New Products - Nov/Dec 2011
Tektronix Upgrades Sentry for Improved QoE
Tektronix’s  Sentry digital content monitor now enables cable television operators to ensure the quality of their live and on-demand services delivered using adaptive streaming through the quick identification and diagnosis of video and audio quality issues that can impact viewers’ quality of experience (QoE).
“Sentry’s combination of advanced audio and video quality monitoring capabilities and proven performance make it an ideal solution for ensuring adaptive streaming quality and is another demonstration of our commitment to ensuring that Sentry addresses operators’ most pressing QoE requirements,” said Eben Jenkins, general manager of the video product line at Tektronix.
The key to Sentry’s new adaptive streaming monitoring capabilities is its ability to perform its Perceptual Video Quality (PVQ) analysis on video streams encoded in the H.264 codec used for adaptive streaming. PVQ enables Sentry to identify video artifacts that are due to over-compression, which commonly happens with motion-intensive programs like sports and action movies. Such overcompression artifacts are virtually undetectable by simply looking for packet loss and represent a major threat to video quality.
In an adaptive streaming monitoring application, Sentry examines H.264 video streams immediately after they have been transcoded from MPEG-2 and just prior to them being fragmented and encrypted. This is a critical point in the adaptive streaming process, as transcoding can introduce QoE-impacting video errors that are virtually undetectable after encryption.
Simultaneously with the H.264 monitoring, Sentry examines the accompanying audio programs encoded in the AAC codec predominantly used in adaptive streaming. This combination ensures that operators can detect video and audio issues that will propagate downstream and degrade customers’ viewing experience.
Integra Telecom Bows Cloud Security Services
Integra Telecom  has introduced a new Cloud Security Services suite of managed, networked-based security products for companies that rely on the Internet for their business and need to protect their network from unauthorized and malicious access and content.
The first available product is Cloud Firewall Service, a network-based unified threat prevention service that provides secure inbound and outbound Internet access without the need for on-premise equipment or additional staff.
“Integra Telecom is investing in new products and services to accommodate a growing number of small- to mid-size businesses and regional enterprise customers in our key markets throughout the U.S.,” said Richard Shimizu, director of cloud services at Integra Telecom. “The Cloud Firewall Service is the first of a comprehensive array of cloud computing services that Integra will roll out over the next year. Our Cloud Security Services suite of products serve a common objective: giving our business customers highly sophisticated, network-based data protection and management solutions that make the most of their existing investments in IT, networking and staffing resources.”
Based on Palo Alto Network’s enterprise firewall, Cloud Firewall Service is designed to prevent unauthorized access to network infrastructure, prohibit access to inappropriate Web content, restrict downloads of infected files and ensure secure use of an organization’s corporate IP-VPN network.
Irdeto intros TV Services
Irdeto  has launched its open standards, cloud-based TV Services platform, complete with reference applications for tablets, smartphones, and other iOS and Android devices. Irdeto also announced its next-generation content management solution, Irdeto MediaManager. Together, the end-to-end solution enables pay-TV operators to deliver on the TV Everywhere promise and offer the new social TV experience.
Optimizing the API functionality within Irdeto’s broadband, STB middleware and security solutions, the Irdeto TV Services platform provides operators and content providers with flexible Web services that deliver the right content, on the right devices at the right time.
The solution also enables operators to offer sophisticated social media engagement on companion devices through channels such as Facebook and Twitter, meaning consumers can share comments and recommendations that are synchronized to their viewing experience in real time.
IBBS Helps Operators with Capacity Planning
IBBS has launched IBBS Bandwidth Management, a new network optimization program that gives operators comprehensive tools and insights so they can improve capacity planning, make strategic network investments and capitalize on IP service delivery trends.
The offering makes its debut as increased bandwidth consumption due to over-the-top video and peer-to-peer file-sharing continues to negatively impact mid-size cable operators. Tier 2 and 3 operators have been uniquely impacted by increased data traffic due to a variety of factors, the company said, including limited VOD offerings, inadequate capacity management tools and constrained budgets for network expansions.
“Over-the-top video entertainment now accounts for nearly half of all bandwidth consumed on cable networks, and this traffic load is negatively impacting operators at nearly every point of their networks. The financial and technical effects on operations are significant and measureable,” said Kyle Johnson, director of product strategy at IBBS. “IBBS Bandwidth Management is designed to support the operator in taking charge of network assets, investing wisely in infrastructure improvements, and enacting measures to better manage traffic and consumption.”
IBBS Bandwidth Management boasts a three-pronged approach. First comes the Pain Point Analysis, where IBBS works with the operator to define network choke points, examine subscriber behaviors and identify opportunities to fine-tune network assets. Phase two is when the operator deploys the proprietary IBBS Bandwidth Analytics Portal to perform deep analysis, conduct modeling exercises and create reliable forecasts. And the final step, the Bandwidth Optimization Program, is when IBBS supports operators with additional functionality through the IBBS BBX platform.
Anritsu Bows New Software for MP2100A BERTWave Series
Anritsu  has introduced two software packages for its MP2100A BERTWave series of BERT that create a single-instrument solution that cuts the cost of testing active optical cables (AOC) and direct attach cables (DAC) in half.
With the software installed, the MP2100A BERTWave provides developers of communications equipment, servers, computers, electronic components and cables used in digital transmission systems with an all-in-one solution that supports jitter decomposition analysis, S21 transmission characteristics and waveform simulation.
The Jitter Analysis Software can separately measure each type of jitter, such as TJ, DJ, RJ, DDJ and DDPWS, while the Transmission Analysis Software supports analysis of S21 transmission characteristics and waveform simulation. Installing both software packages in the MP2100A adds high-speed post-simulation waveform analysis to the standard BER, eye pattern and eye mask measurements of the MP2100A. All of these measurements are made efficiently, thanks to the MP2100A’s advanced linear equalizer.
Because of its measurement capability and superior accuracy, the MP2100A BERT – with the software installed – can conduct highly efficient evaluations on AOCs and DACs. BERTWave now supports all digital high-speed communications standards, including Fiber Channel, InfiniBand, USB, SAS/SATA and 10/40/100 GbE.
3M Intros New Connectors
Operators seeking fast, easy field installation of fiber connectors without sacrificing reliability now have a new option from the 3M Communication Markets Division , which recently released the 3M Crimplok+ Connector. It’s a commercially available FTTX field-mounted connector for 900 µm single-mode fiber that meets indoor and outdoor performance requirements without a splice, gel or adhesive.
The SC-compatible Crimplok+ Connectors combine the speed and ease of installation of mechanical splice connectors with the performance of fusion splice-on connectors. A metallic element within the connector mechanically locks the fiber in place.
The connector is designed without a splice, eliminating a potential optical loss point. The absence of gel or adhesive alleviates performance concerns historically associated with mechanical connectivity. And technicians can quickly and easily install Crimplok+ Connectors using simple hand tools.