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Cable Engineers Seek to Expand Capacity

Finally waking up to the Bell video threat, cable operators and tech vendors are furiously scrambling to boost the industry's bandwidth and accelerate its shift to IPTV services. At the SCTE's Emerging Technologies conference in Tampa this week, cable technologists discussed various approaches that they're pursuing to boost bandwidth capacity. They spoke at length about splitting nodes, installing new residential nodes, deploying switched digital video, beaming video signals over unified IP networks, bonding multiple channels and upgrading to advanced video codecs, among other things. In particular, engineers emphasized the idea of using switched digital video to increase the operating efficiencies of their HFC networks. Some speakers also argued that switched digital video will help cable systems reach the promised land of IPTV faster. 'Switched digital video architecture is really a launching pad for some of these architectures,' said Lorenzo Bombelli, director of network architecture for Scientific-Atlanta Inc. 'There are a lot of good things to come. Switched digital video is an important stepping stone to getting there.'
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