Motorola and Toronto-based Adara Technologies are separately hawking managed switched digital video solutions designed to let small and midsize service providers deployed an SDV solution -- to free up bandwidth -- more affordably than alternative approaches.
Adara is working with Cisco Systems to deliver the SDV solution, which includes digital set-top boxes and equipment from Cisco, professional services including logistics, system integration and technical support as well as customer financing in coordination with Cisco Capital.
Motorola, meanwhile, is completing the final stage of field trial with a system that deployed hosted SDV earlier this year. The company's service, announced in July 2010, provides communication between the cable operator's headend and Motorola's San Diego facility over a virtual private network.
"We're currently quoting new systems to other customers for design/launch," said Chris Poli, director of conditional access and switched digital products for Motorola Mobility.
According to Motorola, the SDV system is compatible with Cisco systems, though Motorola recommends SDV customers use its own APEX edge QAM devices.
Switched digital video systems allow operators to deliver more video in less bandwidth, by switching programs dynamically to subscriber service groups only when channels are requested by viewers. The technique can free up to 50% or more of the spectrum normally required to deliver video, according to industry vendors.
One of Adara's customers is Cable Cable Inc., a small operator in Ontario, Canada, with 4,200 subscribers that has been using the Cisco SDV system for the past two years. Since the launch of the solution in 2009, Cable Cable has grown its channel lineup from 25 HD channels at launch to 100 HD channels today.
Previously, "SDV was not an option for independent providers," Adara CEO Joe Nucara said. "Either the cost was prohibitive, the technology was too complicated or it was simply not made available to them because of their size."
According to Adara's estimates, SDV solutions cost $5 to $40 per home passed -- less than other solutions, such as an MPEG-4 upgrade ($100 to $120 per home passed); all-digital conversion ($180 to $250 per home passed); or 1 GHz upgrade ($30 to $100 per home passed).