London: July 20th 2009 - Playcast Media System and Hot, the Israeli cable network, today announced a large scale pilot launch of its groundbreaking new Playcast service, which allows TV viewers to play high-end video games, on demand, on their existing set-top-box with no lags or latency. During the pilot phase the system will be tested at full capacity on a live cable network, and feedback will be gathered from users on both the portal user interface and the incredible gaming experience itself. This pilot represents the conclusion of four years of development and positions Playcast as the only live and deployed service of its kind currently in the world.
Playcast is a complete gaming service solution for Cable and IPTV operators, allowing users to play games without a console or the need to change their set-top-box. 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, courtesy of the cable operators themselves.
Playcast’s system uses a proprietary 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 Playcast system also allows for seamless integration between TV and games, bringing new business opportunities for publishers, broadcasters and advertisers.
"This pilot unequivocally proves the viability of high end video games delivery over Cable TV networks," said Guy De Beer, CEO of Playcast. "The vision of TV games on demand is about to come true, enabling new growth opportunities for game publishers and TV operators at minimum investment, as well as an exciting and affordable new gaming experience for hundreds of millions of cable and IPTV viewers around the world. After four years of development, it’s exciting to see our technology transform in to a real user experience. We’re delighted that Israel’s premier cable network, Hot, has been able to share this vision with us and we’re indebted to them for giving us this opportunity to roll out the Playcast service”.
Following the pilot there will be a full, operational rollout of the Playcast service across Israel. In addition, Playcast is currently 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