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Video hardware

Arris Rolls Out HEVC Encoder

ATLANTA -- While it's still early days for the new High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) standard, Arris is unveiling an encoder that simulcasts both HEVC and Advanced Video Coding (AVC) streams.

Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS) said the new SE-7000 encoder, introduced at the SCE Cable-Tec Expo show here this week, can also handle integrated low-resolution picture-in-picture video. In addition, the device supports IP and baseband serial-digital-interface inputs.

Based on the former Motorola's SE-6000 encoder platform, the new SE-7000 is designed to be a transition product for pay-TV providers that are considering HEVC deployments for next-gen 4K video. Also known as H.265, the HEVC compression standard promises to cut the amount of bandwidth needed for video streams by as much as 50 percent.

"Service and content providers are focused on delivering HEVC this coming year, as bandwidth demands continue and UltraHD content services become more widely available," says Bruce McClelland, president of network and cloud global services at Arris. "We are working with our customers and are introducing the SE-7000 to provide the efficiency and performance they need to truly deliver customers their media, their way."

Several software and chip vendors are also touting HEVC capabilities in 2013, although real-world deployments of the standard have been limited so far. At IBC in Amsterdam last month, satellite TV provider Sky Italia said it's taking advantage of HEVC capabilities in the ViBE VS7000 encoding/transcoding platform from Thomson Video Networks . Sky Italia plans to trial an ultra HD video service using the new compression standard. (See Cisco Makes a Splash at IBC.)

At Cable-Tec Expo, Arris also announced two unrelated new customer service solutions, ServAssure Wi-Fi and WorkAssure Mobile. The first is designed to help customer service representatives with WiFi installation and support, while the second is a workflow management HTML5 app for cable field technicians.

— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading Cable

DOShea 10/25/2013 | 10:19:25 PM
The year of HEVC This looks like the latest in a lot of HEVC moves the last 10-11 months, which I guess was all driven by the ITU standard being approved. But, as you note, it is early. Maybe 2014 will be spent talking about service provider deployments.
Carol Wilson 10/22/2013 | 12:27:19 PM
Re: Transmission vs processing That totally makes sense. And we hear all the time about trying to tie capex more closely to revenue-certain services or requirements.

In terms of managing customer perception, however, I haven't seen a lot of rational thought at work. I don't think consumers care at all about speeds and feeds, yet some services are priced based on how much data yoiu consume - that's in the wireless space -- and others are priced at arbitrary bandwidth levels that are tied more to the technology deployed than to consumer demand. 

I think that's why promotions tend to be "we're bigger, better and faster" not "We have a reasonably priced broadband service that meets your specific needs." 

 
Duh! 10/22/2013 | 12:12:57 PM
Re: Transmission vs processing There's concrete rationale and there's positioning.  The latter has little to do with the former.  The former also involves big CAPEX spends, technology and market risks, and customer satisfaction.  Rational decision makers would keep investment to the minimum needed to meet projected demand with good QOE.  Of course, the question was about rational decisions (and not all decisions are rational).  Do consumers really care about speeds and feeds?  Or are they really just interested in pricing, video quality, click-to-eyeball latency, ping time (if they're gamers), and reliability/availability/customer care?  And if it is in an operator's interest to do so, can solid consumer marketing manage that perception?

Just askin'.
Carol Wilson 10/22/2013 | 11:17:55 AM
Re: Transmission vs processing Given how broadband service providers are bragging about their gigabit services, this seems like more of an AND than an either/or. As it, we'll take better encoding AND gigabit broadband because you never know what those wacky consumers are going to want next. 
Duh! 10/22/2013 | 10:56:41 AM
Transmission vs processing 4K video has been one of the few concrete rationales that I've seen for Gigabit-class residential access service.  This raises an interesting question:  is there a better business case for continuing improvements to video encoding efficiency (like HEVC), or for higher rates in the access and more capacity in the  backhaul?  Or, to put it another way, does HEVC (and whatever follows) obviate the need for Gigabit broadband?
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