CableLabs issues new specs for converged video, broadband
The incompatibility of Comcast’s and Time Warner Cable’s respective network architectures is finally being resolved with a new set of specifications issued by CableLabs.
The differences between the Time Warner Cable-led Interactive Services Architecture (ISA) and the Comcast-led Next Generation on Demand (NGOD) architecture have been some of the most glaring inconsistencies in an industry otherwise characterized by common standards.
CableLabs has released a family of specifications that defines a common set of interfaces for converged video and broadband services in a modular cable network headend. The Modular Headend Architecture (MHA) specifications use the existing DOCSIS Modular CMTS specifications as a foundation for a series of new specifications that define interfaces for MPEG digital video services, such as video-on-demand (VOD) and switched digital video (SDV).
The MHA suite includes multiple specifications and an architecture overview technical report. The new specifications define MPEG video processing functionality for VOD and SDV Edge Quadrature Amplitude Modulators (EQAMs), as well as an interoperable resource management and video session setup protocol and an interoperable EQAM provisioning and configuration mechanism, according to CableLabs.
With the addition of these new specifications, the MHA suite provides a common industry-wide approach for Universal EQAMs, as well as for Video EQAMs and M-CMTS EQAMs.
“This is important because for the first time we have an interoperable set of specifications that will lead to integrated equipment from multiple suppliers for delivery of advanced video and data services,” said Tony Werner, Comcast’s CTO.
Added Mike LaJoie, Time Warner Cable’s CTO: “Once again, our industry’s suppliers have worked with us through CableLabs to achieve a common approach, which benefits the whole industry and our suppliers.”
Cable operators, organizations and vendor companies contributing to these specifications include: Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Rogers Communications, Shaw Communications, Cable Europe Labs, ETRI, Arris, BigBand Networks, Broadcom, Camiant, Cisco Systems, Harmonic, LiquidxStream Systems, Motorola, RGB Networks and Vecima Networks.
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