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nCube Proves VOD Profitable

NCUBE (www.ncube.com) announced that it aggregated $17.4 million in the residential VOD market in the year 2000, and noted that demand increased incrementally throughout the year. NCube derived the revenue from announced agreements with RealNetworks, Enron for its Blockbuster VOD Entertainment Service, Bertelsmann Media Group, MediaNetCom, and Spanish cable operator ONO, as well as its extended partnerships with existing customers Telewest and YesTV.

NCube also announced integration deals with several set-top box middleware and electronic program guide vendors.

"Our customers and partners around the world voted in 2000 with their checkbooks by showing their willingness to purchase and incorporate our technology into their trials and deployments," said Michael Pohl, president, nCube.

NCube also announced that demand for its servers has continued into the new year, as Kingston Communications will deploy its video-on-demand service using the largest nCube N4 server yet. According to nCube the N4 server will be shipped this week, and will complement the previously installed initial phase.

The current shipment consists of 35 media hubs, according to Pohl. The N4 server is built using a hypercube architecture, which allows for up to 256 media hubs to be connected, and allows for a company to scale its server according to demand. NCube states that each hub is capable of 172 simultaneous 3Mbps streams and the server uses a RAID storage system to redundantly store the data across the hubs.

Kingston Communications, which is the second largest UK-based telecom behind BT - according to Pohl — already offers an ADSL-based on-demand service to several thousand subscribers in East Yorkshire.

The Kingston Communications fiber network will carry the video streams via STM 4 connections to the local exchange sites, delivering the video via ADSL technology to individual customer homes. Customers will have full control over their selected movie so they can pause, scan forward or scan back - what is known as "VCR in the network" functionality. Each user will have access to thousands of hours of content stored on the server - made possible through nCube's hypercube architecture allowing every user to access the same or different content simultaneously.

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