& cplSiteName &

Carriers Claim IPTV Wiring Worries

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading
5/10/2005
50%
50%

After IPTV networks are built and a subscriber signs up, the carrier can breathe easy, right? Maybe not. U.S. carriers say one of the biggest IPTV challenges they face is making IPTV service available on all the TVs in a household (see NAB2005: Telco Video Bingo).

The IPTV signal typically enters the household via an Ethernet connection to an ADSL modem, which connects to a set-top box, which plugs into the TV (see Scientific-Atlanta Wins $195M SBC Deal). But U.S. households typically have two or three televisions and the various costs of running new CAT-5 cable to those additional sets are substantial.

“It’s what I call the dirty little secret of IPTV,” says Entone Technologies Inc. CEO Steve McCay. “The huge issue today is that it’s one thing to get the signal to one TV, but what if you have four or five TVs in the home?” (See BNS Expands With Entone IPTV .)

To get the IPTV signal from the main TV to sets in the bedrooms costs about $800, according to some accounts of carriers delivering IPTV today. Here’s how it breaks down: two additional set-top boxes at $150 each, new CAT-5 cabling at $50, approximately eight hours of skilled installation at $50 per hour, and a “windshield cost” (gas and depreciation on the service vehicle) of $50.

“We do truck rolls where I was hoping they would do the installation in 2 hours and they are there for 6 hours,” says Bill DeMuth, CTO of SureWest Communications (Nasdaq: SURW), which has offered IPTV service since 2002 (see IPTV Scramble Is On). “This is our biggest problem.”

So who pays for such a big headache? Coaxsys Inc. director of marketing Ted Archer says that IPTV operators all have different ways of dealing with the costs.

Some will offer limited or no inside wiring to go along with an IPTV installation, Archer says. But he maintains that carriers really aren't in a position to demand a big upfront fee from their customers.

“From the customer’s prospective, if you look at them and say 'I’m going to charge you $350 in installation charges,' they’ll just stay with their cable service,” Archer says.

Satellite providers offer prospective customers two rooms of free installation to move from cable to satellite. Add that to the free months of service often included in the deal, and you arrive at an average customer acquisition cost of around $700, cable industry researchers say.

Adding to the telecom carrier stakes is the fact that once a carrier wires a new subscriber's home, it loses that investment if the subscriber cancels their service, because the wiring can't be taken back.

While carriers are figuring out this quagmire, several equipment vendors are stepping in with suggested solutions. Coaxsys, Entone, and a few other companies market devices that allow the IPTV signal to travel over existing coaxial cable to the other TVs in the home.

San Mateo, Calif.-based Entone makes a gateway device, called Hydra, which terminates a single Ethernet connection and sends the IPTV signal over coax to each TV in the house, eliminating the need for separate set-top boxes, McCay says.

Coaxsys uses a slightly different approach (see Consolidated Uses Coaxsys for IPTV). Its device, called TVNet, creates an in-home IP network that utilizes coax to link to each set-top box in the house, and can support other IP devices such as digital video recorders (DVRs) and gaming devices in other parts of the home.

The set-top box makers are also getting into the act. Amino Technologies plc and ReadyLinks Inc. have teamed up to develop a HPNA adapter called the ReadyLinks SmartFoot that links Amino set-top boxes to the others in the home using coax or telephone wiring.

The solution to the home wiring problem could eventually be a wireless one. Wireless chipmaker Airgo Networks Inc. has developed a high-bandwidth chip utilizing the 802.11n standard, which, when baked into set-top boxes, will allow wireless communication among all IP-speaking devices in the household, says Airgo spokesman Joe Volat.

In the U.S., the only IPTV installations being deployed so far are by small, regional telephone companies. But larger carriers, such as SBC, are aware of the problem and will have to figure out a way around it soon enough (see SBC Touts IPTV Servicesand SBC: IPTV's Day Has Come).

The only thing that's clear at this point is that no standard way of handling home wiring exists. “Some telcos are saying ‘we’ll give you one TV,’ or they’re saying ‘we’ll give you two TVs but we’re not going to put the wiring inside your house,’ while others are saying ‘we’re just going to take the time and wire all the rooms and just get it done,’” Coaxsys's Archer says.

— Mark Sullivan, Reporter, Light Reading

(18)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
RTL Rules
50%
50%
RTL Rules,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:15:48 AM
re: Carriers Claim IPTV Wiring Worries
Sorry for an OT question, but what does the phrase "baked into" mean?

Is it actually referring to a process, like a scheme to integrate the 802.11 antenna into a housing, or is it just a way to say "designed into".

Sorry, just feeling old today...

RTL
(not my initials! Resistor Transistor Logic...)
2bits
50%
50%
2bits,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:15:42 AM
re: Carriers Claim IPTV Wiring Worries
Why are installers spending up to 8 hours wiring houses with cat 5 cabling to support IP-TV?

802.11g has a maximum throughput of 54Mbps. If (lets say) 2/3 of that is the average working bandwidth, then we have 36Mbps available. Isn't that sufficient for video?
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
12/5/2012 | 3:15:35 AM
re: Carriers Claim IPTV Wiring Worries
Indeed, wireless seems to be the only way that seems to make economic sense.

"802.11g has a maximum throughput of 54Mbps. If (lets say) 2/3 of that is the average working bandwidth, then we have 36Mbps available. Isn't that sufficient for video?"

This should be enough yes, but there could be intereference problems as g kit runs over 2.4GHz unlicensed band. It will depend how much other equipment you and your neighbours have running in the 2.4GHz band (This could include access points, cordless phones, wireless video cameras, baby monitors...).

This is part of the reason some manufacturers are looking at 5GHz 802.11a. More channels, less traffic.

DJ
TelecomTech
50%
50%
TelecomTech,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:15:34 AM
re: Carriers Claim IPTV Wiring Worries
802.11g is absolutely not sufficient to support to video. That 54Mbps is not guaranteed that is optimal conditions i.e. right next to the wireless access point. The 54Mbps rate drops significantly every foot. Start adding walls, addition levels, and other wireless traffic that rate drops further. Also, with video one cannot have the packet loss that occurs with any of the available wireless technologies. Video needs guaranteed speed. When one currently accesses the internet via wireless, dropping packets is okay/somewhat acceptable; can you image that while watching TV??? For example, look at what happens when satellite signals pixelate and how annoying that is; now image it much, much worseGǪthat is video on current wireless technology. Furthermore, what about multiple video streams? Add another TV into the situation and well you get the point.

Maybe future wireless technology such as UWB (UltraWideband) can handle video but thatGÇÖs still realistically 5 years way for consumers.

Additionally, the coax wiring could serve as a wireless GÇ£backboneGÇ¥ enabling multiple wireless access points through out the home. This would help improve wireless access in the home.
rjmcmahon
50%
50%
rjmcmahon,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:15:34 AM
re: Carriers Claim IPTV Wiring Worries
Indeed, wireless seems to be the only way that seems to make economic sense.

Some anecdotal data.

When we owned a TIVO and wanted to watch a show on other TVs in the house, we found the easiest way was via the existing cable plant. We bought an RF Modulator for a few hundred dollars and connected it to the in home COAX. The DVD, VCR and TIVO were all connected to the modulator. It worked fine even with the devices were attached to a leaf node of the cable plant. (We did put a low pass filter on the outside of the house filtering the signals used by the modulator.) The only problem was the lack of a remote control, which didn't really matter too much.

http://www.smarthomeusa.com/Sh...

My take home is that a way to connect video signals to the TV, besides a DVD, is using the existing cable plant.

It's worth noting that my kids don't really use this anymore and don't watch TV either. They choose the computer and it's interactivity, or better, they like it when we read books or play games together. Most channel offerings distributed by the cable operators just don't compete with the offerings found on the internet (nor with family time.)
tonyz
50%
50%
tonyz,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:15:30 AM
re: Carriers Claim IPTV Wiring Worries
I don't believe any 802.11 technology will help here. Even with MAC, PHY and antenna enhancements, you're simply not going to be able to support a requirement for two HD streams to anywhere in 99% of random home samples.

For reasons of interference, lack of QoS regime amongst you and your neighbors eqpt, lack of range due to wall materials, etc... the list goes on for ever.

The final solution for video distribution in the home will be wired, and it will be either powerline or Ethernet or coax or HPNA, but it will be a wired solution, esp if 802.11 based technologies are the competing approach.

But I'll probably end up being proved wrong by some future tweaks of 802.11.
issey
50%
50%
issey,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:15:29 AM
re: Carriers Claim IPTV Wiring Worries
How about 802.11n ??
tonyz
50%
50%
tonyz,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:15:26 AM
re: Carriers Claim IPTV Wiring Worries
802.11n? I am guessing of course, but .n will help some of the home locations in some of the homes get enough reception, but from a service providers point of view, 802.11n won't get them something that won't frustrate 10-40% of installations. So, not good enough.
vrparente
50%
50%
vrparente,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:15:25 AM
re: Carriers Claim IPTV Wiring Worries
Sony's "Location Free TV" product is WiFi based (802.11a/b/g). It's not that there can't or won't be issues with WiFi -- it's that wireless provides a solution to the wired and mobile problem. After all the idea of watching TV on a "location free tv" or on a tablet (what's the difference) is here to stay and grow.
RTL Rules
50%
50%
RTL Rules,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:15:24 AM
re: Carriers Claim IPTV Wiring Worries
Anyone have a feel for whether content providers would be comfortable with the use of wireless links? They're pretty protective, demanding encryption on wired links, so "wireless" might push some buttons...

This isn't a technical question about good/bad or 802.11 encryption, BTW.

RTL
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
From The Founder
Kicking off BCE 2017, Light Reading founder Steve Saunders lays blame for NFV's slow ramp-up and urges telecom to return to old-fashioned standards building and interoperability.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink: Let's Get Past SD-WAN Hype

6|23|17   |   04:02   |   (0) comments


Technology becomes a "shiny object" unless it's properly focused on solving business needs for enterprise customers, says Bill Grubbs, network solutions architect for CenturyLink. He explains to Light Reading why SD-WAN deployments have to be tailored to specific needs – and more.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Infinera's Sales Director Paints Tech's Big Picture

6|21|17   |   4:14   |   (1) comment


Shannon Williams, Infinera's director of sales, shares how she achieves work's many balancing acts -- between her role and the broader company, today and tomorrow's tech and more.
LRTV Custom TV
SD-WAN Innovation & Trends

6|20|17   |     |   (0) comments


Versa CEO Kelly Ahuja discusses with Carol Wilson the current status and trends in the SD-WAN market, Versa's innovation around building a software platform with broad contextualization, and the advantages that startups can bring to the SD-WAN market.
LRTV Interviews
Ovum's Dario Talmesio on 5G in Europe

6|20|17   |   02:16   |   (0) comments


At 5G World 2017, Dario Talmesio, principal analyst and practice leader on Ovum's fixed and mobile telecoms European team, explains the emerging trends amongst European operators as they prepare for 5G.
LRTV Custom TV
Putting Power on a Pedestal

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


ARRIS's John Ulm says a major accomplishment of SCTE•ISBE's Energy 2020 program is increased focus on power cost and consumption, including inclusion of energy requirements in operators' RFPs and RFIs.
LRTV Custom TV
Gigabit Access: The Last-Mile Pipe for All Future Services

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


A Gigabit access platform being deployed today must be able to deliver all types of services to an increasing number of devices. A non-blocking architecture is necessary to support the ever-increasing growth in bandwidth demand. The Huawei Gigabit access solution is based on a distributed design that is fully scalable to deliver a unprecedented performance.
LRTV Custom TV
Key Factors to Successfully Deploy an SD-WAN Service

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


As service providers transition their SD-WAN solution from trials and limited deployments into production at large scale, there are important considerations to successfully operationalize these solutions and realize their full potential, without adding complexity, introducing uncertainty or disrupting current business operations. Sunil Khandekar, CEO and Founder ...
LRTV Custom TV
IoT Solutions: Rational Exuberance

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


IoT solutions are morphing from hype into viable business opportunities. Huawei has the platform and ecosystem support to help carriers successfully address new business opportunities in the IoT space.
LRTV Custom TV
Realizing ICN as a Network Slice for Mobile Data Distribution

6|19|17   |     |   (1) comment


Network slicing in 5G allows the potential introduction of new network architectures such as Information-centric Networks (ICN) as a slice, managed over a shared pool of compute, storage and bandwidth resource. Services over an ICN slice can benefit from many architectural features such as Name Based Networking, Security, Multicasting, Multi-homing, Mobility, ...
LRTV Interviews
Ovum's Mike Roberts on 5G Uptake

6|19|17   |   04:08   |   (0) comments


Mike Roberts, research director for Ovum's service provider markets group, explains why he has boosted his 5G subscriptions forecast.
LRTV Interviews
AT&T's Hubbard on Intersection of SD-WAN & MPLS

6|15|17   |     |   (0) comments


Rick Hubbard, SVP of Network Product Management for AT&T Business Solutions, discusses how AT&T's approach to SD-WAN fits in with its overall virtualization strategy, explains how SD-WAN can improve enterprise customers' use of the cloud and addresses the intersection of SD-WAN and MPLS.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Keep Connected IoT Devices Under Control With Allot

6|15|17   |     |   (0) comments


Allot AVP of International Pre-Sales, Daniel Keidar, explains how communications service providers can protect infrastructure and service availability from flooding attacks caused by malfunctioning or bot-infected devices connected to their network.
Upcoming Live Events
October 18, 2017, Colorado Convention Center - Denver, CO
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Netflix's Lesson in Culture Expectation Settings
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 6/21/2017
No Imagination: UK Chip Biz Goes Up for Sale
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/22/2017
Kalanick Steps Down as Uber CEO
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 6/21/2017
BT Tech Chief Makes Plea to 5G Chip Vendors
Ray Le Maistre, International Group Editor, 6/20/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Following a recent board meeting, the New IP Agency (NIA) has a new strategy to help accelerate the adoption of NFV capabilities, explains the Agency's Founder and Secretary, Steve Saunders.
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.