The Cable Show 2011: New Product Recap

Actiontec Electronics Inc.
Multi-LAN Network Adapter
Developed with Entropic Communications, the adapter utilizes the MoCA backbone in the home to transport high-quality high-rate data at up to speeds of 175 Mbit/s to improve the signal in rooms where Wi-Fi connectivity is low or nonexistent. It has four Ethernet ports, so that it can connect multiple CE devices, such as Blu-ray players, game consoles or connected TVs, in a single location.

Advanced Digital Broadcast (ADB)
Phantom SBB and Spirit STB
The Phantom is a tru2way set-back box, providing an all-digital, OpenCable platform that includes 3-D video capabilities and features such as the company's DVR-Lite technology. It is suited for both residential and commercial video markets, the company says. The Spirit is presented as a fully interactive cost-effective entry-level HD tru2way set-top box designed to replace STBs that have lived beyond their time -- whether Standard Definition, legacy or just end-of-life software.

Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS)
C4 CMTS 24U Cable Access Module (CAM)
This doubles the C4 CMTS's previous upstream density, allowing cable service providers to deploy faster services, including Docsis 3.0 upstream channel bonding, with less capital expense, the company says. The new CAM supports from 5-42 to 5-65 and 5-85MHz for upstream services, which allows operators to use more spectrum for future services, extending upstream HFC capability. The 24U CAM is fully supported by current high-performance C4 control complex and other chassis components.

Aurora Networks Inc.
Universal Digital Return module
By utilizing the 54-88MHz spectrum that was once reserved for analog broadcast television, the module expands the upstream bandwidth to 5-85MHz, essentially doubling the current standard North American offering of 5-42MHz. It uses a common platform for all bandsplits (from 5-42MHz to 50MHz, to 65MHz and to 85MHz) and personalizes them for both the bandsplit required and also for other features, such as 1-fer versus 2-fer, data transmission speed and operational modes, according to the specific network requirement. By including all the required capabilities in one platform, operators may, according to the company, implement those features required to support their current requirements, like 5-42MHz today, and transition to 5-85MHz tomorrow by just changing out the inexpensive personalization module.

BelAir Networks Inc.
This third-generation cable Wi-Fi solution is billed as providing a number of industry firsts, including: (a) first cable-optimized Wi-Fi access point (AP) with standards-based beamforming; (b) first GPS-enabled Wi-Fi AP designed to support location-based advertising and services; (c) first Wi-Fi AP with integrated business-intelligence features providing operators with real-time and historical, location-based and time-of-day user, device and traffic data.

BigBand Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: BBND)
IP Video Delivery Solution
This joint solution with Clearleap supports on-demand programming and back-office connectivity, in addition to linear TV. It combines BigBand's vIP PASS integrated with Clearleap's Stream On Demand system, and allows operators to stream entire libraries of managed linear and on-demand video content to IP-connected televisions or devices. This enables operators to bundle and monetize more content to more devices, with more efficient use of bandwidth, the company says.

Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM)
This third-generation Docsis/Euro-DOCSIS 3.0 cable-gateway SoC features and capabilities include:
  • Integrated on-chip technology directly samples and digitizes the entire 1GHz downstream spectrum of a cable plant, providing access to any channel anywhere
  • Bandwidth flexibility -- supports Docsis and digital video on any frequency eliminating limitations of block tuners
  • Optimized power
  • Dual-band concurrent Wi-Fi, with simultaneous 2.4 and 5.0 GHz IEEE 802.11 band streams
  • Applications processor expands the capability of the modem and supports advanced applications without affecting the voice and gateway performance
  • Multithreaded 500MHz processor to give 50 percent increase in CPU speed

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)
The streaming video solution is a the result of a collaboration with Red Bee Media, and will provide a scalable solution for the media sector, geared toward customers with specific requirements for scale of content, monetization, security, encryption, high quality and availability across multiple devices, the partners say. The service offering combines Red Bee Media's creative, digital content and media management services with key elements of the Cisco Videoscape platform, creating a one-stop shop for content owners to build and expand highly secure media-grade video offerings.

CommScope Inc.
This wideband edge QAM is billed as the cable industry’s first such all-digital, carrier-grade device. It offers up to 160 QAM channels on each of 16 RF (radio frequency) ports, totaling 2560 QAMs in a small, fully redundant 4 RU chassis. This density allows cable operators to have the flexibility of rolling out new services in the future without the need for costly truck rolls or disrupting service, the company says, and, by directly digitizing the entire 1GHz band, the QAM achieves superior RF performance and enhanced remote-control flexibility.

EchoStar Corp. LLC (Nasdaq: SATS)
HC-620DRS, HC-410D and HX-410
These HD set-top boxes are designed to enable midsized and independent cable operators to economically deliver enhanced video applications. They are loaded with IP-based content management features and are optimized to support the company’s new Aria ecosystem of hosted TV services, such as remote DVR programming, interactivity and TV Everywhere. The SlingLoaded HC-620DRS is an Internet-connected HD DVR set-top box that allows subscribers to access their linear programming and recorded content on the connected device of their choice. It also supports over-the-top content streaming, TV apps and remote DVR controls. The HC-410D is a single-tuner HD set-top that can be converted to a DVR by connecting an off-the-shelf USB 2.0 external hard drive and receiving a remote authorization code from the operator. The HX-410 is a full digital IP thin client that supports multimedia services over IP-based networks. When networked with an HC-620DRS in the home, the HX-410 provides Whole Home DVR functionality.

Click to Anything
The Facebook application extends the company's cloud-based, Web-activated social-communications and IPTV platform as an application inside social networking sites, such as Facebook, so that MSOs can deliver IP-based value-added services (VAS) across any environment. It extends the same feature-rich services to their customers and friends for a personalized experience of calling, chatting, watching, sharing, and transferring multimedia content while consumers are active inside Facebook, the company says.

itaas Inc.
iLaunch Application Starter Kit Program
According to the company, this is a plug-and-play launch program that will allow cable operators to quickly and easily customize and deploy a variety of EBIF applications that will provide an enhanced TV viewing experience for consumers. iLaunch is designed to facilitate the deployment of new services by providing access to pretested EBIF applications from itaas, programmers and third-party developers. The basic starter kit will include three applications: Remind and Record, QuickStart, and News, Weather & Sports Info. In addition, the program will offer advanced applications designed to generate revenue, reduce operational costs and create brand opportunities.

Motorola Mobility LLC
Medios Xperience Platform
The cloud-based applications platform allows service providers to merge video content with social networking, games, and Web-based content and delivers greater interaction capabilities with broadcast television and video-on-demand (VoD) services. Capabilities include:
  • TV and VOD Remote -- Transforms a companion device, such as a tablet, smart phone or laptop, into a remote control
  • TV and VOD Streaming -- Uses a companion device to browse a VoD store or enhanced linear electronic program guide (EPG), search and discover content, and watch it on the device
  • Enhanced User Interface -- Provides a rich and intuitive visual interface that improves search, navigation and discovery of content such as movies and TV shows, and features personalized recommendations, streamlined decision-making scenarios and a watch-queue

This is a broadband device that works with a Wi-Fi router to allow consumers to watch live TV on a connected IP device anywhere around the home. It has a 1GHz digital tuner and CableCard to access broadcast TV channels directly from a coax outlet. The device has a high-performance transcoder that translates programming in real time from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4, as well as changing resolution and bitrate to match the capabilities of the consumer’s viewing device while maintaining picture quality. There is an Ethernet jack to plug directly into the home Wi-Fi router.

Pace plc
App Café platform
This service allows cable operators to offer online applications within an integrated managed TV service. It offers applications in a storefront format for subscribers to download directly to their set-top boxes, including: popular social networking services; Internet radio and music; online photo and video sharing; weather; personal finance; sports scores; operator service and support.

TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO)
Premiere Q and Preview STBs
The Premiere Q is the company's first quad-tuner gateway set-top box and the Preview is its first non-DVR HD set-top box offered to cable operators for advanced whole-home solutions. The Premiere Q serves as an advanced video gateway, while the Preview provides the usual TiVo user capabilities for non-DVR households and also functions as a thin-client complement to those using a TiVo DVR to provide multiroom viewing. Both set-top boxes support the integration of operator services such as video on demand, PPV, caller ID on the TV and linear programming, plus access to broadband applications and services.

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