R.L. Drake said multiple cable operators have field trials underway featuring its digital upgrade platform, with more to follow over the next few weeks.
The Drake Digital Freedom system helps cable operators transition their programming services to digital and HD. Combined with Beyond Broadband Technology’s downloadable security, Drake’s digital video delivery platform has an end-to-end architecture that helps cable operators upgrade their analog networks to the more efficient MPEG-4 and deliver HD and SD video in digital formats.
Currently, the field trials include:
- NexHorizon Broadband’s new cable systems in southern and central California
- FamilyView Cablevision, a cable operator serving northwestern South Carolina
- Nelson Cable’s private community system at Wintergreen in Virginia
Drake said the first deployments will verify operation of satellite uplink and transport, transcoding at the headend, video quality of full HD and SD MPEG-4 video streams, and test control and addressability of the Drake Digital Freedom set-top boxes, as well as compile feedback on the on-screen user interface.
“We’re excited to be one of the first service providers to deploy Drake’s Freedom system,” said Larry Waterman, CEO of FamilyView Cablevision in Clemson, S.C. “So far, we’ve been most impressed by the system’s quick and seamless installation. Our initial digital viewers are already enjoying premium HD content and loving it.”
Drake said its end-to-end HD platform uses less bandwidth, is MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 compatible, overlays existing hardware, and allows delivery of hundreds of SD and HD digital channels, offering cable operators a scalable migration solution for analog-to-digital distribution at minimal cost. The system consists of a customizable combination of Drake’s transcoder, modulator and passive combiner devices networked with an InterTech headend controller.