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News summary for 4/18/07

Wed, 04/18/2007 - 11:15am

Kasenna, HP, Intel test IPTV system that scales to 1M
By Brian Santo, CED

KasennaHewlett Packard and Intel have tested an IPTV system they say successfully scaled to 1 million subscribers.

Equally important, if not more so, the test determined that a single HP server could serve up to 100,000 IPTV subscribers.

“This is the first viable test published for large-scale deployments,” Kasenna marketing director Allan Linden told CED.

Scott Mirer, Kasenna director of product management, said not only does the system scale well, it is economical from the smallest implementations to the largest.

The IPTV-infrastructure test bed combines Kasenna’s LivingRoom middleware platform and MediaBase video server software with industry standard HP ProLiant servers powered by Intel low-power Dual-Core Xeon processors. Fastweb and Jazztel are two IPTV providers using Kasenna IPTV products with HP servers.

The test was conducted in a simulated access network environment at the HP Communications, Media and Entertainment (CME) Solution Center in Grenoble, France.

Linden said HP will open the testbed for carriers and other service providers to use. A similar center may be established in Richardson, Texas. The testbed uses a flexible modeling system that allows guests to input their own assumptions about traffic and system usage.

Kasenna said an Executive Summary and Engineering report with detailed results of the benchmark test is available at www.kasenna.com/1m and www.hp.com/go/iptv.

fix8 bridges TV-Internet gap with iTV platform
By Traci Patterson, CED

fix8 has launched Auditions, a platform for broadcasting real-time media to support interactive television (iTV).

Shanghai Media Group (SMG) will offer iTV programming on the platform via Shanghai cable networks targeted at youth markets.

Auditions allows producers to select media content from thousands of Internet users and integrate it into live or produced TV programming, the company said.

“Studies show that TV is losing viewers to the Internet,” said fix8’s CEO Linh Duy Tang. “Auditions will bridge the gap by integrating TV, Internet and mobile technologies for audience participation across reality, talk, game and dating shows.”

But fix8 said reality TV is only the beginning. The platform will soon expand to support an even wider variety of iTV apps, including role playing games (RPGs), blogs, podcasts, karaoke and TV communities. 

fix8 recently introduced User-Generated Reality, which offers free, downloadable software combining video, animation and instant messaging (IM).

Kulabyte, M&A strike OEM deal
By Traci Patterson, CED

Kulabyte has entered into an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) agreement with M&A Technology to provide servers and encoding stations loaded with the Kulabyte Professional Encoding Suite.

The deal comes two weeks after Kulabyte struck a licensing agreement with On2 Technologies Inc. to include On2 VP6 compression schemes in its encoding suite.

The products of the OEM agreement, available later this week, include 4- and 8-core servers for standard video encoding apps, and 16-core encoding solutions based on Dual-Core AMD Opteron processor-based servers for professional, broadcast and post-production apps.

Kulabyte uses the Dual-Core AMD Opteron processors in an 8-socket server configuration with standard codec engines such as On2 Flash, VC-1, and MPEG-2 and MPEG-4.

As part of the agreement, M&A will manufacture, distribute and service customers who order the solutions. M&A’s partners include Microsoft Corp.Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) and Novell Inc.

The entry-level pricing for optimized-and-ready 4-, 8- and 16-core hardware servers will start below $8,000, $13,000 and $27,000, respectively.

C-COR announces Global IP Summit details
By Traci Patterson, CED

C-COR Inc. has unveiled the initial international and cross-industry speaker lineup for its third-annual Global IP Summit in Cannes, France, June 28-29.

Interactive panel sessions, featuring experts from around the globe, will address the impact of personalized content and services on consumer offerings, and on the way content, mobile, telecommunications, Internet and over-the-top providers create and conduct business, the company said.

The kick-off Visionary Session will be moderated by Leslie Ellis—independent technology analyst, author and CED contributor—and will host Marwan Fawaz, executive VP and CTO of Charter Communications; Mike LaJoie, CTO of Time Warner Cable; Hervé Payan, SVP of Content Services for France Telecom; Howard Watson, CTO of Virgin Media; and innovation expert S.K. Bottom, partner and co-founder of I2 Innovation Intelligence

For more information, and to register for the event, visit the summit’s Web site.

Sonus provides VoBB with ‘veracity’
By Traci Patterson, CED

Sonus Networks Inc., a provider of VoIP infrastructure solutions, has been selected by Veracity Communications for its Voice over Broadband (VoBB) offering.

The solution—which enables voice and data bundling—will serve as the foundation for Veracity’s communications network, which provides service to residential subs, as well as small- and medium-sized businesses.

The VoBB platform includes the GSX Open Services Switch, ASX Feature Server, PSX Call Routing Server, SGX Signaling Gateway and Sonus Insight Management System.

Veracity's Sonus-based network began carrying live traffic in June 2006.

Envivio adds gateway to IPTV headend system
By Brian Santo, CED

Envivio introduced its 4Stream IP gateway for IPTV and mobile TV service providers. The 4Stream IP Gateway is another element of Envivio’s all-IP Convergence Generation video headend announced in March.

The headend also features the 4Caster C4 IP video encoders and 4Caster M2 Mobile TV encoders, as well as the 4Manager network management and redundancy system.

The 4Stream IP gateway is a dual receiver and demodulator which feeds IP video networks with video services coming from satellite, cable, terrestrial networks. Each one rack-unit gateway receives encrypted MPEG-2 streams and can process two full transponders, replacing up to 24 professional decoders, Envivio said.

The IP outputs are received by Envivio C4 and/or M2 encoders. The Envivio 4Manager manages and monitors the gateway as well as other components in the system via a comprehensive Web browser.

Another rosy forecast for VoIP
By Brian Santo, CED

The number of U.S. VoIP subscribers will rise from 9.8 million at the end of 2006 to 41.3 million by the end of 2011, according to eMarketer.

VoIP subscribers could account for over one-third of all U.S. landline subscriptions in 2010, up from 10 percent in 2006.

Vonage was the single largest operator in the U.S. at the end of 2006, but this is unlikely to last. Comcast and Time Warner are growing their VoIP subscriber bases very quickly and will surpass Vonage in 2007.

Due to slower than anticipated rollout and take-up of IPTV in the U.S., eMarketer has revised its estimates down and now forecasts only 4.8 million IPTV subscribers in the U.S. in 2011. The company did not say what the previous estimate was.

Broadband Briefs for 4/18/07

* SCTE Foundation board adds fifth member
The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) Foundation has appointed Bob Gold, principal of Bob Gold & Associates, to its board of directors.

Gold, an SCTE member since 1997, is the fifth member of the Foundation’s board and the first additional member since the initial board was appointed in June 2005. Inaugural members include Keith R. Hayes of Charter Communications, John Clark of SCTE, Bob Macioch of Time Warner Cable and Mike Phebus of Jones/NCTI.

* ReelzChannel appoints IT expert
ReelzChannel has named Roger Eman as CTO and senior VP of IT, where he will apply and further enhance the cable and satellite TV network’s infrastructure.

Eman previously held several positions with Sony Pictures, including executive director of new technologies, VP of corporate systems and VP of IT for global systems. He also led the implementation of a Universal Studios global TV system.

* Insight deploys Incognito provisioning
Incognito Software said its device provisioning products are being used by Insight Communications to support its high-speed data and VoIP customers.

Insight has deployed Incognito's Broadband Command Center to automate provisioning of DOCSIS cable modems, as well as PacketCable and SIP multimedia termination adapters (MTAs).

Additionally, Incognito's IP address management (IPAM) solution, Address Commander, was selected by Insight to allocate address space to commercial services customers and produce IP address utilization reports required for ARIN (American Registry for Internet Numbers).

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