Video hardware

Terayon Expands CherryPicker Lineup

Terayon Communication Systems Inc. has unveiled the CAP-1000, the latest addition to its flagship CherryPicker Application Platform (CAP) product family, ensuring that Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) has something new in the video processing cupboard to sell when it completes its acquisition of Terayon later this year. (See Motorola to Buy Terayon for $140M.)

Terayon claims the CAP-1000 is the first video processing application platform to rate-shape "broadcast quality" MPEG-4 AVC standard- and high-definition video streams.

The CAP-1000 also follows Terayon's strategy to apply more focus on software and applications rather than the hardware itself. Terayon expects the CAP-1000 to reach production volume in July and will be demonstrating the box at this week's Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) Cable-Tec Expo in Orlando, Fla.

The box has eight times the processing power of the earlier version of the CherryPicker, the DM6400. The company claims that added horsepower will allow the CAP-1000 to handle other apps such as switched digital video, video-on-demand playlist advertising, and bulk encryption.

"We see this box as a higher performance, higher reliability… carrier-class type of platform whose job is to run very high density digital video applications from Terayon," says Buddy Snow, Terayon's head of product marketing.

In February, Terayon spruced up the CherryPicker with a suite of software apps, including "Static Graphic Overlay," which lets MSOs insert an image, logo, or some other graphic directly into the digital video stream. Other new digital apps introduced at the time included "Motion Graphic Overlay" and "Squeezeback." (See Terayon Updates Its CherryPicker .)

The DM6400 can run many of Terayon's new digital video apps, but it does not have the processing mettle to handle MPEG-4 HD rate-shaping, a statistical multiplexing technique that improves bandwidth efficiency.

"We wanted to show something that the 6400 is not capable of doing," Snow says. "If you can do that [MPEG-4 HD rate-shaping], it's guaranteed it can do anything else, because anything else requires less horsepower."

While the CAP-1000 offers greater density and processing performance than the DM6400, Snow says it's not considered a replacement product. "The 6400 is great for lower density" environments, he notes. Both the new and old CherryPickers can download new applications with the requisite software license keys.

Terayon has shipped more than 8,000 units of the DM6400 to operators worldwide.

Although Terayon was first to market with video apps that live entirely in the digital domain, it has since ceded that distinction. RGB Networks Inc. , a Terayon rival, introduced a range of similar apps in late May. (See RGB Takes On Terayon .)

Terayon is not quoting prices on the CAP-1000, but Snow says the device will cost less per stream than the DM6400.

The CAP-1000 is in a beta trial with a U.S. operator, but Snow would not say whether that's a cable MSO or a telco.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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