Getting the Most out of Your DOCSIS 3.0 Network: Dynamic Load Balancing of Bonded Modems

Jeff Walker

Jeff Walker-Sr. Director, CMTS Product Marketing, ARRIS

We’re using more bandwidth than ever. And that amount is growing by nearly 50 percent per year.

The reason is that we’re streaming more content, on more devices, from more sources than ever – whether it’s movies on our tablets, TV on our smartphones, or files from the cloud.

With no slowdown in sight and new services coming onboard every year, cable providers face a unique challenge to meet tomorrow’s demands on today’s networks.

One answer is wideband DOCSIS 3.0 technology, using dynamic load balancing across available wideband channels.

This can be a nearly universal solution, because most cable providers in North America and many around the world have upgraded to DOCSIS 3.0 capable CMTS/CCAP networks, and because DOCSIS 3.0 devices – like cable modems and video gateways – are on track to constitute 90 percent of all worldwide cable CPE shipments in 2014.

DOCSIS 3.0 Channel Bonding

This widespread adoption of DOCSIS 3.0 network and CPE components enable significant bandwidth increases from technology called “channel bonding,” which combines multiple channels (downstream, upstream, or both) into one, providing multiplicative bandwidth gains resulting in speeds beyond 1 Gbps downstream and 300 Mbps upstream.

DOCSIS 3.0 Dynamic Loading

Optimizing bandwidth from DOCSIS 3.0 networks requires dynamically load balancing channel-bonded modems. These modems have a particular set of channels in which they can transmit and receive upstream and downstream data – Transmit Channel Set (TCS) and Receive Channel Set (RCS) respectively. Users’ bonded DOCSIS 3.0 cable modems often are spread across these channel sets.

Dynamic loading involves periodically checking and comparing the utilization of available channel sets and moving modems to alternative upstream or downstream channel sets with lighter loads.

Moving modems from one channel set to another falls under a function known as Dynamic Bonding Change (DBC), which performs the move in hitless (no loss of registration) operation to eliminate network interruption.

DOCSIS 3.0 Static Load Balancing

Static load balancing is an alternative to dynamic load balancing, but inferior for network optimization, as it involves the CMTS/CCAP assigning a bonded DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem to a TCS and RCS at the time of registration based on modem count vs. channel utilization.

The Path to DOCSIS 3.1

Dynamic load balancing of bonded cable modems allows a provider to stay ahead of exploding demand for both managed and OTT video over IP services.  And, the expansion and efficient use of the DOCSIS 3.0 channel bonding will also enable a smooth path to DOCSIS 3.1 and the ability to compete against fiber-deep initiatives by bonding together DOCSIS 3.0 and 3.1 channels.

Stay tuned for more on the migration path to DOCSIS 3.1…

Nothing But Net – March Madness Demands Better Bandwidth

March-MadnessMarch Madness is here in the U.S.: 67 games. 16 teams. Loads of bandwidth.

According to USA Today, the demand for NCAA March Madness Live, online and mobile, more than doubled last year, to 49 million live video streams and 14 million hours of live video content viewed.

Of the 3.4 million who streamed the games, the average user scored a whopping 105 minutes of live video on broadband and 70 minutes on smartphones or tablets.

This year, we expect that trend to continue. And if last year was any indication, we’ll need a strong, fast and most importantly, reliable connection. The good news is that service providers, powered by ARRIS Assurance Solutions, are on top of their game—getting you the bandwidth you need and nipping network issues before they interrupt your programming.

Our ServAssure WiFi Solution is a fan favorite, proactively addressing common problems like buffering, choppy online videos, and slow download/upload speeds. And recently, Time Warner Cable enlisted the ARRIS WorkAssure Field Service Management platform to improve scheduling and management for its field service technicians—giving customers more reliable service by decreasing the time to service window to one hour.

As you tune in to the games in the coming weeks, know that ARRIS has you covered, so you can focus on what really matters – the game.

Before we return to your regularly scheduled programming, tell us what features would make your March Madness experience even better.

Top 5 Tech Articles You Might’ve Missed – Week of March 17, 2014

This week, we attended London’s TV Connect and China’s Content Broadcasting Network (CCBN) conferences to discuss the latest innovations in technology, from challenges and solutions in connected entertainment to trends in broadcasting video. Advanced Television shared the news that Maxisat selected our GT-3 Multiple Bitrate (MBR) Transcoder to deliver an efficient and reliable video transcoding solution to international service providers, which is significant given that Multichannel News discussed the increase in demand for multi-service video gateways.

The advancements in technology and global capacity for engagement have also increased the need for efficiency and a swift response. To ensure a reliable Wi-Fi connection, Time Warner Cable recently deployed ARRIS WorkAssure Field Management platform, highlighted by CED Magazine, to schedule and manage its service appointments with real-time updates.

In other news, a report from PC Magazine states that people are not ready to “cut the cord” on pay TV for Internet services like Netflix, Hulu Plus or Amazon Instant Video. While new research shows a decline in multi-channel video providers, that decrease is only about 0.1 percent from last year. Finally, Forbes discussed the relevance of 4K across screens stating, “4K will bring real benefits to end users” and noted that the technology should become the standard in the industry.

Make sure to check back next week for the latest news in cable.

  1. Maxisat picks ARRIS to power content hub (March 19) By Colin Mann, Advanced Television: Maxisat, a provider of managed and operated Multiscreen TV services, has selected the GT-3 Multiple Bitrate (MBR) Transcoder by ARRIS Group as the default transcoder for the international expansion of its Content Hub – an integral component of its end-to-end multiscreen video solution, Maxicaster.
  2. Set-Top Market Slumps In 2013: Infonetics (March 16) By Jeff Baumgartner, Multichannel News: The traditional set-top box sector slumped in 2013, but suppliers have reason for hope as shipments of multi-service video gateways continue to skyrocket, Infonetics Research reported in its latest report on the set-top market.
  3. Arris’ WorkAssure clocks in on Time Warner Cable’s one-hour service windows (March 18) By Mike Robuck, CED Magazine: In an effort to provide its subscribers with a better customer experience, Time Warner Cable has deployed Arris’ WorkAssure Field Management platform to help schedule one-hour service appointments by its technicians. By using WorkAssure, Time Warner Cable can schedule and manage its service appointments with real-time updates.
  4. Very Few People Ditched Pay TV for the Web in 2013 (March 18) By Chloe Albanesius, PC Magazine: Though services like Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Instant Video provide a wealth of video options for those without cable, the average consumer is not yet racing to cut the cord and ditch pay TV for an Internet-only TV existence.
  5. Why Bother With 4K? (March 18) By Roger Kay, Forbes: You’ve probably heard a fair amount of rumbling about 4K in the past few months. Many companies —LG, Panasonic , Samsung, Sony , Vizio — showed 4K TVs, displays, and cameras at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January.

 

Merchandiser Wins TV Connect Award for Best IPTV & OTT Service Delivery Platform

Last night, at the TV Connect Awards in London, our Merchandiser platform won “Best Service Delivery Platform for IPTV and OTT.”

A well-deserved victory. Merchandiser is the content marketing component of our E2E multiscreen solution, and it’s enables  global service providers to go beyond simply enabling TV Connectmultiscreen to actually monetizing it through content personalization, catalog marketing, and recommendations.

To provide some context for the win, the TV Connect Industry Awards is seen to be one of the largest events in the Connected Entertainment industry calendar. The evening consists of a world-class panel of representatives from major service providers and senior executives coming together to pick winners and “Celebrate Innovation, excellence and achievement” in the global IP, TV and connected entertainment markets.

For ARRIS, it was an honor to be recognized for our ongoing legacy of innovation. Now we are back in the office… busy inventing the future.

Congratulations to all the winners!

Discussing the Next Era of Entertainment at TV Connect

We’re in London this week at the TV Connect event sharing how we can empower our service provider customers to deliver high quality video across the home today and in the future.  We’re also discussing how to evolve today’s multiple screen video platforms to a real multiscreen experience, looking at the compelling case for nDVR.  Visitors to the ARRIS stand are also exploring the future of advertising and monetizing in a multiscreen world.  And with 4k services just around the corner, we talking about the path to UltraHD from both the econding and decoding perspectives.

Take a look at some of our pictures from the show floor below and drop by and see us on Stand 41 if you’re at TV Connect this week!

DSC_7836 DSC_7841 DSC_7846 DSC_7849 DSC_7850 DSC_7930 DSC_7941 DSC_7949 TV Connect TC5 TC4 TC3 TC2 TC1

 

ARRIS Takes Home CableFAX Digital & Tech Award

We’re happy to share some exciting news! The ARRIS Media Streamer 4000 was awarded the 2014 CableFAX Digital & Tech Award in the “Connected TV/Smart TV Solution” category. 22494_CableFAX_Tech_Awards_Logo

According to CableFAX the awards recognize products that are “driving the digital media revolution” and “took chances, made incredible strides and understand the power of innovation.”

We have to agree. Our MS4000 Media Streamer is transforming video delivery to match consumer demand for anytime, anywhere, any-device experiences. It’s powered by Sling technology and lets our customers bring place-shifting features to our Whole Home Solution with MOXI entertainment platform.

Award winners were asked two questions about technology:

1.) What is the one question you must ask before making a technology decision?

2.) What is the one technology that will most change the game in the next year?

Jeanne CableFAX Tech AwardsThe answer to the first embodies ARRIS’s core values. We ask: “How will this technology benefit consumers and advance our industry?” Last year, we invested more than $500M in R&D creating the technology to transform tomorrow’s entertainment experiences—but when we make decisions to implement that technology, we always ask how it will serve consumers and our industry.

This plays into the second question about technology game changers. We’re betting on HEVC, a powerful new compression technology that improves mobile and HD video, enables UltraHD, and facilitates its delivery over Wi-Fi—improving the overall consumer viewing experience.

It’s our commitment to investing in new technology and implementing it in ways that progress the entertainment experience that earned our MS4000 Media Streamer an award and made ARRIS a finalist in four other categories: “Cloud Solution,” “Green Technology,” “New Product Award” and “Residential Equipment.”

Awards were announced in a ceremony held earlier this week at the Yale Club in New York City.

Congratulations, team! Read more about the CableFAX Digital & Tech Awards here.

ARRIS Powers Multiscreen Content on a Global Stage

tvconnect

Today we see the start of TV Connect 2014, and in the show’s 10th year, multiscreen is a stronger theme than ever before.

We’ll be demonstrating our multiscreen capabilities at the exhibition, and we’ll also be talking about how MAXISAT, a leading provider of managed and operated Multiscreen TV services, has selected our GT-3 Multiple Bitrate (MBR) Transcoder to deliver its next era of multiscreen entertainment.

Our GT-3 is now MAXISAT’s default transcoder for the future international expansion of its Content Hub, part of its end-to-end multiscreen video solution, MAXICASTER. This cuts away the traditional complexity and cost associated with multiscreen infrastructure, operations, and content distribution.

MAXISAT recognized the growing trend in multiscreen video consumption and tapped ARRIS to deliver a technology solution that could deliver tomorrow’s multiscreen entertainment experiences on today’s networks. Here at ARRIS, we love working with forward-thinking companies like MAXISAT that know how to meet consumer demands – both today and in the future.

Want to talk multiscreen with us further? Visit our team at TV Connect on Stand 41! 

A Different Kind of Olympic Record

We’ve spent the last weekend watching the Sochi Paralympics from our couches, beds and on the move – soschiwe’re hooked! As you enjoy this year’s Winter Paralympics from whichever screen is your favorite, we wanted to take a look back the incredible broadcast coverage record that was set by the Winter Olympics. While it’s no surprise that there’s now more content that ever, and that viewing is more “multiscreened” than ever, the numbers are huge!

The year’s Winter Olympics garnered 42,000 hours of television coverage, versus 32,000 in Vancouver in 2010, and the digital component sets a whopping record of 60,000 hours – against 25,000 hours for Vancouver. The International Olympic Committee has also highlighted that with 230 digital destinations supporting this year’s Games – which can be broken down into 155 website and 75 applications – there has a shift away from traditional fixed screens to more mobile devices, although people are often flicking between the two.

Even Timmo Lumme, managing director of Olympic television and marketing, is talking about the move to multiscreen, noting that “it is interesting that we are not just seeing people stay on mobile. It is a tendency that the smaller screen is becoming the first screen, but people are coming back to use the big screen as a first screen and then redeploying the smaller screen as the second screen.”

We recently blogged in more detail about how televised sports about to change, and what ARRIS is doing to ensure that service providers can deliver the world’s biggest sporting events your way.

What are you doing differently in this exciting new era of sports viewing, and how are you watching the Paralympics? Let us know in the comments below.

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