Technology

Terayon’s DTV Transition Plan

12/19/2004 7:00 PM Eastern

Terayon Communication Systems Inc. said the new 4.0 software release for its CherryPicker product line will help operators in their transition to all-digital cable systems.

Among the new features are a distributed chassis, a master-control management console and a program redundancy feature.

The distributed-chassis software allows operators to acquire, manage and send out digital video services from any point in the network to any other point, Terayon said.

DISTRIBUTED POWER

That eliminates the need to install expensive duplication equipment at each site. It allows operators to distribute the ingestion, processing and distribution of digital video services anywhere in network, no matter where the CherryPickers are physically located.

Terayon said the distributed chassis increases the input capacity up to 400%, without the use of an internal switch.

The master control management console allows for easy point-and-click access for configuration, monitoring and management of multiple CherryPickers. The program-redundancy feature improves service reliability by allowing for automatic switching to an alternative or backup program source.

The new Gigabit Ethernet output replication capability enables operators transitioning from ASI to GigE to process each digital-video service’s signal feed only once, Terayon added, eliminating the cost and complexity of processing both feeds simultaneously.

“We have improved the throughput and capacity of the ASI to GigE aggregation that we do,” said Terayon Digital Solutions Group vice president of business development and marketing Andrew Steele.

Cable operators benefit by gaining more flexibility on how they migrate from legacy asynchronous serial interface (ASI) networks to Internet-protocol networks. “We can aggregate ASI and do the IP encapsulation.”

Operators have a growing need for more video-distribution bandwidth as more video on demand and HDTV fare comes down the pike, Steele said. Going all-digital, with digital simulcasting as the first stage, fits well with what the new software on the CherryPicker can offer, he added.

“Digital simulcast drives the need for more CherryPickers,” he said.

In the past, CherryPickers had to be configured locally, Steele said. The new software allows operators to configure numerous CherryPickers on a regional or system-wide basis.

MANY UNITS PER HEADEND

Depending on the number of digital channels — and the number of channels on which operators insert advertising on — an MSO might have 30 or even 40 CherryPickers at the headend. At the edge, there might be only one or two.

The new software allows for remote backup, Steele said, “so they don’t have to set up a redundancy layer at each every one of those locations. It’s a cost-effective way to build redundancy.”

The new software also allows broadband operators to think about IP delivery of video content. Cable operators have the non IP set-top hurdle to overcome, Steele said, but newer entrants, such as the telcos, don’t have that problem.

“You can take the [Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification] out and put it down into a telco TV architecture easily.”

Steele said Terayon will ship the new software for existing deployments and plans to ship all new 64000 units with the 4.0 software.

September