FREMONT, CALIF. -BigBand Networks Inc. said Cox Communications Inc. and Rogers Cable Inc. have begun beta-testing BigBand's new "Broadband Multimedia-Services Router" (BMR). The companies did not disclose where the tests are being conducted. BigBand's BMR uses a patented "NativeMedia" operating system that enables the gear to integrate video, audio and data in their native formats, and deliver that content to PCs and televisions. BigBand 's BMR, which sits between application services and the hybrid fiber-coax distribution network, supports Moving Pictures Experts Group, Internet protocol, Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet platforms, the company said.
Launched quietly in 1999, BigBand's claims existing cable networks are aptly designed for low-bit-rate applications such as voice and electronic mail, but aren't equipped to handle variable-bit-rate, bandwidth-intensive content such as streaming video. Base pricing for the BMR starts at about $40,000, BigBand said.