Light Reading
Zenverge is working on new gateway/set-top silicon that can transcode six or more individual HD streams – up from the four its chips can handle now

Zenverge Eyes More Streams for More Screens

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
2/4/2013
50%
50%

Zenverge Inc., a chipmaker that specializes in video transcoding, is getting ready to take in-home video streaming via gateways and set-tops to the next level. The company's current-generation transcoding chips can support up to four individual HD video streams and device/bit-rate profiles at the same time, but the next version will target at least six streams, company execs tell Light Reading Cable. A six-channel transcoding chip "is a natural spot for us," says Tony Masterson, Zenverge's CTO. "We can go even higher than that." Zenverge isn't saying exactly when it will launch those new products, but the company expects to announce details about its roadmap "over the next few months," Masterson adds. Zenverge's technology is gaining traction with the cable guys as they continue to piece together IP video migration strategies for the home. Many MSOs are in pursuit of hybrid QAM/IP gateways that can convert the incoming QAM video stream into multiple IP video streams that can then be distributed to smart TVs, tablets, smartphones and other IP devices that are hanging off the home network. In addition to straight streaming, Zenverge's silicon also has the ability to transfer recorded content to other devices, a technique sometimes called "slideloading." (See Morega Tackles Video Portability.) The gateway approach can help operators offset some big capital costs, because only the primary device needs to contain a CableCARD, a module and interface that adds more than $40 to the cost of a set-top. While today's four-stream solution appears to be enough at the moment for most customers, a six-stream version offers a good technical target, since today's widely deployed multi-stream CableCARDs can support up to six individual streams. (See Charter Bemoans CableCARD Costs.) Zenverge's four-stream system has already racked up some wins. Among them, TiVo Inc. uses Zenverge silicon in its new TiVo Stream transcoding sidecar, and Arris Group Inc. has picked it for a new class of "headless" video gateway that's based on Comcast Corp.'s Reference Design Kit and can be deployed in out-of-sight places like a basement or a closet (that device is considered headless because it doesn't handle the video rendering tasks that a "headed" gateway/set-top would). Zenverge is also targeting headed gateways and advanced HD-DVRs that tack on the transcoding piece. (See Comcast All-Service Gateways Go 'Headless' and Suddenlink Activates TiVo Stream.) Zenverge's co-processor approach will compete with companies like Broadcom Corp., which is integrating the transcoding piece on its own. Zenvege's current four-stream chips already out-muscle some early single-stream transcoding devices, such as the Motorola Mobility LLC-made Televation, a product that includes a CableCARD. Comcast markets that device under the AnyPlay brand. Motorola's working on a multi-stream version of Televation, according to FierceCable. (See Comcast Uses TV Streamer to Pump Mobile Bundles and Comcast Beams Live TV to the iPad.) Gateway versus cloud
Although cable's also starting to deliver some live TV programming directly from the cloud (primarily in the form of national cable channels), the home gateway will remain a key part of the industry's strategy for five to ten years, Masterson predicts. A big reason for that, he adds, is because cable has already spent billions on a QAM infrastructure and still has millions of QAM-only set-tops in the field that it's not going to just walk away from. He also holds that QAM remains the most efficient way to deliver local TV broadcast feeds and PEG (public, education and government) access channels to customer homes. Transcoding all of those different versions for each local market represents a cumbersome and complicated task that many MSOs don't want to tackle yet. And that's the kind of trend Zenverge hopes will hold up as operators start to accelerate the gateway model. Zenverge, a privately held company founded in 2006, doesn't reveal financial data, but the company believes it will become profitable within 12 months. Zenverge recently closed a $20.5 million "D" round led by set-top chipmaker Entropic Communications Inc. Verizon Ventures, the VC arm of Verizon Communications Inc., announced it had invested (the amount was undisclosed) in Zenverge last August. Motorola participated in Zenverge's $30 million "C" round in early 2010. (See Entropic Buys Into Video Transcoding.) — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable



(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
2/5/2013 | 1:07:29 PM
re: Zenverge Eyes More Streams for More Screens
Will 6 be enough? Homes with three TVs and three other types of IP devcies (PCs, tablets and smartphones and game consoles) will take up all of that streaming capacity. Of course, this assumes that six devices are all streaming at the same time.-á-á How many video-capable IP devices are hanging off your home network these days?
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Interviews
The New Wave of IP + Optical Integration

11|21|14   |   04:29   |   (7) comments


At the Alcatel-Lucent Technology Symposium, Heavy Reading senior analyst Sterling Perrin talks about how SDN has reshaped the discussion around packet and optical integration.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Highlights at BBWF 2014

11|20|14   |   3:40   |   (1) comment


Broadband World Forum is one of the world's largest telecoms, media and technology events with over 7,800 senior executives from across the globe converging on Amsterdam every year to identify the Next Big Thing. BBWF is an exciting place to meet the entire industry under one roof and identify the latest in network innovation, service optimization and customer ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
How Will BCMS Stimulate Margin for Broadband Operators?

11|19|14   |   6:52   |   (0) comments


In BBWF 2014, Liu Shuqing emphasizes the value of FMC 2.0 based full service experience by throwing light on the BCMS solution. The underlying principle of this innovative technique is to create network robustness and driving network from connection oriented to ACE – BAND oriented infrastructure, in which applications, cloud, and user experiences will be an asset ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
SingleFAN3.0: Better Connected Experience

11|19|14   |   3:06   |   (1) comment


At the BBWF 2014, David Hu, the VP of Huawei Access Network Product Line, talked about the future of access networks – SingleFAN3.0: faster broadband, wider coverage, and smarter connection.
LRTV Interviews
Basil Alwan Interview: The Road to Cloud

11|19|14   |   09:09   |   (0) comments


Alcatel-Lucent's head of IP and Transport talks about the migration towards a web-like networking environment, the impact of the cloud, SDN and NFV, and the yet-to-be-announced FP4 chip.
LRTV Documentaries
FairPoint Makes a Fair Point About Analytics

11|19|14   |   1:56   |   (1) comment


The US-based communication service provider gets to grips with advanced analytics, tackling data and breaking down the silos within its own business.
LRTV Documentaries
Analytics Lets C Spire Get to Know Subs

11|19|14   |   3:01   |   (2) comments


It's all about the data for US operator C Spire as it uses analytics to personalize its customer service down to individual subscribers.
LRTV Interviews
Nuage Branches Out With SDN: CEO Interview

11|17|14   |   9:32   |   (0) comments


Sunil Khandekar, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent's SDN-focused unit Nuage Networks, talks about the opportunities and challenges of breaking out of the data center into wide-area networks.
Light Reedy
Telecom Analytics Grows Up

11|14|14   |   1:15   |   (4) comments


The big data analytics debate has moved on from a year ago, with some experts suggesting it's no longer a technology challenge.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Compass

11|14|14   |   3:17   |   (1) comment


At OpenStack Summit 2014, Shuo Yang, Huawei Principal Cloud Infrastructure Architect introduced Huawei Compass, the software tool for solving customers' problems on the journey of OpenStack Cloud.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Cloud Strategy in European Region

11|14|14   |   2:56   |   (1) comment


At OpenStack Summit 2014, Dr. Gotz, CTO of Huawei IT in European Region introduced Huawei's cloud strategy in European region.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Contribution on OpenStack

11|14|14   |   5:58   |   (0) comments


At OpenStack Summit 2014, Dennis Gu, Huawei Chief Architect of Cloud Computing introduced the relationship between OpenStack and cloud computing, and Huawei's contribution on OpenStack.
Upcoming Live Events
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 8-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 12, 2015, Atlanta, GA
April 14, 2015, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Irish Telecom outlines the rise of VoIP technology, including its adoption within businesses and their perception of its quality.
Hot Topics
Bell Labs Chief Slams 'Toy' Networks
Robert Clark, 11/19/2014
$38.3M: Ain't That a Kik in the SMS
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 11/20/2014
Do You Have a 2020 Vision?
Dennis Mendyk, Vice President of Research, Heavy Reading, 11/21/2014
The New Wave of IP + Optical Integration
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 11/21/2014
Google, AT&T, BT Unite on Network Data Models
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 11/20/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed