Camiant’s UERM good to go with ISA, NGOD

Wed, 09/03/2008 - 8:35am
Mike Robuck

Camiant announced today that its universal edge resource manager (UERM) is now able to support both Comcast’s next generation on demand (NGOD) architecture and Time Warner Cable’s interactive services architecture (ISA).

With the announcement, Camiant is laying claim to being the first independent company to support both of the cable industry’s major on-demand video protocols. While Motorola and Cisco/Scientific Atlanta have support for both NGOD and ISA in their system architectures, Camiant’s Randy Fuller, vice president of business development, said his company is the first to do so as a “Switzerland,” or independent, company.

Edge resource managers (ERMs) help cable operators maximize bandwidth efficiency across multiple services, including video-on-demand (VOD), switched digital video (SDV), addressable advertising and video-delivered Web content through the sharing of QAM RF resources. Sharing bandwidth resources across QAMs could eventually include breaking down the DOCSIS silo as well, but Fuller said that’s on the backburner for now due to the current push for more HD channels.

According to Camiant, studies have shown that edge resource management provides bandwidth savings of up to 20 percent. By providing support for NGOD and ISA, Camiant’s UERM lets cable operators better manage their advanced on-demand applications and better allocate resources for creative and demographically targeted high-bandwidth services for environments using either architectural environment.

“Fundamentally the signaling looks similar, but the actual protocols and data structures and the stuff that software developers have to worry about are substantially different,” Fuller said to CED of the differences between NGOD and ISA. “The nice thing about us being able to support both is that for those environments that have both NGOD and ISA, you can put one box in that will support the whole network.

“The other nice thing is that all of the feature development we do from here on can be done from one platform, so what will end up happening is that we’ll be a lot more efficient in creating new features, which means the functionality will get better sooner. Not only is there an efficiency thing for an operator, there’s also an efficiency thing for us. Instead of it taking 12 months to do something, it will only take us six because we only have to do it once.”

The ISA/NGOD UERM is in trials with several North American cable operators, with a production rollout expected to occur around the end of this year.

Camiant also announced today a technology partnership with Visible World that is designed to help cable operators ease the deployment of emerging video and addressable advertising applications through better bandwidth management.

Visible World will contribute its technology and services that help advertisers target, tailor, monitor and actively change video on the fly, while Camiant’s UERM will help cable operators maximize their bandwidth efficiencies across multiple services and applications.

“One of the obstacles to deploying a particular application is if it’s not going to be used a whole lot, I still have to dedicate a fair amount of bandwidth to it,” Fuller said. “In the middle of this whole bandwidth crunch, that was kind of a hard proposition to deal with for emerging applications. Because we can pick off certain parts of bandwidth, Visible World, or other emerging applications, can be in trials or experiments; it lets them start small and then grow.”

Fuller said trials with Visible World are slated for the fourth quarter.

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