News summary for 6/11/07

Mon, 06/11/2007 - 9:07am

RGB launching new DBM
By Traci Patterson, CED

RGB Networks is releasing a new dynamic bandwidth manager (DBM), which allows operators to deliver up to 50 percent more VOD programming using the same amount of bandwidth, the company said.

In typical VOD deployments, cable operators deliver 10 SD VOD programs per 6 MHz 256-QAM channel, with each program allocated a fixed amount of bandwidth. RGB’s DBM enables 15 or more SD programs to be carried in the same amount of bandwidth, while still maintaining optimum picture quality, and also allows operators to increase the number of HD VOD programs they offer.

Operators can simply plug the DBM into existing VOD deployments because it is compatible with all the major components of an end-to-end VOD system, including VOD servers, resource managers and QAM modulators. It can also encrypt each VOD program as it is transrated, and it can be used in SDV architectures.

RGB will demonstrate the bandwidth optimizing capabilities of the DBM at Cable-Tec Expo in Orlando, June 19-22.

Several major North American cable operators are expected to begin trials of the DBM in Q3 2007.

Qwest’s chairman, CEO to step down
By Traci Patterson, CED

Qwest Communications International Inc.’s Chairman and CEO, Richard C. Notebaert, will retire from both positions upon the selection of a successor, for which a formal search is underway.

Last week, Qwest announced that Barry K. Allen, EVP of operations, will retire June 29, and that Robert D. Tregemba, currently VP of network operations and engineering, will assume the new role of EVP of network operations.

Also last week, Comcast Corp. brought suit against Qwest for an advertisement in which Qwest claimed that 72 percent of users in a “Broadband Challenge” found Qwest’s premium service to be as fast, or faster than Comcast’s. 

Meanwhile, former Qwest CEO Joe Nacchio and four other one-time executives have been on trial for arranging a massive financial fraud between 1999 and 2002. In April, a jury convicted Nacchio of illegally selling $52 million in stock during the scandal, and he was convicted on 19 counts of insider trading, but acquitted of 23 other counts. The company has not admitted any wrongdoing.

Notebaert succeeded Nacchio in 2002, and steered the company to stability, both operationally and financially.

C-Cor targets switched video with new 1 GHz edge QAM
By Brian Santo, CED

C-Cor introduced a 1 GHz edge QAM aimed at facilitating switched digital video (SDV). The high-density and energy-efficient CHP eQAM is a module for the company’s CHP Max5000 Headend Platform.

The CHP eQAMs can be installed alongside transmitters in the same CHP chassis, which C-Cor said would simplify headend cabling. The new product will be showcased in C-Cor's booth at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo next week.

The new C-Cor eQAMs can support up to 120 QAM channels in a two rack-unit configuration. The company claims a greater than 40 percent improvement per year in power consumption compared to other EdgeQAM devices.

Bill Dawson, C-Cor’s vice president, access strategy, said, "The new C-COR eQAM reduces power consumption and space demands in facilities that are already crowded. It allows operators to mix and match EdgeQAM devices and transmitters for the same service group, side-by-side and with the same management system."

Lab trials are scheduled with two major North American MSOs, C-Cor said. The eQAMs should be commercially available this September.

Scopus’ ad-insertion platform gets CableLabs’ OK 
By Traci Patterson, CED

Scopus Video Networks’ IVG-7500 digital ad-insertion platform has completed informal interoperability testing with CableLabs

The testing ensures that the product complies with the SCTE-30 and SCTE-35 standards, as well as that it interoperates with leading ad servers and other cable headend equipment.

The intelligent video splicer (IVG) provides concurrent ad insertion, grooming and rate-shaping capabilities for digital video network architectures, the company said. The platform offers SD and HD splicing and standards-based DPI implementation.

Based on programmable DSP technology, the platform integrates Scopus’ bit rate reduction and statistical multiplexing algorithms, providing high-quality video at low bit rates. Also, the IVG has networking support for video routing over IP and an advanced redundancy fail over mechanism.

Radiant combos encoder with QAM
By Brian Santo, CED

Radiant Communications has combined its QRF5000 encoder with its QRF5200 digital channel replacement unit to create a single system that operators can use to deploy all-digital lineups to low-cost digital set-top units, among other applications.

In a single 1RU box, the new version of the Eclipse QRF5000 with integrated differentially encoded QAM (DeQAM) integrates an encoder, QAM modulator and RF up-converter.

The new product has the ability to support the insertion of local channels in place of existing channels within a 6 MHz QAM channel without losing any bandwidth, a capability it picks up from Radiant’s previous digital channel replacement product. It can also remove QAM services to allow local baseband video and audio channels to be encoded into QAM signals via a built-in modulator. It works with current and legacy set-top cable boxes.

Operators can select bit rates ranging from 32 kbps to 44.8 kbps, configure four different PID values from 30 to 8192, and output either 64 or 256 QAM signals for television channels 7 to 137.

Additional applications include security cameras for gated communities, multiple dwelling units (MDUs), hotels and condominium complexes; informational bulletin boards; public, educational, and government access (PEG) television; and any application where video and audio feeds need to be viewed within the digital lineup. 

Wave7’s Trident7 chosen by Alabama operator
By Traci Patterson, CED

Wave7 Optics’ new Trident7 universal access platform has been selected by Graceba Total Communications Inc. for its new EPON (IEEE standard) FTTP network.

Independent operator Graceba provides digital TV, high-speed data and telephony services to more than 25,000 homes and businesses in southeastern Alabama. The company started deploying the network, which will provide triple-play services, back in January.

Juniper ups the ante with new core router
By Brian Santo, CED

Juniper Networks continues to take dead aim at Cisco Systems with the latest member of its T-series family of routers. Juniper claims its T1600 core router has a throughput that’s about 25 percent greater than the most directly comparable Cisco router, while drawing about 30 percent less power.

Juniper claims a throughput of 1.6 Tbps in a single half-rack chassis, up to 3.2 Tbps in a standard-sized, full 7-foot rack – more than double the capability of competitive systems, understood to be Cisco’s.

By leveraging the company’s own JUNOS operating system and sharing components with existing T-series routers, Juniper said, the T1600 will offer a unique, seamless upgrade path for T640 routers.  Upgrading a T640 to a T1600 takes as little as 90 minutes and can be performed live, without interrupting service at all, according to Juniper product manager Alan Sardella.

As with all Juniper routers, the T1600 is fully policy-enabled and managed through the recently announced Session Resource Control (SRC) product family.  This approach maximizes service control and speeds the deployment of multiplay applications such as video-on-demand (VOD) and broadcast video, as well as many other solutions including fixed mobile convergence and IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS).

The T1600 core router is expected to be generally available for deployment in the fourth quarter of this year.

OpVista’s EtherWave aims to ease pressure on the backbone
By Brian Santo, CED

OpVista has engineered a solution for aggregating Gigabit Ethernet  traffic streams into a 10 GbE handoff on metro and regional backbone networks. The company calls its solution EtherWave. It is based on its own OpVista2000 TR-110 GbE “muxponder” and TR-71 10GbE transponder; it also incorporates Layer 2 functionality.

Carriers can devote a fiber for each new application carried over a GbE, but the operations and management associated with this practice becomes expensive, and exhausts valuable fiber plant. A typical alternative, OpVista explained, is to multiplex the individual multiple GbE streams carrying different applications into a single 10G pipe for transport across the network.  At the edge, operators must then install a router to demultiplex the 10G pipe into its individual GbE streams.

This approach, OpVista said, has proven expensive and has added unnecessary complexity into network management. Incorporating DWDM (dense wavelength division multiplexing) to boost the capacity of each fiber solves the first “fiber centric” problem, but does not eliminate the need for a router at the edge of the network.

The company’s EtherWave solution is designed to address that issue by combining 10 GbE “client side” signals into one 10-G ITU-compliant DWDM wavelength on the “network side.”  OpVista can then handoff a 10GbE signal to a router located in a central office or hub node facility, with the individual GbE streams tagged separately to allow distribution to the appropriate service. This aggregation and segregation eliminates the need for a costly edge router.

Broadband Briefs for 6/11/07

* Sangoma adds BRI product to portfolio
Sangoma Technologies Corp. has released its new A500 BRI card, which is designed to support the European and global open-source telephony markets.

The BRI supports the ISDN S/T bus as either an NT or TE device, and it utilizes a reversed module design that avoids jumpers. The card will enter full production in mid-July, the company said.

Other features include: expandability from 2 to 24 ports of 2B+D interfaces for a total of 48 ISDN channels; PCI or PCI Express bus support; and optional carrier-grade echo cancellation.

* TandbergTV promotes communications exec
Tandberg Television has promoted Dwight Witherspoon to vice president, corporate communications. For the past six years, Witherspoon was senior director, in charge of the company's marketing communications efforts. Witherspoon will report directly to TandbergTV’s president and CEO, Eric Cooney.



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