& cplSiteName &

Cable's WiFi Video Attack

Craig Leddy
Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
Craig Leddy
8/12/2014
50%
50%

Lately, America's TV screens have been filled with marionette people who get tangled in their own wires during commercials touting the benefits of wireless set-top boxes (STBs) by DirecTV.

From the cable camp, new wireless gateways are emerging that could make the puppet people even more jealous. The boxes, initially displayed in prototype form at The Cable Show 2014, offer advanced WiFi 802.11ac throughput on dual-spectrum bands (2.4GHz and 5GHz) to deliver IP video around the home.

According to a new Heavy Reading Cable Industry Insider, "Look Ma, No Wires: New Wi-Fi Gateways Take Video Airborne," the wireless video gateways will enable cable providers to establish a powerful IP platform for cloud DVR, branded user interfaces, video on demand (VoD) and linear TV on thin client receivers and any WiFi-connected devices.

In addition, the gateways promote cable strategies to combine residential WiFi hotspots to create community WiFi networks, which could eventually lead to distribution of Internet of Things (IoT) applications, wireless buildouts and perhaps even a "WiFi first" mobile phone play, the report says.

The wireless-centric boxes are the latest in a line of hybrid gateways. Initially designed to combine TV and Internet access into one box, the early gateway models have included multiple tuners, a large DVR hard drive, a DOCSIS 3.0 modem, MPEG2/MPEG4 transcoding, and other bells and whistles.

By comparison, the wireless models are slimmed-down versions of the über boxes. They shift network intelligence to the cable cloud, so that MSOs can easily add or update branded program guides and applications, such as Comcast's X1 operating system and Time Warner Cable's Hosted Navigation platform. The boxes are also a visible sign of cable's ongoing adoption of the reference design kit (RDK), the system-on-chip (SoC)-rooted open source software platform for new devices.

Wireless video gateways can be used to drive incremental revenue through equipment charges or subscription service fees, as AT&T, DirecTV and Dish Network are seeking to do with wireless STBs. But Heavy Reading says their real value for cable providers is to retain video subscribers, upsell higher-speed Internet tiers and spread cloud-based applications. And they can help MSOs to shut up those dopey marionettes.

Is WiFi good enough to support cable's wireless video aspirations? Compared to cellular, WiFi is an imperfect, unlicensed transmission medium, subject to signal interruptions and inadequacies, the report says. But the wireless industry, with input from cable companies and organizations such as CableLabs, is pushing for better spectrum utilization, next-generation hotspot enhancements and the gigabit-level speeds offered by dual-band 802.11ac.

Arris sports an advanced wireless video gateway initially aimed for deployment by Comcast; Pace and Technicolor offers wireless options; and Cisco has developed what it calls unified gateways. Other manufacturers are offering gateways, advanced STBs or IP clients that support unique strategies. The report includes profiles of 12 manufacturers that serve the US cable market.

— Craig Leddy, Contributing Analyst, Heavy Reading Insider


Look Ma, No Wires: New Wi-Fi Gateways Take Video Airborne, a 19-page report, is available as part of an annual single-user subscription (six issues) to Heavy Reading Cable Industry Insider, priced at $1,595. Individual reports are available for $900. To subscribe, please visit: www.heavyreading.com/cable.

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
craigleddy
50%
50%
craigleddy,
User Rank: Blogger
8/13/2014 | 12:05:50 PM
Re: Look Ma, No Wires
Yes, cable and other providers must ensure a high quality of experience (QoE) when using WiFi for video. It's tricky inside the home, even trickier if they go outside the home. Emerging WiFi enhancements promise to improve capabilities for video.   
kq4ym
50%
50%
kq4ym,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/12/2014 | 8:58:19 PM
Look Ma, No Wires
What seems like a great idea may or may not work well. With all those pesky microwaves cooking popcorn and other RF interference, the infrequent interruptions may very well prove just too much for some video viewers. Wireless is great for convenience but the customers may just vote no if there's too much viewing irritation.
More Blogs from Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
The momentum behind 'open' everything is real and growing, and will be a significant component of operators' development activities on their march toward the cloud.
The growth of EE is an interesting case study in quality-oriented branding in the mobile broadband era.
Cable has grown dramatically in the small- and midsized business (SMB) market, hitting the $12 billion mark, and is now heading into the enterprise business market.
Although it's still in the early stages, the Internet of Things (IoT) market is changing and beginning to mature. This is leading to commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) platform usage and falling prices.
Containerization is at last enabling CSPs to cost-effectively serve smaller customers with individualized network features – as early NFV supporters envisaged more than three years ago.
From The Founder
Light Reading sits down at CES with the head of Cisco's service provider video business, Conrad Clemson, to discuss how NFV and cloud security relate to video, the challenge of managing 4K/8K traffic, the global expansion of Netflix and virtual reality.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
LRTV Documentaries
All Change in Video

2|11|16   |   33:12   |   (1) comment


At this moderated panel at 2020 Vision in Dublin, Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader of Light Reading, sits down with Jeff Finkelstein, director of network architecture at Cox Communications, to discuss the rapidly changing video market.
LRTV Custom TV
Hosting in Ireland, Past & Present

2|10|16   |   16:07   |   (0) comments


Garry Connolly, president of Host in Ireland, presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Dublin.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
What's Hot in Mobile Commerce?

2|10|16   |   12:18   |   (1) comment


Claire Maslen, financial services relationship manager at the GSMA, talks about the development of the digital commerce sector and the types of relationships that mobile operators are developing to further their m-commerce strategies.
LRTV Documentaries
EANTC Tests Nokia IP Routing & Mobile Gateway VNFs for Real World Deployment

2|9|16   |   5:08   |   (1) comment


Nokia obtained validation of its virtualized router and virtualized mobile gateway capabilities through rigorous testing performed by EANTC. The results set a new industry benchmark for outstanding performance, scalability, resiliency and manageability. Nokia VNFs are ready for telco cloud deployment, so that service providers can accelerate mobile, business and ...
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Level 3's Jack Waters

2|8|16   |   26:15   |   (1) comment


Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders sits down with Level 3 Communications' CTO Jack Waters to discuss hot topics like virtualization, 4K and the future of telecom...
LRTV Custom TV
The Composable Telco

2|8|16   |   24:46   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Principal Analyst Caroline Chappell presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Dublin.
LRTV Custom TV
Join Us at the Digital Operations Transformation Summit

2|4|16   |   03:52   |   (0) comments


The Digital Operations Transformation Summit on February 21, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Barcelona Fira Centre will bring together 50 senior executives to engage in a unique debate on the opportunities and challenges presented by the transformative evolving digital landscape. RSVP now at events@lightreading.com.
LRTV Custom TV
Making the Test: ADVA Ensemble Connector vs. Open vSwitch

2|4|16   |   01:28   |   (0) comments


Light Reading, in partnership with EANTC, recently tested ADVA's Ensemble Connector, which replaces open vSwitch and offers carrier-grade capability and interoperability. The test results strengthen ADVA's credibility as a provider in the virtualization space.
LRTV Custom TV
Bridging the Gap Between PoCs & Deployment in NFV

2|4|16   |   31:50   |   (0) comments


Charlie Ashton of Wind River presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Dublin.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Mike Aquino

2|3|16   |   17:34   |   (0) comments


The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
Shades of Ray
MWC: Buckle Up for 5G & the IIoT

2|2|16   |   02:28   |   (0) comments


This year's Mobile World Congress looks set to be a 5G land grab and a chance to get down and dirty with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) – but what will the 5G discussions actually be about?
LRTV Custom TV
Case Study: Building China's Next-Gen TV Networks

2|2|16   |   5:01   |   (0) comments


With over 2 billion viewers worldwide, Shenzhen Media Group is one of China's largest content producers. By partnering with Huawei and Sobey, SZMG was able to modernize media operations with the Converged News Center, a production studio that is a model for next-generation workflows.
Upcoming Live Events
March 10, 2016, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 5, 2016, The Ritz Carlton, Charlotte, NC
May 23, 2016, Austin, TX
May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Google's 5G Radio Ambitions Are Expanding
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/5/2016
Cincinnati Bell Joins Weight Watchers Club
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 2/5/2016
Yahoo & Verizon Sitting in a Tree...
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 2/8/2016
Vodafone: Flexible Work Policies Boost Profits
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/8/2016
It's Time to Integrate OTT Video
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 2/8/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders sits down with Level 3 Communications' CTO Jack Waters to discuss hot topics like virtualization, 4K and the future of telecom...
The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
Animals with Phones
Retro Is the Way to Be Click Here
Some animals are too cute for smartphones.
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and G.fast for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.