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BigBand lands Cox HD deployments, hits digital milestone

Sun, 08/25/2002 - 8:00pm
Jeff Baumgartner

Cox Communications Inc. said it has tapped BigBand Networks Inc. to support the MSO's rollout of high definition television in several markets later this year.

Initially, Cox will use BigBand's Broadband Multimedia Service Router (BMR) in Las Vegas, Nev. and Phoenix, Ariz. Cox said the gear will help the operator reduce costs and better allocate and manage its available bandwidth without expensive system rebuilds or upgrades.

"As more content becomes available, HDTV's massive bandwidth requirement is a formidable challenge, with each HDTV feed requiring approximately up to six times the capacity of standard digital television," said Cox Manager of Digital Technology Steve Watkins, in a press release.

The deployments will mark the first for BigBand's "RateShaping" equipment, BigBand COO Jamie Howard told CED Broadband Direct. BigBand's RateShaping technology is designed to maintain video quality while enhancing channel capacity by up to 50 percent when carrying live HD programs, or, more specifically, insert up to three HD channels in one QAM.

Howard said Cox plans to use BigBand's equipment in other HD markets, with some of those markets coming online later this year.

BigBand also has deployments with Time Warner Cable, Blue Ridge Communications and Canada's Rogers Cable Inc. BigBand also is in discussions with AT&T Broadband, Adelphia Communications and a number of international cable operators.

"We are continuing our field trials and lab evaluations with all of the top tier cable operators," Howard said. "We are in HD trials and evaluations with all of the top five (North American) MSOs.

In addition to HD and standard definition television, BigBand's has also developed or is in the process of developing product to support digital ad insertion, switched video and video-on-demand.

Separately, BigBand said more than 1.5 million digital subscribers are served by the company's BMR equipment, which includes the compact BMR100 and high capacity BMR1200. The company surpassed the 500,000 mark less than four months ago.

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