Adara Technologies might have figured out how to revive the market for switched digital video. With a tiny operator in Canada offering proof of concept, Adara Technologies is taking SDV to the cloud and offering it as a service.

Two years ago, the SDV market seemed to be in overdrive, with the likes of Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications enthusiastically embracing the technology. Then the market stalled.

The thing about the cable market is that the small handful of Tier 1 MSOs each have different sets of priorities, and SDV is not at the top of everyone's list.

Meanwhile, operators in Tiers 2 through 4 rarely have the resources to handle SDV, which is pretty complex to implement, Adara CEO Joseph Nucara explained.

So Adara, in partnership with Cisco, is offering SDV to smaller operators as a managed service. The first company to bite was Cable Cable in Ontario, Canada, an operator with all of 4,200 cable subscribers.

Cable Cable introduced the product two years ago, and has since increased the number of HD channels from 25 to 100 – enough to compete with satellite-based providers. That helped the company quadruple the number of digital subscribers, with a corresponding increase in ARPU.

One of the interesting things is that since the service is, essentially, an overlay, the operator's physical plant is abstracted from the delivery.

In other words, even though the whole thing is based on Cisco technology, it works whether the operator's network is based on equipment from Cisco/S-A, from Motorola or from some other vendor, Nucara said. Cable Cable, in fact, was using Conax, he said.

The difficulty of implementing SDV – the actual installation, the integration with the back office, the expertise required to have on staff – often outweighed the clear cost advantages, Nucara explained. Many smaller operators would opt for other bandwidth-expanding options simply because they seemed easier. By going to the cloud and turning SDV into a service, that takes those intimidating factors out of the equation.


Cost/homes passed

Capacity increase

Expand to 1 GHz


15–30 percent



50–125 percent



10–15 percent



500 percent (or more)

Source: Adara Technologies

A small operator might have to invest more than $1.25 million to do analog reclamation, but less than $200,000 for a cloud SDV approach, Adara calculates.

"Most people think the best option for increasing bandwidth is analog reclamation, using DTAs," Nucara said. "SDV is the best way to address the bandwidth need."

Especially true when you add in contingent benefits, he said. Time to market is cut from over a year to a few months when compared with analog reclamation; opex is far lower; SDV leads to new products that could be sold; and given the lower cost, the ability to secure financing is far more likely.