ATX Networks Debuts QAM-to-IP Video Pass-Through Solution
ATLANTA, GA – ATX, disrupting the future of broadband access, today introduced the UCrypt PassPort, a QAM-to-IP media gateway specifically designed to help MSOs address video encryption licensing and interoperability issues that threaten to delay their transition to a distributed access architecture (DAA) model. The new solution, which made its debut last week at the SCTE Cable-Tec Expo in Atlanta, Ga., provides MSOs with the ability to pass encrypted video from existing edge QAM equipment through IP-based CCAP video cores.
By providing a workaround to current CCAP video encryption limitations, the UCrypt PassPort enables MSOs to overcome roadblocks that are slowing initial deployments of R-PHY Devices (RPDs) and the replacement of analog optics with more efficient digital optical links between headends and outside plant.
“MSOs looking to reap the performance and cost-saving benefits of moving to a distributed architecture are plagued by the lack of support for migrating certain content encryption to the CCAP video core,” said Jay Lee, Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Strategy for Broadband Access at ATX. “Thanks to the ATX UCrypt PassPort, which provides a solution for those cases, MSOs are able to move forward with the next-generation evolution of their networks.”
In addition to enabling cable operators to circumvent current encryption limitations, the UCrypt PassPort simplifies the migration to a DAA model by eliminating the need for back-office system integration and the reconfiguration of muxes and broadcast lineups in the CCAP video core. Instead, cable operators can continue to use existing back-office tools, systems and procedures.
The agnostic nature of the UCrypt PassPort also helps to expand the universe of potential equipment suppliers by freeing up MSOs to deploy equipment from any CCAP provider, without fear of encountering encryption/decryption compatibility issues with the installed base of set-top boxes (STBs) and other subscriber equipment. The PassPort was designed to help MSOs avoid disruptions to their installed base of user equipment and go forward with DAA adoption while the encryption licensing limitations are being worked out.
The PassPort also provides an option for cable operators focusing their DAA implementations on data delivery components, such as a CCAP-based CMTS for both data and IPTV video delivery over DOCSIS. The PassPort enables them to bypass implementing costly and complex CCAP video cores configured to maintain legacy RF QAM-based video services. It provides a simple and cost-effective means for ingesting RF QAM video services from existing edge QAMs and delivering these services with DEPI encapsulation directly to the CIN and RPDs. This approach can be utilized until all video customers can be migrated away from QAM-based video to IPTV over DOCSIS-based video service.
The UCrypt PassPort is a best-in-class media transition solution that enables the demodulation of QAM carriers and conversion of complete multiplexes (including encrypted video streams and private PIDs) for re-transmission over IP to a CCAP video core or for direct transmission to the CIN over DEPI.
The solution offers unmatched density and modularity. The 1-RU chassis accommodates as many as four demodulation cards — capable of up to 320 processed QAMs — that can operate independently or as a cluster. The PassPort features the flexibility to handle broadcast lineups of up to 80 QAMs or up to 20 narrowcast lineups of 16 QAMs. The ability to configure, manage and monitor each hot-swappable card in a standalone fashion via a cloud-based EMS helps to ensure continuous operations.
MSOs are transitioning to a DAA environment as a prerequisite for realizing multiple performance and cost-efficiency benefits. Moving to a DAA model drives fiber deeper into the network and relieves power- and space-consumption issues that are mounting inside most headends. The shift to a distributed architecture also enables savings through the collapsing of video and data processing technology into a converged platform, which can eventually be virtualized to introduce additional savings and deployment flexibility.
“MSOs are leaving millions of dollars in savings on the table by stalling their move to a DAA model,” added Mr. Lee. “The UCrypt PassPort helps cable operators clear remaining deployment hurdles, allowing them to move forward with their network evolutions today.”