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CCAP

TWC Delivers First QAM Video Over CCAP

DENVER -- Cable Next-Gen Technologies and Strategies -- Although it's called the Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP), there hasn't been much convergence of data and video in CCAP implementations so far. In fact, there wasn't any until a couple of weeks ago. However, Mike Hayashi, the outgoing executive vice president at Time Warner Cable, revealed Tuesday that TWC delivered the first QAM video over a CCAP platform within the last two weeks in New York.

"We still are the first to go out with CCAP with being able to provision MPEG2 video on CCAP," Hayashi announced in a fireside chat with industry analyst Leslie Ellis here. "That's the first in the business."

The original vision behind CCAP was to combine the functionality of a cable modem termination system (CMTS) chassis with an Edge QAM device. The concept was revolutionary because cable's DOCSIS data business (served by the CMTS) and its video QAM business (served by the Edge QAM) have traditionally operated in very separate silos. Bringing the two groups together was supposed to create a nirvana of efficiency as the industry continues to shift spectrum resources between video QAMs and DOCSIS data channels. (See TWC Uncaps CCAP With Casa & Arris.)


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However, as CCAP has been deployed, cable operators have gravitated toward a distributed implementation. While adding new CCAP equipment packed with DOCSIS channels in the headend, cable companies have also installed high-powered Edge QAMs deeper in the network in order to keep up with video-on-demand growth.

Hayashi's revelation that Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) is now using an integrated CCAP chassis to deliver both DOCSIS channels and video QAMs marks the second-largest US MSO the first to realize the full potential of the Converged Cable Access Platform.

"When you look at serving groups … you have varying serving groups in the hub," explained Hayashi. "To rewire these things, to match the serving group correctly and match the spectrum accordingly is very very difficult and time consuming. It takes months to do, and downtime."

However, with the new CCAP implementation, he added, "we have the ability to say okay this bank of QAM is currently for VoD, and we're going to migrate some of those QAMs to HSD (high-speed data) because there is more demand there, that is just a keyboard away. That's pretty powerful."

Hayashi's surprise announcement prompted scuttlebutt discussion as to the vendor involved. Both TWC and Casa Systems Inc. today confirmed to Light Reading that Casa is providing the CCAP chassis currently in use in New York. (See CCAP Drives Cable Capex.)

— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading

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