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S-A has eyes for 1 GHz, beefs up VOD card

Tue, 06/15/2004 - 8:00pm
Karen Brown

Orlando, Fla. — With some cable systems finding that 870 MHz is not enough for their growing on-demand and high-definition lineups, Scientific-Atlanta Inc. is using this week's SCTE Cable-Tec Expo here to show off new offerings that can oversee 1 Gigahertz systems.

S-A's GainMaker Amplifier and optical network platform, set for release in the fourth quarter, serves as the linchpin for a 1 GHz network. Other components to S-A's 1 GHz network design are still in development, with an anticipated 2005 release date.

That could help relieve the congestion some MSOs are already experiencing on their networks, typically running 80 to 95 analog channels, more than 130 digital channels, more than 70 sports and pay-per-view streams, a growing lineup of video-on-demand and HD programming, plus high-speed data and telephony traffic.

"Operators who are considering moving up from 750 MHz to 870 MHz may want to explore a bandwidth enhancement plan that takes them to 1 GHz because the cost of moving up to the higher capacity is about the same as taking the interim 870 MHz step," said Paul Connolly, S-A's vice president and general manager of emerging businesses, in a statement.

In other product news, S-A is pushing video-on-demand transport into the 10 Gigabit per second range with the release of a new VOD transport card for its Prisma IP multi-service digital transport platform.

The new card also supports tunable transmit/receive optics to allow a new Automated Broadcast and Select architecture S-A has developed, allowing operators to put as many as 100 wavelengths on a single fiber without resorting to Dense Wave Division Multiplexing. That can help lower operating costs and allow more efficient configuration of optical networks on demand.

The key element to allow that is the card's tunable receiver being jointly developed by S-A and iolon Inc. Similar to radio frequency technology, it makes all of the channels available while giving the tuner the job of switching between them.

In addition, the 100-channel transmitter replaces the maximum 40 parts that were previously required to tune VOD streams, and it allows a single transmitter to act as backup for all 100 wavelengths.

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