Artel Video Systems has created technology designed to help cable operators get a leg up on satellite delivered services. VideoStorm is a new switch that enables digital television, VoD and i-TV services to be transported over existing packet networks with guaranteed quality of service.

"Digital TV has been deployed by satellite on constant delay networks, to transport MPEG information, but when a cable operator tries to extend that information on to a packet-based network, it violates some of the rules for MPEG translation," John Amaral, CTO and lead architect of the technology, tells CEDaily. "When an MSO wants to use a packet network for data, voice and video, the company finds that the network wasn't built properly to handle it, and still guarantee proper transmission of the data. We have built the capability into switching devices and extended packet-based networks by virtue of VideoStorm."

VideoStorm technology enables cable television and telecommunications network service providers to build networks that transport digital TV services over their existing broadband infrastructures with the same quality that up to now only satellite TV providers could manage.

"VideoStorm means that MSOs can use their terrestrial-based networks like digital broadcast networks. VideoStorm guarantees quality of service to an end user that would not normally be possible.

"MSOs get a single infrastructure for all their needs. By using packet-based and open standards networks, they keep the flexibility open to add new networks and they can benefit from industry wide applications development," says Amaral.

"We see a growing demand for the use of packet networks in the deployment of digital TV distribution networks," Marty Dugan, Artel's manager of corporate marketing, tells CEDaily. "This demand is generated by the imminent deployment of VoD, digital broadcast and interactive television services which require bi-directional, scalable and bandwidth efficient packet-based transport networks. Digital TV availability and subscriber content demand with burgeoning terrestrial network capabilities sets the stage for a revolution in the television experience."

According to Amaral, this is like the "new" Internet. VideoStorm technology will be key for bringing these services together, he says. And it will give the consumer true choice from a VOD perspective.