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Rogers Turning on SDV

Rogers Communications Inc. (NYSE: RG; Toronto: RCI) has tapped Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) gear to power the Canadian cable operator's first foray into switched digital video (SDV), a technique that will enable the MSO to use existing spectrum more efficiently.

Rogers has selected Ontario for its first SDV rollout and will tap bandwidth gains to accelerate its rollout and expansion of high-definition television (HDTV) and video-on-demand (VOD) services. (See Rogers Taps Cisco for SDV.)

As opposed to traditional broadcast video delivery, SDV conserves bandwidth by delivering channels in a "switched" tier only when customers in a given service group select them for viewing. Operators that have deployed SDV widely, like Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), have created service groups in the range of 500 to 1,000 set-top "tuners."

Cisco did not disclose financial terms of the deal, but Rogers has signed on to base its deployment entirely on Cisco's platform, which includes SDV servers, encryption systems, and edge QAMs.

The deal also allows Cisco to gain some ground on SDV deployment leader BigBand Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: BBND), which has deployed, or is in the process of deploying, the technology in 26 cable systems that pass north of 14 million homes. (See Who Makes What: Switched Digital Video .)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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