Upfront - July 2012
Looking back in Anga
Europe’s big cable show, Anga, saw 440 exhibitors, 16,000 trade visitors and 1,600 congress delegates, and the show increased its foreign visitors from 43 percent last year to 50 percent this year.
“The key topics of smart TV, hybrid networks, video-on-demand and connected home have spurred visitor quality and internationality. The rapid increase in the share of international visitors has exceeded our expectations by far,” said Thomas Braun, president of Anga.
Here’s a snapshot of what was demonstrated in Cologne, Germany, June 12-14.
Arris: The long and winding road to IP
Arris brought its portfolio of DOCSIS 3.0 high-density solutions. Live and interactive virtual demonstrations showed how the vendor can facilitate service provider content and feature delivery by supplying increased capacity and offering a migration path between legacy service delivery and next-generation IP networks.
ATX: Tales from the Cryptkeeper
ATX Networks has expanded its UCrypt product line to include an offering that allows operators to transition content from IP to analog (IP2A) on a bulk basis.
The 3RU UCrypt IP2A can subscribe to 20 SD/HD clear or encrypted MPEG-2 or H.264 multicast streams on the IP network, and it can convert these streams to PAL or NTSC and output them on user-defined frequencies. The IP2A’s capacity, flexibility, remote management and monitoring capabilities make it ideal for operators looking to leverage their IP backbone and eliminate racks of receivers/decoders and analog modulators.
ATX also highlighted its VersAtive encoding/transcoding platform, which addresses any type of encoding/transcoding or packetization requirement associated with adaptive streaming or traditional encode/transcode functions.
Aurora: Supporting EuroDOCSIS
Aurora Networks released its Digital BK transceiver that will provide a smoother upgrade for higher segmentation, enabling cable operators in Germany and other European countries to further modernize their BK networks.
Aurora Networks designed the Digital BK transceiver specifically for the region’s installed base to support the increased popularity of EuroDOCSIS. It combines both digital return transmitters and forward receiver functions into a single module. This provides operators with the ability to transition to a 4 x 4 upgrade for the price of a 2 x 2 traditional BK node upgrade, the company said, all within the existing BK node platform.
Envivio: Let me see your Halo
Envivio touted its Envivio Muse software, available on the Envivio 4Caster appliance or HP blade servers, which performs ultra-high-quality encoding, transcoding, packaging, encryption and publishing. Also on display was the Envivio Halo network media processor, which protects content, adapts it for final delivery at the edge of the network and enables advanced features such as multi-screen ad insertion.
Espial: Smart TV – everywhere
Espial demonstrated its latest end-to-end television solutions that help cable operators manage and increase value-added services for subscribers. The vendor had TV Everywhere and smart TV demonstrations showcasing the Espial Media Service Platform, Espial MediaBase and Espial TV Browser.
Harmonic: Going over the top
Harmonic showcased a range of edge and access solutions that enable cable operators to deliver high-speed Internet, VOD and OTT video services. The company also introduced its latest multi-screen video solutions optimized for real-time and file-based production and processing workflows.
Hitron: Who let the Puma out?
Hitron Technologies took the wraps off of a cable modem and a data gateway that feature Intel’s Puma 6 Media Gateway chipset.
With EuroDOCSIS, which uses 8 MHz versus the 6 MHz used in North America, the Puma 6MG chipset bonds 24 downstream channels and eight upstream channels to deliver up to 1.2 Gbps on the downstream and 320 Mbps on the upstream.
The chipset is available in Hitron’s CDA-32372 cable modem and CDE-32372 gateway, the latter of which also features dual-band Wi-Fi.
Hitron and Anyfi Networks also jointly demonstrated Anyfi.net technology integrated in a DOCSIS 3.0 EMTA.
Miranda: Monitor that video
Miranda Technologies introduced its iControl Headend video network management system, which is designed for network operations centers at cable, satellite and IPTV facilities and provides operators with an end-to-end video signal path and QoE monitoring.
Miranda also expanded its Kaleido-IP offering.
Pixelmetrix: A clean interface
Pixelmetrix showed off the newest enhancement to its DVStor2 product family. The DVStor2 Timeline Content Browser, part of the latest software upgrade, provides a change in the way video is viewed, searched and extracted, enabling operators to avoid struggling with obscure user interfaces.
Danny Wilson, Pixelmetrix’s president and CEO, said: “This latest DVStor2 software represents a significant improvement for workflow and usability. It is incredibly clean. We have engineered this from the ground up with a focus on human factors design and maximum client compatibility – no Flash, no Silverlight.”
Another addition to the software upgrade is the DVStor2 MultiFlow, which increases the utility of the DVStor2 platform by enabling simultaneous and independent recording and playback of multiple content streams.
RGB: Just in time
RGB Networks marked the European debut of its newly launched "just-in-time" packaging (JITP) capabilities.
Delivered through its TransAct Packager, RGB’s adaptive streaming product, the company’s new JITP technology enables operators to deliver adaptive bit rate VOD, nDVR and TV Everywhere services without pre-packaging all of their video assets in each of the adaptive streaming protocols. This reduces the need for storage and network bandwidth and allows them to expand their TV Everywhere libraries and transition to new adaptive streaming formats, such as MPEG-DASH.
RGB also highlighted an adaptive streaming environment for hyper-targeted advertising. RGB’s recent partnership with BlackArrow enables a complete solution for multi-screen ad insertion and addressability – meaning operators can target specific ads to any device, increasing their subscriber engagement and generating new revenues.
“Adaptive streaming techniques, such as just-in-time packaging and file-to-file transcoding, open up new opportunities for the optimization of video delivery methods for VOD and nDVR environments, resulting in significant cost savings for operators,” said Ramin Farassat, vice president of product marketing and business development for RGB. “In addition, adaptive streaming also presents new advertising opportunities for European operators, allowing them to send targeted ads beyond the television.”
SeaChange: Monetize every screen
You can monetize every screen, according to SeaChange International. The company emphasized that multi-screen opens up new revenue sources by demonstrating how operators – large and small – can create and deliver targeted promotions, recommendations and advertising for on-demand and broadcast channels on TVs, smartphones and tablets.
“Especially on tablets and smartphones, personalization makes a big impact,” said Erwin van Dommelen, president of SeaChange Software. “The more personalized the experience, the more you can target advertisements and promotions.”
Operators that would like to facilitate personalized options and monetize their multi-screen customers can do so using the SeaChange Adrenalin back office and the Adrenalin Business Management Suite. And SeaChange’s Nitro user experience and Infusion
advertising solutions complement Adrenalin to enhance revenue-generation capability.
Teleste: Smart networks
Teleste introduced several new products and solutions to its Intelligent Networks offering. Teleste's Intelligent Networks solutions reduce the need for onsite maintenance and can lower network operating costs.
Additionally, Teleste launched the Network Genius iPad game that lets players try their hand in maintaining a cable network through a computer game.