SCTE Journal: More, More & More


Baseball, apple pie, cable TV: watching video entertainment is a quintessential part of Americana. 

And what’s more American than wanting more-more-more, to get everything and to get it bigger, better and faster?

News announcements leading up to the SCTE’s 25th annual Cable-Tec Expo in Philly — the original home of the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — have been about letting cable deliver more HD, more bandwidth and more reliable services.

Here’s a roundup of announcements timed for Cable-Tec Expo:

* Evolution Digital is debuting its MPEG-4 digital headend solution for small cable operators, which the company claims can give systems with as little as 550 Megahertz of spectrum the ability to offer 400 high-definition channels. But probably no other services. I guess their math goes like this: 550 MHz provides around 80 QAMs, which could each fit 5 MPEG-4 HDs at 7-8 Mbps.

* EGT is packing three video-processing features into the VIPr Closed-Loop Transcoder appliance: MPEG-4-to-MPEG-2 transcoding; provides statistical multiplexing to fit three MPEG-2 HDs in one QAM; and can downconvert an HD feed into standard-def.

* Concurrent is adding resiliency features to the Real-Time Pitcher 2000 that the company said provides VOD content-ingest success rates of up to 99.999%.

* WideOpenWest has deployed Calix’s GPON solution for high-speed business services.

* Hitachi Telecom is introducing a “radio frequency over glass” solution—RFoG in industry shorthand—that will transmit cable RF services over last-mile fiber networks. The Node+Zero solution is supposed to "future-proof" cable networks.

* According to a survey by Sandvine, a vendor of bandwidth-management systems, peer-to-peer file-sharing applications represent 44% of all bandwidth consumed on networks operated by North American Internet service providers, up from around 41% a year ago. (The point of this, natch, is that Sandvine sells the stuff to contain P2P.)

* IneoQuest Technologies will demo PC-based software for testing and troubleshooting switched digital video networks for cable operators.

* Symmetricom announced the Q-1200 digital/IP video headend analyzer, a multichannel video headend monitoring device designed to identify video impairments. It’s scheduled to be generally available in September.

* Aurora Networks
is developing an optical access solution, BitCoax, that will extend the RF spectrum of an MSO’s coax plant above 1 Gigahertz — letting an operator provision data services at speeds of hundreds of megabits per second, according to the vendor.

There’s more, more, more to come later this week….