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It’s Time to Play the SCTE IP Challenge!

Harris-Steve_GrayThis is a partner perspective guest blog contributed by Steve Harris, Senior Director, Advanced Network Technologies.

If the category is “SCTE Cable-Tec Expo® Highlights” and the answer is “The SCTE IP Challenge,” then the question is obvious:  “What major Cable-Tec Expo event gets underway next week?”

While Cable-Tec Expo is a few months beyond the horizon, the SCTE IP Challenge – the event that gives cable engineering and operations professionals the chance to demonstrate their mastery of IP technology – is coming up fast.  The start date for virtual qualifying rounds?  That’s an easy one, Alex:  June 1.

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Sponsored once again by Cisco, the SCTE IP Challenge has become a signature event on the Cable-Tec Expo agenda.  Here’s the opportunity for those contestants who are SCTE members and work for a cable MSO: if they’re among the top eight scorers in the two virtual qualifying rounds – June 1-7 and July 13-19 – they win a free pass to SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2014 in Denver, where they can compete in the semifinals and finals.  Before a live audience Read More »

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What’s Going On at Cisco During the 2012 SCTE Cable Tec Expo

I’m predicting this year’s SCTE Cable-Tec Expo will go down as another cable technology milestone date. Why: The details of DOCSIS 3.1, the next chapter in cable modems, will finally go public on Thursday, October 18. Also: We’re in Orlando, and we’re within a few years of the 20th anniversary of the Time Warner Cable Full Service Network, which of course happened in Orlando. A milestone in its own right.

And for us, it’s already a milestone year, in a way. Why: We are demonstrating new Videoscape experiences expanded by the recent NDS acquisition, now including the NDS Snowflake experience, and my friend and colleague John Chapman, who pioneered the very first DOCIS spec (1.0, in the mid-‘90s), will be inducted into the SCTE Hall of Fame today. It’s a big deal and we’re really proud of him.

And now for what’s happening in our booth (#2034) at this year’s Expo:

  • Videoscape Experiences: We will demonstrate new Videoscape-delivered services and user experiences including NDS Snowflake and companion screen solutions.
  • CCAP: The Converged Cable Access Platform is an industry effort to make a “one-size-fits-all” QAM, to keep up with the growth in IP traffic, and to reduce rack space requirements and power consumption.
  • Unifying QAM & IP: We will show how digital network control system (DNCS) is evolving to simplify headend management and unify and harmonize QAM and IP connected devices.
  • DOCSIS leadership: We will demonstrate how our video-over-DOCSIS 3.0 solution enables cable operators to allocate their DOCSIS network resources to delivery IP video, and maximize the Cisco quality of experience for their subscribers.

And the Expo wouldn’t be the Expo without a wide-and-deep roster of technical papers and presentations. We’re glad to contribute seven papers/presentations this year!

Last but not least, we’re proud to sponsor the SCTE IP Challenge again this year – a friendly competition, held in a fast-paced, “Jeopardy”-styled format, to test attendees’ knowledge of Internet Protocol (IP) technologies. The IP Challenge was scheduled on “Expo Eve,” (Tuesday Oct. 16); we’ll get the results and photos of the winner(s) to you later in the week.

Until then: See you in Orlando and have a productive, tech-rich Expo!

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The SCTE IP Challenge is back! Are you ready?

By Steve Harris, Senior Director, Advanced Network Technologies

How prepared are you for the future of cable telecommunications? You’ll have a chance to find out with the return of the SCTE IP Challenge over the next few weeks.

With the support of our friends at Cisco Systems, the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers has brought back the challenge in a bigger and better way to help test knowledge and heighten understanding of the Internet Protocol (IP) technologies that will shape our industry in the years to come.

To get involved – see below for the cool prizes you can win – there are three things Read More »

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Videoscape Extends Network Intelligence into the Home to Reduce Multi-screen Costs

The SCTE Cable-Tec Expo held in Atlanta (Nov 15-17, 2011), provided further industry confirmation that multi-screen delivery has become table stakes for operators. Yet, an undercurrent of all the promise that multi-screen video can bring is the cost of delivering applications and services to additional screens. There are network costs for additional bandwidth provisioning, data center costs for transcoding content into various bit rates and formats, and customer support costs related to the launch of new services, among others. How can operators confidently launch multi-screen services under these circumstances? Cisco’s Videoscape addresses this operator concern with an architecture designed to mitigate the cost of multi-screen video delivery and to achieve tangible results.

Let’s take the use case of linear TV streaming to companion devices in the home. There is growing concern that consumers will treat their companion devices as they do their regular TVs, and continuously stream linear content to their connected devices, raising the cost to provision sufficient bandwidth to support subscribers. There are multiple ways to tackle this consumer behavior challenge. Better content discovery and recommendation can ensure that consumers only stream content they actively want to watch, and data caps can provide the disincentive to over-consumption.

Cisco’s Videoscape architecture addresses this challenge by extending cloud transcoding and network intelligence into the home. Videoscape multi-screen home gateways can alleviate some of the bandwidth concerns for streaming to Internet-connected Read More »

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Cable Technologists: Thanks For a Great SCTE Cable-Tec Expo!

To the 10,000 or so of you who joined us in Atlanta this week for the annual Society of Cable Telecommunication Engineers Expo – thanks for participating in what was one of the more high-energy, momentous Expos we’ve seen in decades. Wow! What a great one this year.

Starting with the ending, really: On the last afternoon of the show, Steve Callahan, Senior Network Engineer for Time Warner Carolinas, earned the grand prize at the first annual “IP Challenge.” (It wasn’t explicitly because he had fans with handheld signs in the audience [see photo to the left] – Steve really did perform the series of router configurations with alacrity and grace – but it didn’t hurt.
Our overall Cable-Tec Expo 2011 observations: While in years past, engineering to-do lists and intentions were overshadowed by doom-and-gloom predictions of cord-cutters, over-the-top video interlopers, and similar perceived calamity, this year’s Expo attendees were in full-tilt “let’s build it” mode.  The over-arching sentiment was that it’s time to auger in and get fully immersed in this overall transition to IP video. To that we say: Bring it!

In our booth, the two main areas of interest were the nuts-and-bolts details of how to get to “TV Anywhere,” as well as the key architectural elements that will enable the all-IP transition. Watch an unofficial “coffee clutch” video interview between our Mark Palazzo, VP/GM, Cable Access Business Unit, and industry technology columnist Leslie Ellis, about SCTE Expo trends. Read More »

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