BigBand Networks' fortunes received a much-needed boost with additional switched digital video deployments by Cox Communications.
Cox first launched switched digital video (SDV) with BigBand in 2007 in its North Virginia system. Cox and BigBand didn't say how many additional markets SDV has been launched in, but Cox has deployed it in both Motorola and Cisco set-top box environments.
SDV frees up bandwidth for additional HD programming or other services by dynamically switching to just the digital channels that are being watched in a neighborhood or service group. BigBand said it frees up between 50 percent and 80 percent of the available digital spectrum, allowing operators to add content without a proportional increase in bandwidth consumption and network cost.
"SDV is one of our key tools to address the bandwidth demands critical to delivering a wide variety of quality programming and services to our customers," said James Kelso, vice president of video engineering for Cox. "BigBand continues to demonstrate that they have the processes and support mechanisms that make it easy to deploy SDV with minimum impact to our operations and resources."
While Cox, Time Warner Cable, Cablevision and Bright House Networks have deployed SDV to improve the bandwidth efficiency of their networks, Comcast, along with other cable operators such as Mediacom Communications, opted to reclaim bandwidth through analog-to-digital conversions. Comcast currently has its all-digital project, which uses digital terminal adapters (DTAs), completed in close to 90 percent of its footprint.
BigBand Networks' bottom line has been impacted by the slowdown of SDV deployments by Time Warner Cable and other cable operators. Comcast has cited several SDV trials, and while it may eventually need to migrate to SDV, the all-digital conversion project has freed up enough bandwidth for the near term.
"We believe that SDV is the best choice for today's MSOs seeking to reclaim bandwidth so they can offer more HD, VOD and other personalized services to their subscribers across any viewing screen. Cox was an early adopter of SDV architecture, and it is an honor to be selected by them again," said Amir Bassan-Eskenazi, CEO, president and co-founder of BigBand.
In April, BigBand reported first-quarter revenue of $18.4 million, down from $32.2 million in the first quarter of 2010, leading to a wider loss of $12.8 million, compared with a loss of $8.8 million in the same period a year ago.
At the start of this year, BigBand laid off 9 percent of its workforce.