Timed to coincide with the Independent Show kicking off today, Motorola has announced a new hosted switched digital video solution for small, independent cable operators. The idea is to provide SDV benefits to operators who don’t have the necessary equipment to do switched digital on their own. In an effort to stay competitive, particularly with their HD offerings, smaller providers are feeling the bandwidth crunch as much as their larger cable brethren. However, there’s a cost barrier in implementing SDV, and sometimes a barrier in managing the day-to-day operations of a switched network as well. The new hosted SDV solution aims to reduce significantly both the cost and complexity of switched digital video, making it possible for independent operators to reclaim bandwidth and expand their services to meet subscriber demand.
The really interesting part about the new SDV offering is how it works. Motorola operates the NAS-RAC system out of San Diego, which provides access to a DAC and associated equipment to independent operator customers through a VPN. The SDV solution works in the same way, with the primary switched digital equipment hosted and managed by Motorola out of NAS-RAC. Operator customers still deploy and maintain the edge QAMs in their individual systems, but they don’t have to take on the cost or hassle of adding new SDV-specific hardware. [Clarification note: the hosted SDV solution also works for operators with their own small DACs who want to offload only the SDV infrastructure components.]
Prior to launch, the hosted SDV solution was tested extensively in Motorola labs. If you think of an average NAS-RAC system as supporting two thousand set-tops, the number of channel changes during peak usage time nets out at about twenty channel changes per second. The new SDV system, however, was tested at up to twenty five times that rate. That means the hosted solution can support up to five hundred channel changes per second, more than enough for any real-world deployment.