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September 28, 1994


By CBR Staff Writer

Chatsworth, California disk drive maker Micropolis Corp has announced what it claims is the world’s first commercially operational video-on-demand system. Micropolis, in partnership with General Motor Corp’s Dallas-based Electronic Data Systems Corp and hotel entertainment concern SpectraVision Inc, now has the system running in seven US hotels. The system is based around the AV Server 100 digital video server, designed by Micropolis’ Video Systems Division. The server is said to store up to 252Gb of material and stores videos internally on an array of 9Gb Micropolis Super-Capacity AV Drives in the Moving Picture Expert Group data compression format; it directs standard analogue audio-visual signals through coaxial cable. The server has been developed for the hotel market by Electronic Data and is marketed by SpectraVision, which has branded the application Digital Guest Choice. According to the companies, the system is enabling hotels to provide guests with digital pay-per-view films on demand. Each AV Server 100 is said to allow up to 32 viewers simultaneous access to 20 films, with all viewers able to watch the same copy of one film at different times. Larger scale applications can be created by linking additional servers together, says Micropolis. The system is said to provide interactive services such as video check-out, account review and local tourist information directories. No prices were given.

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