London: March 10th, 2009 - Playcast, an innovative start-up company, announced today of the availability of its Playcast gaming system, which is set to bring high quality interactive entertainment to the largest existing digital media distribution platform in the world - TV. Not only that, this unique system requires no changes to the cable network, the customer’s on-site equipment (set-top boxes) or the games themselves.
Playcast is a complete gaming service solution for Cable and IPTV operators. The service brings next-generation IP owners to hundreds of millions of connected households, with the added benefit of established billing, customer care and support systems already in place via the cable operators themselves.
Playcast’s system uses groundbreaking new technology to deliver PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 quality games, on demand, to ordinary Cable or Telco set top boxes via standard cable telephone lines. This field proven technology uses ultra high-speed processing to handle off-the-shelf games and distribute the game’s audio visual output as digital video. The technology has already seen operation on a live cable system and the high quality end-user experience has been validated by experts and gamers alike. The Playcast system also allows for seamless integration between TV and games, bringing new business opportunities for publishers, broadcasters and advertisers.
"Playcast represents a quantum leap for gaming on demand," said Guy De Beer, CEO of Playcast. "While Cable TV systems currently offer only rudimentary games at best, Playcast marks the start of new generation of game distribution. Finally, the TV space and real games unite to deliver exciting new ways of reaching users".
"Hundreds of millions of video on demand transactions are made every single day, so the potential in bringing this volume of business to publishers and allowing them to capitalise on their back catalogues is very significant," commented Playcast COO&President of Media, Alon Shtruzman. "We need to keep in mind that for the user, it’s a whole new ball game, literally - imagine watching a football match on a cable sports channel and being able to trigger a version of FIFA or Pro Evolution featuring the same teams at the touch of a button. With our console-free service and cost effective pricing models our target audience goes way beyond the hard-core gamers.”
The Playcast service has been in a closed pilot with a tier-1 international operator since February 2008, with extensive market research and dedicated focus groups confirming the console quality of experience. The service is scheduled to launch with limited coverage in April 2009, before rolling out full national deployment in the summer of 2009. Playcast is in advanced evaluation phases with the world's leading Cable and IPTV operators, and expects to reach major markets in the US, Europe and Asia during 2009 and 2010.
Playcast is a privately held, venture backed start-up company, owned by XENIA VENTURES and private investors, based in Israel and London, UK. Xenia Venture Capital is an investment company publicly traded in the Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange that operates a technological incubator, and is engaged in the initiation and build-up of high-technology start up companies in Israel, in the fields of Information Technology and Life Sciences Medical devices. The company was founded by Guy De Beer, a telecom and Cable veteran, previously head of Harmonic's VOD product lines and Dr. Nathan Peterfreund, previously the principal scientist in Harmonic