Cisco Blogs


Cisco Blog > SP360: Service Provider

SCTE 2010: How Cable Can Lead in the IP Transition

In this brief video discussion, Kip Compton, Director and General Manager of the Video Content Platforms Business Unit for Cisco, hits upon a topic that’s top of mind for lots of people at this week’s SCTE Cable-Tec Expo in New Orleans: What it will take for the cable television industry to extend its lead in IP to its core business - video.

If IP video is about delivering a great user experience across a lot of devices, cable’s getting there. If it’s about extending the reach of today’s premium bundles, integrating content from the Internet onto the TV -- without having to pay multiple providers or getting locked in to multiple set-tops -- then cable isn’t just “getting there” - it’s in a truly great competitive position.

Why? People want video mobility and a great user experience, with better search and usability. They don’t necessarily want it, though, from six or 10 different sources.

Cable television is a unique mix of broadband network reach and content aggregation. As the industry turns up the heat on its transition to delivering more video services over DOCSIS, it is supremely positioned to succeed. Read More »

Tags: , , ,

SCTE 2010: The Challenges of Cable’s IP Video Transition

In this brief video discussion, Rob Polack, Senior Director of Cisco Video Center of Excellence, examines the challenges for cable operators as they shift more video traffic onto their IP plant.

In short, operators will face three distinct challenges in the transition. One is skill sets. As attendees of this week’s SCTE Cable-Tec Expo know well, this industry is at a pivot point. The volume of change -- analog to digital, MPEG to IP, multicast to unicast -- will create a serious appetite for IP-related training. Read More »

Tags: , , ,

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.

Read More »

Tags: , , , , , ,

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 »

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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 »

Tags: , , , , ,