Cox Rolls Out More BigBand Switched Digital Video

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Cox Communications has expanded its switched digital video architecture to new markets with BigBand Networks' SDV system.

Cox began deploying the BigBand SDV solution in 2007 in its Northern Virginia, Phoenix and Orange County, Calif., systems. The MSO didn't announce where else it has launched the BigBand solution.

The cable operator is running the switched digital video platform in both Motorola and Cisco Systems environments to deliver more HDTV programming and other services by increasing the bandwidth efficiency of its network.

"SDV is one of our key tools to address the bandwidth demands critical to delivering a wide variety of quality programming and services to our customers," Cox vice president of video engineering James Kelso said in a statement. "BigBand continues to demonstrate that they have the processes and support mechanisms that make it easy to deploy SDV with minimum impact to our operations and resources."

BigBand president and CEO Amir Bassan-Eskenazi commented, "Cox was an early adopter of SDV architecture, and it is an honor to be selected by them again."

BigBand's sales have slumped, with total net revenue plunging 43% to $18.4 million for the three months ended March 31, 2011. The Redwood City, Calif.-based company posted a net loss of $12.8 million in the first quarter of 2011, compared with a net loss of $8.8 million in the year-ago period.

The biggest reason for the drop in sales was a $13.4 million decline in SDV products, "as early SDV adopters had substantially completed their initial deployments in 2010 and potential new customers did not commence SDV deployments in the three months ended March 31, 2011," BigBand said in a 10-Q filing.

Specifically the company cited Time Warner Cable's large multisite SDV rollout a year ago and the operator's "minimal" expansion in the most recent quarter.

Cox, Charter Communications, Time Warner Cable and Verizon Communications each represented at least 10% of BigBand's revenue for the first quarter of 2011.

BigBand's SDV solution is designed to optimize bandwidth utilization, by switching programs dynamically to subscriber service groups only when channels are requested by viewers. The technique can free up between 50% and 80% of the available digital spectrum, according to the company.

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