Concurrent Files VOD Patent for Delivering Graphical Rich Backgrounds

5/3/2004 - Concurrent Computer Corporation (NASDAQ: CCUR), a worldwide leader of on-demand technology that is shaping the future of television, announced its patent pending solution for delivering graphical rich backgrounds along with scaled streaming full-motion video. Concurrent recently filed a patent application covering its targeted, interactive video clip (or “barker”) technology.

This patent-pending capability actually represents an enhancement to Concurrent’s existing uniquely efficient ability to provide graphically rich backgrounds to the VOD menu. For years, Concurrent’s solution has enabled the VOD menu to include rich graphics, such as MSO and content provider brands, ad impressions and jacket art. The content is authored and delivered by the server and does not require a bulky set-top application or consume large amounts of data within the very limited out-of-band carousel capacity. This allows the system to be easily deployed and scaled to tens of thousands of hours of content and accommodates a multitude of content providers and advertisers. While Concurrent has been able to provide this service for many years, the new patent pending enhancements allow full motion video to be intermixed with these graphically rich backgrounds. This capability provides immediate benefits, including a more robust user interface that offers context sensitive streaming of previews and barkers allowing the MSO to use video to entice subscribers to purchase more video. Compatible with all digital set-top boxes in the field, as well as future set-top technology, this server-based menu generation is integrated into the Concurrent Business Management System software and requires no extra capital expenditures for hardware.

Complementary to Concurrent’s multi-media rich on-demand platform, this software technology provides an infrastructure that will also support future applications, including targeted barkers and promotions with full motion video. With Concurrent’s targeted, interactive barker, neighbors viewing the interactive program guide (IPG) could see entirely different barker promotions, based upon demographic information and subscriber usage patterns. Targeted barkers within an IPG menu optimize the viewing experience for the consumer and give advertising companies and broadband operators greater control over revenue generation and cash flow. This technology also enables the viewer to have an interactive session with the barker – such as requesting more information – simply by pushing a button on the remote control. With this near-future application, the viewer experience will become even more personalized, and the opportunities to sell video with video become even more enhanced.

“While digital broadcasting has provided the broadband operator with some healthy advantages over satellite, targeted barkers within the IPG is a real differentiator for MSOs – it enhances the subscriber’s experience and increases the likelihood of programming purchases. Simply said, video sells video,” said Steve Necessary, president of Concurrent’s VOD Division. “Our patent pending technology has the advantage of immediate operator benefits combined with a vision for the future of an Everything-On-Demand environment, including targeted advertising and upsell.”

Barkers play a popular role in the entertainment industry, primarily used to advertise specific video programming. Using the video barkers to promote video content and increase viewership – and even encourage on-demand purchases of programming – cable operators broadcast video barkers to all viewers who are “tuned in” to a particular channel. With digital broadband networks, two-way communication is available, enabling cable subscribers to interact with the network through the operator’s menu guide, or IPG. With two-way digital communication, subscribers may also have access to narrowcast applications. Narrowcast technology makes point-to-point streaming of video from the network storage to a specific subscriber possible. A video barker integrated with the IPG across narrowcast transmission creates the opportunity to provide a targeted viewing experience.

Concurrent will be demonstrating the latest on-demand technologies at The National Show in New Orleans, May 2-5, booth #2733. Concurrent’s MediaHawk 4G On-Demand Platform is a proven foundation for the delivery of the latest on-demand services, including Movies-On-Demand, Subscription VOD, Free-On-Demand, Long-Format Advertising, network-based Digital Video Recording and high-definition VOD (HDVOD), as well as exciting new on-demand applications and services. The Concurrent 4G Platform includes proven hardware, extensive software, integration expertise and world-class customer service.

About Concurrent
Concurrent ( is a worldwide leader in providing digital VOD systems to the broadband industry and real-time computer systems for industry and government. Concurrent's VOD systems are utilized within the broadband cable, DSL, and IP-based markets. Within the digital cable market, Concurrent is a recognized leader, currently serving North America’s major cable operators in 80 markets with over 5.2 million digital subscribers and 15.8 million basic subscribers. Concurrent's proven technology provides a flexible, comprehensive, robust solution for HFC, DSL, and IP-based networks. The company's powerful and scalable VOD systems are based on open standards and are integrated with the leading broadband technologies. Concurrent is also a leading provider of high-performance, real-time computer systems, solutions, and software that focus on hardware-in-the-loop and man-in-the-loop simulation, data acquisition, and industrial control systems for commercial and government markets. Concurrent has nearly four decades of experience in real-time technology and provides its best of breed solutions through offices in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

Concurrent Computer Corporation and its logo are registered and unregistered trademarks of Concurrent Computer Corporation.

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