Light Reading
Cisco and Motorola get the call for switched digital video pilots taking place in Minneapolis and St. Paul

Comcast Expands SDV Test Pool

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
7/2/2008
50%
50%

Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is putting switched digital video (SDV) to the test in at least two more markets -- Minneapolis and St. Paul -- Cable Digital News has learned.

According to people familiar with the trials, the MSO is giving Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT)'s SDV system a go in St. Paul and using Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)'s platform in Minneapolis.

Comcast has already tapped Cisco for its SDV test in Cherry Hill, N.J., and Motorola for a trial in the Denver area. (See Comcast Puts SDV Vendors to the Test and Comcast Reveals SDV Test Beds.)

As for other SDV-related vendor activity, the MSO has already selected edge QAMs from Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS) and Harmonic Inc. (Nasdaq: HLIT). Comcast has also added BigBand Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: BBND) to its list of approved SDV suppliers, but has not picked a market for vetting that vendor's technology. (See Comcast Taps Arris for Edge QAM Initiative and Who Makes What: Switched Digital Video .)

Asked about SDV trials in Minnesota, Comcast wouldn't comment. (Considering the Twin Cities are also the site of the operator's first commercial deployment of Docsis 3.0, we'll have to assume engineers there don't have much time to spare these days). But a spokeswoman noted that the MSO plans to expand beyond the first two SDV test beds, where the trials have been "going well."

Industry sources say Comcast wants to make sure SDV performs well before making any significant leaps forward with the technology, which is designed to use existing bandwidth more efficiently by multicasting channels in "switched" tiers only when customers in a given service group select them for viewing. Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) and Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) are among MSOs that have deployed SDV the most broadly. Just last week, Rogers Communications Inc. (NYSE: RG; Toronto: RCI) of Canada announced it would launch Cisco's switching technology in Ontario. (See Rogers Turning on SDV .)

It also appears that Comcast, despite the addition of two SDV test locations, has scaled back some of its original plans for the technology -- unless it's waiting to ramp things up in the third and fourth quarters. In February, execs said the operator had budget set aside to introduce SDV in about 15 percent of its service area by the end of 2008. (See Is SDV Fading?)

Since then, however, Comcast has given much more attention to an analog reclamation project that will be fueled in part by the deployment of millions of inexpensive, one-way Digital Terminal Adapters (DTAs). (See Comcast Confirms Digital Dongle Project and DTAs on Parade .)

Speaking at last week's Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) Cable-Tec Expo in Philadelphia, Comcast Corp. COO Steve Burke noted that the MSO's all-digital strategy will get "started in earnest this fall." When asked to weigh the bandwidth management options on the table, Burke said Comcast will "lean more heavily toward analog reclamation."

Comcast plans to deploy its "all-digital" strategy in about 20 percent of its footprint this year. But the term is a bit of a misnomer, because in those markets, Comcast will continue to offer about 30 channels from its B1 basic programming tier in analog form. The move, however, will allow the operator to get back about 40 analog channels and apply that capacity toward Docsis 3.0, video-on-demand (VOD), and high-definition television services.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News




Interested in learning more on this topic? Then come to Cable Next-Gen Video Strategies: Meeting the Satellite & Telco TV Challenge, which will take a comprehensive look at the cable industry's attempts to fend off its leading rivals and generate fresh revenues by deploying next-generation video technologies. To be staged in Los Angeles, July 24, admission is free for attendees meeting our prequalification criteria. For more information, or to register, click here.


(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Flash Poll
LRTV Custom TV
Transitioning CE 2.0 Networks Into the SDN & NFV Era With Telco Systems

8|19|14   |   5:19   |   (0) comments


Telco Systems' Ariel Efrati (CEO) and Moshe Shimon (VP of Product Management) discuss virtualization and how the company's new Open Metro Edge solution utilizes the SDN and NFV concepts to accelerate and orchestrate service delivery through its innovative product portfolio and software applications.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Myths: Is NFV Still Several Years Away?

8|11|14   |   1:13   |   (0) comments


Some say that NFV (network functions virtualization) is still several years away from being implemented on mobile operator networks. This isn't the case. Operators can get started on their paths to NFV now, as this short video from Skyfire shows.
LRTV Custom TV
A New Security Paradigm in SDN/NFV

7|28|14   |   02:54   |   (0) comments


Paul Shaneck, Global Director Network Solutions for Symantec, discusses the evolving virtualized network, explaining how Symantec is leading the security discussion as it relates to SDN and NFV, and helping to ensure the network is protected and compliant.
LRTV Documentaries
Sprint's Network Evolution

7|24|14   |   14:59   |   (0) comments


Sprint's Jay Bluhm gives a keynote speech at the Big Telecom Event (BTE) about Sprint's network and services evolution strategy, including Spark.
LRTV Documentaries
BTE Keynote: The Software-Defined Operator

7|24|14   |   18:43   |   (1) comment


Deutsche Telekom's Axel Clauberg explains the concept of the software-defined operator to the Big Telecom Event (BTE) crowd.
Light Reedy
Numbers Are In: LR's 2014 Salary Survey

7|24|14   |   1:25   |   (7) comments


Our fourth annual Salary Survey paints a picture of who's hiring, firing, earning, and yearning for a change in the telecom industry.
LRTV Custom TV
Driving the Network Transformation

7|23|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


Intel's Sandra Rivera discusses network transformation and how Intel technologies, programs, and standards body efforts have helped the industry migration to SDN and NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed NFV-Based Business Services by RAD

7|18|14   |   5:38   |   (0) comments


With the ETSI-approved Distributed NFV PoC running in the background, RAD's CEO, Dror Bin, talks about why D-NFV makes compelling sense for service providers, and about the dollars and cents RAD is putting behind D-NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
MRV – Accelerating Packet Optical Convergence

7|15|14   |   6:06   |   (0) comments


Giving you network insight to make your network smarter.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV-Enabled Ethernet for Generating New Revenues

7|15|14   |   5:49   |   (0) comments


Cyan's Planet Orchestrate allows service providers and their end-customers to activate software-based capabilities such as firewalls and encryption on top of existing Ethernet services in just minutes.
LRTV Custom TV
Symkloud NVF-Ready Video Transcoding, Big Data

7|9|14   |   3:41   |   (0) comments


Kontron and ISV partner Vantrix demonstrate high-performance video transcoding and data analytic solutions on same 2U standard platform that is ready for SDN and NFV deployments made by mobile, cable and cloud operators.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Evolving Role of Hybrid Video for Competitive Success

7|4|14   |   4:09   |   (0) comments


At Huawei's Global Analysts Summit in Shenzhen, China, Steven C. Hawley from TV Strategies speaks to us about the evolving role of hybrid video for competitive success.
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 23, 2014, Denver, CO
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Hot Topics
Sprint CEO: Price Cuts First, Best Network Next
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 8/14/2014
IoT Alert: Samsung Snaps Up SmartThings
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 8/15/2014
Line-Powered Phone Lines: A Hot Topic Again
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/20/2014
Analyst: Ericsson, Oracle Top Shrinking SDP World
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/19/2014
Telefónica Proves Brocade Router Performs for NFV
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/19/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed