with the premier video-server company in the industry," says Scott Cooper, President of Vela Research. "nCUBE and Vela share the same philosophy in driving state-of-the-art technology for on-demand applications. This synergy and cooperation will lead to new worldwide opportunities for both companies."

nCUBE's video servers are configurable to deliver up to 20,000 broadcast-quality, MPEG video streams with a single system, as demonstrated in recent video-on-demand trials and deployments. nCUBE's video server incorporates Oracle Video Server software, which enables customers to store, manage, and deliver full-motion, full-screen video and high-fidelity audio to PCs, network computers, workstations, and set-top boxes over a variety of networks.

According to Paul Mears, Vela's VP of Technical Research, the current system can accommodate the Musicam audio format, which preserves any surround information in the original signal. He points out that Vela is a Dolby licensee and plans to incorporate Dolby Surround and perhaps Dolby Digital in the near future.