Thursday, April 24, 2008

New Cable IPTV Option

I met with Verimatrix yesterday and they told me about their partnership with with GoBackTV to provide an IPTV video option for cable providers. GoBackTV provides a system that uses DOCSIS cable modem technology to carry broadcast or on demand TV programming to an IPTV set-top box in the viewer's home. Verimatrix is providing content protection for both broadcast and on demand content delivered over this system.

This system can use MPEG-4 which is more efficient than the MPEG-2 that the cable systems typically use. It also can use IP Multicast across the links to the IPTV set-top boxes so that only one packet stream is sent for each broadcast channel viewed.

Verimatrix said that this system is well adapted to smaller cable companies with 550 MHz plants because it provides the ability to do IPTV switched digital more efficiently than the typical architecture.

This is an interesting approach that should appeal to the smaller cable operators. It does require a separate set-top box and two set-top boxes for the home that watches both the IPTV and the standard cable content. It is one more technology alternative for cable companies that need to upgrade their service to compete with Telco IPTV and satellite TV services. TelecomView's new report U.S. Cable: New Strategies for a Competitive World describes a number of other technologies available to the cable companies.

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