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SCTE 2010: How Much Bandwidth Does IP Video Need?

People often ask how many 6 MHz channels it takes to do an IP video offering over cable. The answer, of course, is “it depends,” but let’s be more specific: MSOs can create an IP video offering with as few as four 6 MHz channels. With eight, they can create a partial replacement of the traditional linear and on-demand video product line. Sixteen 6 MHz channels afford a full replacement of what’s on the MPEG plant today.

If that sounds like a lot, think about it another way. Today’s 860 MHz cable plant contains about 125 channels, including analog and digital. Between two and four channels are currently used to handle both broadband and voice over IP (VoIP) traffic. Viewed through that prism, 16 channels perhaps don’t seem like so much!

How much bandwidth is really needed to deliver VoIP depends on the nature of the service offering. Offering a full simulcast of the linear lineup costs more in bandwidth – some networks are already carried in dedicated analog, standard definition, and high definition bandwidth. By contrast, offering VoD content in IP is a variation on switched digital video, itself a bandwidth saving mechanism.


John Chapman, Cisco Fellow and CTO of Cisco’s Access, Transport and Technology group,
talks candidly in this short video about what it takes, in bandwidth and QoS, to launch a video over IP service.

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SCTE 2010: Cisco Introduces the Key Enabler of Video-over-DOCSIS (VDOC)

Contributed by John Mattson, Director of Product Management, Cable Marketing

New 3G60 Broadband Processing Engine Enables Cable Operators to Cost-Effectively Move to All-IP Networks

The long-awaited 3G60 line card for the uBR10012 CMTS has finally arrived.  Ever since Cisco first conceived this line card, many worldwide cable providers have been waiting for its debut with breathless anticipation.  In my 22 years in the cable industry I can’t recall any other product with as much advance customer interest as this one.

Why is the 3G60 such a hot commodity?  Because it finally brings the right combination of very high capacity and very low cost-per-port that enables operators to realistically deploy Video-over-DOCSIS (VDOC) service.  And VDOC is the key to moving to a converged, all-IP network, which dramatically reduces both capital and operating costs and provides unprecedented flexibility to introduce new services quickly and efficiently.

The 3G60 provides up to 72 downstream ports and 60 upstream ports on a single line card, – over 3 times the density of any line card on the market today.  Using the 3G60, a single uBR10012 can support up to 576 downstream and 480 upstream ports per chassis.  In addition, starting from a minimal base system, all of the upstream and downstream ports on the 3G60 can be provisioned via software licensing, so customers can install the card and then only pay for the ports they use.  The 3G60 supports DOCSIS® 3.0 downstream channel bonding of as few as 2 up to as many as 24 channels, which makes downstream speeds of over 900 megabits per second possible. Read More »

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Watch for MPLS 2010 Conference Next Week!

I am really excited about the MPLS Conference 2010 to be held in Washington D.C. next week. 

Whilst we have a fantastic agenda of industry leaders who are scheduled to speak at the conference, Cisco in particular will be highly engaged starting with the Sunday, October 24th Tutorial on Mobile Packet Core with Azhar Sayeed, Cisco.

On Monday October 25th, Cisco’s Luyuan Fang will co-present with Nabil Bitar (Verizon) and Raymond Zhang (BT), on “MPLS-TP Deployment Scenarios and Design Considerations.”

I will present  on “Network Enabled Cloud and Service Models.”

The day will end with a panel co-chaired by Dave McDysan (Verizon) and Deborah Brugnard (AT&T) that includes Cisco Distinguished Engineer, George Swallow to discuss MPLS-TP and Ethernet OAM, “Peaceful Co-Existence or Continuing Competition.”

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The Broadband Quality Study – Tracking the Broadband Revolution Worldwide

Broadband is a term that has been around for years and is admittedly overused.  What some refer to as “broadband” is really more of just a step up from narrowband…call it “slightly wider narrowband” if you will.  As many long-time readers of SP360 know, at Cisco, we’ve been a big proponent of having higher broadband standards and classifications since consumers, businesses, and governments alike stand to benefit.  It’s not enough to just get marginally faster email when most of the rest of the world is focused on video and other advanced applications which require not just bandwidth but intelligence as well.

While there are many studies that chart overall broadband penetration, or the percentage of a population that receives broadband (by whatever definition may be used), we realized a few years ago that there wasn’t a study that focused on broadband “Quality” (i.e. what that said broadband can actually do).  To that end, Cisco searched around and found interest in an effort from the Saïd Business School of Oxford University and the University of Oviedo’s Department of Applied Economics that we agreed to sponsor.  The effort, called  the Broadband Quality Study, or BQS, is now in its third year with the latest results just released.

So what’s the news this year compared to last year or in 2008 when the study debuted? While the BQS, which uses  the data from 40 million real-life broadband quality tests conducted in 72 countries around the globe between May-June of 2010, gives us many new insights and surprises every year, I would say the real standout result this year is the speed at which countries have been able to become broadband leaders in just a few years. While we have expected this trend in the past, the three years of data to draw on, the BQS only now really proves it: Read More »

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SCTE 2010: What to See from Cisco

The third wave of video is off-the-hook at this week’s SCTE Cable-Tec Expo in New Orleans. Brief refresher: Wave 1 was linear TV, both analog and digital. Wave 2 was a shift of video onto switched IP networks. Wave 3 is the chapter unfolding right before our other IP-connectible screens – tablets, laptops, PCs, smartphones – that are ready to receive and display video. It brings with it a way to launch new services much quicker than in the past.

We’ve been focused on this third wave of video for what seems like forever, but let’s call it four or five years. Ever since we contributed to the third chapter of the DOCSIS cable modem specification. We’re big believers, given our blended heritage as analog and television pioneers, from our Scientific-Atlanta roots, and as Internet pioneers, from our Cisco roots.

We’re also big believers in giving our people credit where credit is due, which is why it is such a honor to be a part of SCTE icon Ron Hranac’s rise to the Hall of Fame this year. Go Ron go! We’re with you all the way, and very grateful that you’re on our team!

Here’s what we’re eager to show you in our booth at the Expo (#553):

  • Our plans and technologies to support Video over DOCSIS, which we call “VDOC”
  • 3DTV set-tops that will ease the hiccups associated with early-model (pre-HDMI 1.4) 3DTVs
  • Our work on “TV Everywhere,” helping your subscribers get all the TV they want, on any of their screens, no matter where they are
  • Mobility services, commercial services for small and medium businesses, and the Cisco Interactive Showcase
  • Our ongoing and expanding efforts to reduce carbon footprint, in the SCTE Green Pavilion – set-tops, access/transport products, and our Cisco TelePresence videoconferencing efforts

Outside of the booth, you’ll also be able to catch up with our technologists and researchers during the conference. Read More »

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