Cheetah Technologies announced its roadmap for monitoring video quality on QAM video carriers.

Cheetah's end of line RF monitor had been developed for measuring analog carriers and power levels in digital carriers. The new CMD-EL+ has been designed to provide cable system operators with an upgrade path for ensuring the most accurate measurement of QAM carriers as operators move to all-digital networks.

To that end, enhancements the company is working on will enable cable operators to measure a variety of indicators across all QAM carriers, including pre- and post-forward error correction (FEC), error vector magnitude (EVM), and bit error rate (BER), as well as modulation error ratio (MER).

The Cheetah monitoring product, called CMD-EL, also captures QAM constellation data and can provide adaptive equalization measurements for QAM performance with regard to micro-reflections. All measurements and alarms are displayed via the CheetahXD or CheetahLynx management system.

The CMD-EL+ features a new embedded cable modem module (eCMM) that leverages DOCSIS 3.0 chip technology. Operators can upgrade to measure both digital and analog carriers by replacing the eCMM in current products, purchase new CMD-EL+ units with the technology embedded, or install new units that are designed to measure digital carriers only.

The enhanced version, CMD-EL+, is scheduled to be released in July 2011.

Cheetah Technologies said it will provide additional details about the CMD-EL+ and other industry-leading monitoring and management solutions at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo next week.

"While the migration to all-digital networks offers operators the ability to provide significantly more programming and services, the trade-off is increased complexity within the networks themselves," said Steven John, CEO for Cheetah Technologies. "The CMD-EL+ gives operators the data and measurements they need to give subscribers the quality of experience they expect."