Cisco Blogs


Cisco Blog > SP360: Service Provider

Coffee with Shoptalk: Highlights from CTAM Summit, SCTE Expo

Contributed by Mark Palazzo, VP/GM for Cisco’s Cable Access Business Unit

On the last day of a New Orleans week that contained two major conventions - the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers’ (SCTE) annual Cable Tec-Expo, preceded by the Cable Television Association for Marketing’s (CTAM) Summit -- early morning shop talk requires a strong cup of coffee.

That’s what prompted this impromptu chat between me and Leslie Ellis, Multichannel News columnist and winner of the 2010 SCTE/WICT Women in Technology award.

Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

SCTE 2010: What is Cable’s Path to ROI with IP-Delivered Services?

In this brief video discussion, Cisco’s Director of Video Solutions Marketing, Murali Nemani talks candidly about “what’s in it for cable” to deliver a suite of IP video services. In his view, it’s a three-step process that’s already beginning.

First, sending video services over bonded DOCSIS channels means pursuing the only path to those 15 billion video-hungry, IP-enabled end points which analysts predict will be present at the end points of the broadband network within 5 years. Whether “managed” (by the cable operator, such as cable modems and set-tops) or “unmanaged” (purchased by consumers), those IP end points will be seeking video over broadband.

Second, the continued attention and investment in DOCSIS 3.0 rollouts will help fend off competitive broadband “speed wars” while laying the foundation for video delivered over IP. Cable operators have the plant capacity, spectrum, and scale to reach an unprecedented footprint of IP end devices.

Lastly, cable’s continued work on the “video back end,” from content delivery networks (CDNs) to set-tops and next-generation gateways, will help the industry permeate the IP video marketplace and drive adoption across the U.S.

Read More »

Tags: , , , , , ,

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: , , , , , ,