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Buckeye Picks BigBand for SDV

Jeff Baumgartner
2/23/2009

Buckeye CableSystem is the latest MSO to take the switched digital video (SDV) plunge, aiming to use the technology to free up room for more high-definition (HD) television content and the future delivery of some IP-based video applications.

Buckeye, a Toledo, Ohio-based MSO that serves about 150,000 customers, is using SDV gear and software from BigBand Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: BBND). SDV is a capacity-saving technique that delivers channels in a "switched" tier only when customers in a given service group select them for viewing, instead of delivering them to all customers all of the time. (See Buckeye Taps BigBand for SDV.)

BigBand claims its SDV technology is being deployed, or is in the process of being deployed, by cable systems passing 20 million homes. (See BigBand Rocks in Q4, But Cuts Jobs and Who Makes What: Switched Digital Video .)

Other BigBand SDV MSO customers include Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC), Cox Communications Inc. , Bright House Networks , and Charter Communications Inc. . (See Cox Flips BigBand's DV Switch , Charter Charts First SDV Course , and BigBand Lights Bright House.)

The SDV deployment marks one of just a few based on the Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) digital video platform. To date, the bulk of SDV installations are in Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)-based cable environments.

Although Buckeye initially is using SDV to expand its HD channels menu and to support an IPTV strategy, the company could also use it to support a broadband service enhancement. Buckeye believes its SDV deployment could free up some capacity to support wideband-powered Internet services.

Last March, Buckeye chief technology officer Joe Jensen said the MSO was in the process of testing Docsis 3.0, a platform that uses channel bonding to produce shared speeds in excess of 100 Mbit/s. (See Teeing Up Docsis 3.0 .)

Today, the MSO's fastest single-channel Docsis tier caps the downstream at 20 Mbit/s.

Buckeye may reveal more about its wideband plans Tuesday (Feb. 24) when Jensen speaks at the latest Light Reading Live event: Cable Next-Gen Broadband Strategies: Docsis 3.0, RFoG, PON & Beyond, at The Cable Center in Denver.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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