Akimbo Systems is offering its Queue-and-View system to cable operators to enable subscribers to download videos to their digital video recorders.

Akimbo previously provided a broadband video download service to subscribers with an Akimbo player, but is now also offering to make its material available to cable companies.

“Akimbo is a one-stop solution that allows cable companies to capitalise on the ‘long tail’ of specialty and archived media, by delivering a broad collection of valuable video to their viewers without incorporating new costs or infrastructure,” said Josh Goldman, chief executive of Akimbo.

The company says its system complements streaming video-on-demand services by enabling operators to offer a virtually unlimited selection of programming for download. As it simply requires a broadband data connection, downloads can be fed directly by Akimbo, with no need for further capital investment by operators. Alternatively, cable operators can feature their own licensed video material.

Subscribers can use an on-screen guide or any PC with an Internet connection to choose shows for delivery to their cable box.

Akimbo’s server architecture is designed for compatibility with various middleware platforms and client-side digital rights management technologies. Metadata is delivered via standard XML feed or CableLabs VOD format. Video is available in MPEG 2 and MPEG 4 formats.

Video blogs
Akimbo now also offers video blogs on its service. Josh Goldman of Akimbo points to the growing popularity of personal publishing on the web. “Akimbo was founded with the goal of radically changing the economics of video delivery and enabling consumers to share their videos for viewing on TV. We love featuring these rising influencers on Akimbo and giving them powerful new ways to get their messages out to an audience.”

Video blogger Steve Garfield said that “By adding video blogs, Akimbo is democratising video distribution to the TV and we hope that as more people get to see what video bloggers are doing, they’ll join in and participate in the citizens’ media revolution”.

“Video blogs are incredibly compelling because they take the world and show it in a new light, one that is typically unedited and uncensored,” said Andrew Baron of Rocketboom, a three-minute daily videoblog based in New York City. “Bringing video blogs directly to the TV may help the industry to understand the viability of niche programming where people enjoy content geared towards their individual tastes.”