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Skystream Unveils Content Distribution Software Suite

SkyStream Networks Monday unveiled a new software suite called "zBand" that will help streamline content distribution systems for broadcasters and service providers.

The zBand software suite enables service providers and broadcasters to create and deliver media-rich, branded Internet services such as regional news portals, MP3 jukeboxes and corporate training videos to consumers and businesses.

Other companies' products like Fantastic.com's SmartCaster and KenCast.com's Fazzt Digital Delivery System do deliver similar functionality. But, according to SkyStream's director of corporate marketing Christine Yum Lenz, competitive offerings would need to be patched together to match zBand's all-inclusive nature.

As such, the pricing reflects the full breadth of zBand's capabilities. Pricing for the basic server software package begins at under $100,000 and client software pricing varies depending on type of client system used. The software package is custom-tailored to fit in with SkyStreams router systems, which recently captured the Chinese market, among other deployments. The suite will also perform in a variety of other server/router systems.

"For service providers, the next 'killer app' is the reliable delivery of Internet services such as TV-quality Internet video and live webcasts to stadium-size audiences. To do this, service providers need a full-scale software solution that empowers them to brand their own content and build a competitive portfolio of services," said Jim Olson, president and CEO, SkyStream Networks.

"With this announcement, SkyStream reinforces its technology innovation leadership by developing products like zBand which allow service providers, broadcasters, and content distribution networks to deploy revolutionary value-added services over broadcast and broadband networks," he added.

Broadcast and Internet service providers can use zBand server software to create, schedule and deliver Internet content (e.g., websites, music videos and movies) to cache servers, PCs and digital set-top boxes equipped with zBand client software. The server software features a graphical guide to schedule and manage multiple Internet services, channels and programs. The zBand server software can be installed in network operator facilities, including satellite uplinks, digital television stations, cable headends and Internet points-of-presence (POP).

The zBand client software is integrated at locations where content is delivered, cached or viewed. For caching at the network edge, zBand client software can be installed at cache servers located at network edge locations (e.g,. ISPs, DSLAMs and enterprises). zBand client software can also be installed on users' personal computers, wireless devices and digital set-top boxes where the content can be viewed by consumers or business users. With the zBand client software, consumers can designate which Internet-based services and media content they want delivered.

Broadcasters can also use zBand to deliver media-rich Internet services through either broadband or broadcast networks (e.g., satellite + fiber) in conjunction with SkyStream Source and Edge Media Routers.



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