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Three Reasons 2012 Should Be a Good Year for Cable VOD

Author: Bob Scheffler, Director, Next-Generation Video Solutions

With all of the TV Everywhere buzz, it’s easy to let growing levels of cable VOD services slip under the radar. That’s a mistake. Here are three reasons why video-on-demand should have a banner year in 2012.

Narrowcast QAMs are getting cheaper and easier to deploy.

New high-density edge QAMs mean cable operators can implement additional narrowcast video QAMs more cost effectively and in greater quantities than ever before. At the same time, the cost of video QAMs used for VOD and other edge QAM-based services is falling rapidly.  Video QAMs have dropped below the $100-per-downstream level, making it less CAPEX-intensive (from a QAM perspective) to add more VOD channels, and, for the time being, more cost effective than adding Internet capacity to support TV Everywhere services.

Canoe has big plans for VOD ad insertion this year.

According to Vice President Bruce Dilger, two to three cable operators are planning to deploy Canoe’s new platform for dynamic VOD ad insertion this year. Instead of waiting days or weeks to swap out a VOD ad, these operators will be able to switch up content within a 24-hour window, and they’ll be able to target specific audiences based on viewer demographics rather than just geography. The new ad platform means new revenue, and new revenue means more cable VOD growth.

VOD comes in HD.

While TV Everywhere services are multiplying, there is still no guaranteed Quality of Service (QoS) for HD content delivery. Online video is still a best-effort proposition and in some cases it faces downstream constraints found in lower throughput legacy broadband networks.  On the other hand, because VOD is delivered over a managed network, cable operators can ensure the quality of HD content comes through to the intended audience. For the many viewers who want to take advantage of their HD flat-screen TVs, cable VOD will continue to have a leg up over online or over-the-top video for some time to come.


Delivering the Most Advanced Digital Cable TV Network in Malaysia

Motorola Mobility will provide Malaysia’s Asian Broadcasting Network (ABN) the equipment and services to launch the country’s most advanced digital cable TV network in the second quarter of 2012.

Within the next five years, the new network will give six-million households access to more than 200 channels of news, education, entertainment, movies, sports and local programming. Motorola Mobility’s technology will enable ABN to also support future services such as video-on-demand, social TV and interactive gaming, alongside high-speed Internet and voice services, establishing ABN as a true triple-play provider. For more information, read the full press release.

Motorola Mobility Booth Photos @ CES 2012

Motorola Mobility is showcasing its lastest innovations in home and mobile devices at CES this week. Check out some photos from our booth below or, if you are at the show, stop by and see us in booth #8644.

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Motorola APEX3000 Universal Edge QAM Video

Yesterday we announced the Motorola APEX3000 high density Universal Edge QAM. The APEX3000 delivers industry-leading density to meet operators’ needs to cost effectively address increasing demands for narrowcast services such as VOD and nDVR. We were able to capture Chris Brown, Director of Product Management, Motorola Mobility, on the SCTE show floor discussing the benefits of the APEX3000 and how it helps cable operators. Take a look below.


Motorola Brings DreamGallery to Shaw Subscribers

Shaw Communications is developing a completely new guide experience for its customers…thanks to Motorola’s technology DreamGallery. DreamGallery is a cloud-based HTML5 video tool suite that delivers tools for rapid creation of custom, operator-branded guide experiences through powerful animations, filtering and an easy-to-use Web-like interface.

DreamGallery gives Shaw complete customization control of their television portals for advanced user navigation, features, and functionality for the deployment of new video experiences to the Motorola DCX3200 and beyond. Shaw customers using the DCX3200, a high definition (HD) set-top with a single 1 GHz tuner that supports both MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 can enjoy DreamGallery seamlessly. When configured with the optional MoCA® home networking interface, the DCX3200 can serve as a multimedia client for accessing content from other compatible devices in the home.

Watch a video below of Bjorn Lang, Software Solutions Architect @ Motorola discuss the challenges his team faced when developing DreamGallery and the consumer benefits.

Introducing the APEX3000 Universal Edge QAM: 1,536 QAM Channels and a Bridge to CCAP

Author: Chris Brown, Director of Product Management

The SCTE show opens today and news from Motorola Mobility is just rolling in.  Today we’ve launched the APEX3000 Universal Edge QAM. It’s a super-dense chassis with 32 ports and 48 channels per port, supporting 1,536 QAM channels. The APEX3000 is designed not only to meet growing demand for narrowcast video, but also to serve as a bridge product for future rollouts of a Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP).

In an earlier post discussing the concept of a distributed CCAP model, my colleague Jeff Walker wrote about the ability to install a high-density Edge QAM in a cable network today with channels left over for future DOCSIS® data use. The APEX3000 was built with this capacity in mind. Many of our cable operator customers are facing overwhelming demand for more narrowcast channels to support growing VOD libraries and network DVR trials. However, since few are ready to make the jump to CCAP today, there is clear need for a product that can provide more channels now, yet still transition easily to a CCAP architecture later. The APEX3000 does both by offering unprecedented channel density in a 4RU unit, and leaving excess capacity available for a distributed CCAP architecture where DOCSIS channels are transmitted to the APEX chassis and then placed by the APEX into the same RF port along with video QAMs.

The goal with this new Universal Edge QAM is to link legacy architectures with a new converged platform. By doing this, we can help reduce upgrade expenses and support the scale of narrowcast video capacity that cable providers need. It’s a “pay-as-you-grow” QAM model, offering investment protection even as the industry migrates to CCAP for converged video and data delivery.

Motorola will be demonstrating the APEX3000 at SCTE in Atlanta, Booth # 1268. Stop by and visit us.

The Case for Distributed CCAP – High-Density Edge QAMs and the Converged Cable Access Platform

 Author: Jeff Walker, Director of CMTS Product Marketing

While progress continues with the Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP, formerly CMAP and Cesar), there are still many questions surrounding when large scale deployments will begin, and how to continue meeting new bandwidth demands in the present while upgrading IP infrastructure for the future. One of the major debates has been whether operators should move forward with an integrated CCAP architecture, or a modular one. The industry has largely settled on an integrated approach; however, even that decision is complicated by questions around how to deploy an integrated platform.

One of the options for operators to consider is a distributed CCAP deployment. Not to be confused with the modular option, a distributed deployment transmits DOCSIS channels to an external edge QAM via M-CMTS.  A distributed deployment still paves the way for an integrated CCAP architecture, but it also provides flexibility in the migration from traditional data and video infrastructures to the new CCAP model of delivery. Given today’s demand for narrowcast video channels, there is strong incentive for operators to install high-density, chassis-based edge QAMs in select markets. However, operators typically won’t need the full capacity available in these new hardware installations, and with an extra 8-16 QAM channels per port left unused, there is room to reallocate a portion of the total QAMs available to DOCSIS traffic in the future.

This is where the idea of a flexible migration comes into play. For systems that require more narrowcast video channels today, the distributed CCAP approach lets operators target capacity upgrades with new edge QAMs that can still be used in future CCAP upgrades. Those targeted edge QAM deployments allow operators to support more VOD content, a greater number of switched digital video channels, and new network-based DVR trials – all of which have the potential to drive new revenue and keep cable providers ahead of competitive services.

For many cable operators, CCAP will be the next step on the path to all-IP delivery. How the industry gets from here to there, however, will depend on the specific needs of each individual cable system. Taking a distributed CCAP approach to deployments is a logical option in many cases, and one that provides flexibility for meeting today’s needs as well as tomorrow’s.