Broadband White Paper: Enabling Tuner Technology For All-Digital Cable TV Networks
Enabling Tuner Technology For All-Digital Cable TV Networks
By Cliff Anderson, Cable Marketing Manager, Microtune®, Inc.
Global uptake of digital TV and increasing market pressures from alternative services are making cable television operators rethink their delivery of broadband. Particularly across North America, operators are rapidly deploying competitive services in order to retain customers and attract new ones. To achieve this, cable multiple service operators (MSOs) are looking for new or enhanced technologies. Those under consideration include: switched digital video, 1-GHz systems, node splitting, wider Internet Protocol (IP) pipeline, and multimedia home networking solutions. Over the long term, they are also looking to move to all digitally modulated or "digital" cable networks and reconfigure the old analog spectrum in their networks to deliver even more digital and highdefinition channels. For the set-top box, the move to 1GHz and an all-digital infrastructure will require a space-saving, cost-effective tuner solution that delivers the performance required by next-generation systems.
A NEW MODEL
For years, North American cable operators have deployed services using a hybrid fiber-coax model (Figure 1). This model primarily uses a fiber-optic network from the headend (the source of programming and stored video-on-demand files) which connects to distribution hubs. From the hubs, the network optical fiber connects to optical nodes. The downstream signal is a radio frequency modulated signal that typically begins at 50 MHz and ranges as high as 1000 MHz. Coaxial cable runs from the node through a neighborhood and into homes (about 90% of North American homes are wired with coaxial cable). Each optical node supports about 25 to 2000 homes, with 500-1000 homes typically serviced per node today.
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