Rather switch than fight
The adoption of switched digital video (SDV) is accelerating. In November, BigBand Networks claimed to have SDV available to 11 million households (related story here).
Today, the company is claiming that its five U.S. customers have deployed, or are now in the process of deploying, the infrastructure to actually deliver video via switching to 20 million homes.
Those customers include Cablevision, Charter Communications, Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable; the fifth has not been identified.
Two of the key concerns of the pay-TV industry have been making more high-definition (HD) channels available and providing more on-demand capability and content. Those two issues provide the framework for BigBand's discussions of its SDV system.
"We still think we're the only company switching HD," said Biren Sood, BigBand's VP and manager of cable video for the Americas. "And we're oversubscribing it."
Sood said the oversubscription rate – the number of channels coming in to the number of channels out – has been 3:1, "but we're beginning to see oversubscription rates of four-to-one."
Meanwhile, BigBand has been field testing the latest generation – the fifth – of its SDV platform. The new version will be commercially available at the end of the month.
Its new SDV server, the Switched Broadcast Session Server, doubles the capacity of previous generations. Integration with BigBand's Switched Video Analysis (SVA) application allows operators to alternate between switching and broadcasting content to further increase bandwidth savings.
Meanwhile, BigBand's fifth-generation SDV system can support open-protocol QAM sharing, which means edgeQAM resources can be shared across SDV and video on-demand (VOD) services. BigBand said it recently initiated its first commercial deployment to deliver SDV and VOD in the same cable system using its Universal edgeQAM, the BEQ6000 – a QAM capable of being shared in this manner.
|Brian Santo, IP Capsule Editor & CED Magazine Editor
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Company: MRG Inc.
CEO: Robert DiStefano
Claim to fame: MRG is a consulting, engineering and technology firm delivering corporate reliability programs to clients that are giving strategic consideration or commitment to the benefits of such initiatives.
Recent news of note: MRG announced the availability of its new IPTV Test, Measurement & Monitoring (TM&M) report.