ARRIS Tech Talk: Modems, Routers, Gateways, and Extenders Demystified

Fact: We need fast, reliable Internet. And increasingly, we need it everywhere.

Nearly three-quarters of us believe that having high-speed Internet in every room of the house is either vitally important or very important. That’s according to our latest Consumer Entertainment Index study.

High-speed Internet is so important because it is related to almost everything we do, from image1video chatting with our family and friends to streaming movies on Netflix® and gaming over the Playstation® and Xbox One networks. A lot of things run expressly on the Internet, and the Internet, in turn, relies on the devices that deliver it throughout our homes.

Today we’re going to talk about the four most important ones: modems, Wi-Fi® routers, broadband gateways, and extenders.

The first piece of the puzzle is your modem: it brings the Internet into your home. Because it’s your home’s primary connection to the Internet, it’s arguably the most important device.

Of course, we all just want Wi-Fi without limits, and for that, you need a Wi-Fi router. It takes the Internet from your modem and creates a wireless signal that you can access throughout your home. But keep in mind that the strength of that wireless signal changes based on things inside your home, like the type of walls or floors it has to go through or how far away it is from the devices that it’s communicating with (i.e. tablets, cellphones)

A gateway is a device that combines the modem and Wi-Fi router into a single device. It brings the Internet signal into your home and also transmits it wirelessly.

So now we have our modem, router and gateway—but what happens when there’s a room in your home where the Wi-Fi is very weak or non-existent? There are many ways to improve the range of the Internet in your home, but one of the simplest and most cost-efficient is using a Wi-Fi network extender or repeater. It receives the wireless signal from your router or gateway and boosts it a further distance than the router may be capable of broadcasting on its own—like a megaphone does with your voice. But keep in mind that each wireless repeater cuts your bandwidth in half. So while it allows you to cover more ground, you’ll also lose some effective speed.

Now that we’ve talked about how these networking pieces work together, how do you know which one to buy? Check out our SURFboard web site for more information.

Life in the Fast Lane: The Road to Top Speed Entertainment

The future is speed. The speed to stream 4K over multiple screens. Speed that’s ahead of its time that can deliver the services we haven’t even invented yet. Multi-gigabit speed.

That, according to Cornel Ciocirlan, CTO, EMEA, ARRIS—is the answer to the mounting challenge facing service providers today: how to invest in the infrastructure to drive tomorrow’s services. 

In that context, there are many kinds of speed—from ultimate data rates to the home, to latency times, to wireless signal strength throughout the home. These will be instrumental in delivering virtual and augmented reality, next-generation gaming, cloud-based processing, and more of the experiences that will become mainstream.

Today’s average broadband speed is only 22.1Mbps. And while Europe compares favorably to the rest of the world, many of today’s leading service providers have already chosen from one of the many pathways to tomorrow’s multi-gigabit speeds—including DOCSIS 3.1, G.fast, NG-PON2, and 10G EPON.

However, the next, looming question beyond home delivery is how to enhance gigabit connectivity once it’s in the home…

ARRIS’s latest Consumer Entertainment Index found that people not only want more from their broadband, but that they see Wi-Fi as the limiting factor. Some 72% indicated the importance of high-speed internet in every room, and 54% expressed interest in extend their Wi-Fi beyond its current range.

The conditions in Europe pose a unique set of challenges for these growing demands on the home network… For example, although the average home in Europe is smaller than, say, the US, the construction materials that are popular in Europe generally preclude Wi-Fi signals from reaching every corner of the home. Additionally, the amount of power that legally can be used by a Wi-Fi access point to deliver its signal is notably lower than in many other regions of the world; this specific component of European legislation means that Wi-Fi connection range ultimately will be shorter, especially where higher speeds are involved.

As speeds within the home, especially over the wireless network, become a growing imperative, they underscore such tools and technologies as range extenders and wired backhauls. To achieve the high bandwidth and low latency that’s required to enable advanced, interactive entertainments, for example, some homes will need an extender in every room to deliver consistent data rates throughout the house. That’s why service providers like Get in Norway are offering extenders or amplifiers to their customers now.

Given these conditions, we can envisage homes becoming mesh networks that require a smart gateway to manage all the various access points and extenders that will find their way into the consumer domain.

The question many providers have in mind is how soon we can expect to need gigabit, or even multi-gigabit speeds, throughout the home. We predict that by 2020, it will be a mass-market reality… but at our current trajectory, today’s technology can only sustain a few more years of growth.

In order to maintain a great user experience, service providers must begin investing in home network improvements now.

There’s a lot to be excited about when it comes to the multi-gigabit future. Consumers can look forward to faster speeds and new ways to enjoy content at home. And providers can diversify their product offerings to make the best use of these performance boosts. But the future depends as much on new infrastructure to the home as it does on equipment within the home—from smart gateways to extenders. Only with the right foundation can the industry keep pace with the speed of the future.

Top 5 Tech Articles You Might Have Missed – Week Ending April 22, 2016

FierceCable reported on ARRIS’s new products and deals announced this week. The company introduced a new line of SURFboard ® routers and extenders with RipCurrent™ G.hn technology, designed for the “next-generation Wi-Fi home.” At this week’s NAB show, ARRIS announced that it has signed an agreement with HBO to sell its DSR-7400 transcoder satellite receiver to enable the programmer for future content distribution with HEVC compression. ARRIS also announced that VUBIQUITY is using its SECUREMEDIA content protection solution to pre-encrypt video content.

Confirming reports from earlier this year, YouTube rolled out 360-degree live streaming for its videos along with spatial audio for select on-demand content, reported PCWorld. Select performances from this weekend’s music event, Coachella, will now be live streamed in 360 degrees on YouTube.

World Screen reported that Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) launched its first TV Everywhere streaming service, Watch OWN, allowing access to a live feed of OWN and a selection of on-demand content. Watch OWN is available on iOS and Android devices.

According to a new report from Adobe and The Diffusion Group (TDG), consumers now spend 42 percent of TV time with over-the-top (OTT) services, reported CED Magazine. The report noted that 65 percent of the OTT time on the home TV screen is spent watching subscription video on demand (SVOD), 30 percent is spent watching free streaming services (FVOD), and 5 percent is spent watching transactional streaming services (TVOD).

Finally, a recent report from the European Audiovisual Observatory shows that European productions account for 27 percent of all films available on video on demand (VOD) in Europe, compared with 59 percent for U.S. films, reported TVBEurope. Additionally, 30 percent of films available on SVOD in Europe are of European origin, compared with 60 percent for U.S. films.

  1. Arris sells DSR-7400 transcoder satellite receiver to HBO, announces new line of Surfboard products (April 19, 2016) By Daniel Frankel, FierceCable: Announcing an array of new products and deals at this week’s NAB show, Arris said it has reached a deal with HBO to provide its DSR-7400 transcoder satellite receiver.
  2. YouTube rolling out live 360-degree videos with immersive Coachella experience (April 19, 2016) By Ian Paul, PCWorld: YouTube 360-degree live video is here, and you’re first chance to see it will probably be during the Coachella festival on Saturday and Sunday.
  3. OWN Unveils Its First TV Everywhere App (April 20, 2016) By Sara Alessi, World Screen: Oprah Winfrey Network has launched its first TV Everywhere streaming service, offering access to a live feed of the channel and a selection of on-demand programming.
  4. New Report Says Consumers Spend 42 Percent of TV Time on OTT (April 20, 2016) By Laura Hamilton, CED Magazine: More data continues to flow in about consumers’ love-fest with over-the-top video.
  5. Europe contributes a quarter of VoD film (April 20, 2016) By James Groves, TVBEurope: European production companies supply 27 percent of the continent’s VoD film content, according to the latest report from the European Audiovisual Observatory.

Introducing the Wi-Fi® You’ve Always Wanted

In the future, dead zones are extinct. Movies don’t buffer. And your dog just set up your Wi-Fi® network Picture1with an app, in under five minutes.

Well, guess what. The Future of Wi-Fi is here (depending on your dog). It’s called SURFboard® with RipCurrent™ G.hn technology. And it doesn’t just work; it works better than anything else you’ve ever tried.

ARRIS SURFboard with RipCurrent G.hn technology is a new family of routers and extenders from future-loving geniuses who brought you digital TV and the first cable modem gateway. We rethought the entire concept of traditional home networking to solve all the little frustrating things that have plagued your Internet experience for years.

The SURFboard RipCurrent-enabled family transforms Wi-Fi in a unique way: with wires. Our system uses Gigabit home networking technology called G.hn to build a smarter network using your home’s existing wiring to create new hotspots, feed high-bandwidth devices, and lighten the load on your wireless network. As a result, we’ve drastically improved wireless router performance, helped completely eliminate dead zones, and put bandwidth hogs in their place.

“The reality is that everyone’s home is different, making it hard for any one router to provide a fast connection in every corner of every house,” said Bob Swanson, our VP of Retail Sales. “RipCurrent G.hn technology is the solution.”

Our new SURFboard RipCurrent-enabled portfolio works with our ARRIS SURFboard Manager app for iOS and Android to help you set up your network faster than you can walk your dog. And it lets you tailor your Wi-Fi to your exact needs. Ever better: our system will grow with you as those needs change, letting you add more range and bandwidth with additional extenders, so that the future of Wi-Fi stays in your home, for years to come.

Pre-order your ARRIS RipCurrent-enabled devices today on Amazon (see links below), or purchase them in the ARRIS Store.

RipCurrent Routers

RipCurrent Extenders

Top 5 Tech Articles You Might Have Missed – Week Ending April 15, 2016

CED Magazine reported that ARRIS collaborated with The Weather Channel to bring “Local Now” on Sling TV across all devices. The over-the-top (OTT) streaming service offers subscribers personalized weather, news, traffic and sports information based on their location.

This week, Variety reported on DirecTV’s deal to offer U.S. viewers up to 25 of this season’s Major League Baseball (MLB) games live in 4K Ultra HD (UHD). DirecTV’s coverage of the baseball games on Friday, April 15, marks the first-ever live 4K UHD telecast of an MLB game in the U.S.

Subscription video on demand services (SVOD) catering to a niche audience has become increasingly popular. Former Network USA CEO, Phil Osborn, launched AeroCinema, a new aviation-focused SVOD service, that offers more than 400 rare aviation features, documentaries, and profiles, reported Realscreen. The $4.95-a-month service is available on smart TVs as well as on mobile devices and desktops.

According to a recent study by Nielsen, video on demand (VOD) is a part of the daily viewing habits for many users around the world, regardless of their age, reported MediaPost. The study found that among the 65 percent of respondents who watch any VOD programming, 43 percent watch at least once a day. Among other findings, the study noted that movies dominate the type of VOD content viewed across all regions and generations.

Finally, Rapid TV News reported that according to a report by Enders Analysis, Netflix is on its way to reaching its goal of 80-90 million U.S. subscribers and 150 million global subscribers by 2020. The report also noted that another round of international expansion will double the media giant’s global base over the next five years outpacing all of its competitors.

  1. Arris and The Weather Channel Team for “Local Now” OTT Streaming Service (April 14, 2016) By Laura Hamilton, CED Magazine: Arris announced today that it has collaborated with The Weather Channel to bring “Local Now” to Sling TV across all devices.
  2. DirecTV to Carry MLB Network Games in 4K Ultra HD (April 12, 2016) By Todd Splangler, Variety: AT&T-owned satellite service offers U.S. subscribers first live baseball games in UHD format.
  3. Aviation SVOD service AeroCinema takes flight (April 12, 2016) By Daniele Alcinii, Realscreen: As the saying goes, “If you build it, they will come.”
  4. VOD An Every Day Affair For Many (April 11, 2016) By Jack Loechner, MediaPost: According to Nielsen, Video-On-Demand is becoming a part of daily viewing habits for many around the world, regardless of age.
  5. 2015 surge sets Netflix on track for 150MN customers by 2020 (April 12, 2016) By Joseph O’Halloran, Rapid TV News: Record growth in 2015 shows Netflix to be well on its way to achieving its goal of 60-90 million US streaming customers and a global base of 150 million by 2020 according to a report by Enders Analysis.

Update on our SURFboard SB6141 Modem

You may have seen articles over the weekend about our SURFboard® SB6141 cable modem. 2-big-SB6141_Left_SideWe want to provide some updates.

First and foremost, we developed a firmware upgrade to correct the issue affecting the SB6141. This firmware upgrade will be automatically sent to your device from your cable operator.

Second, we want to assure you that the issue affecting the SB6141 does not provide any risk to user data. IF you were impacted, you would have seen your modem reboot and been offline for a short period of time. Fortunately, we haven’t received any reported instances of this happening.

Third, we want to be very clear that the issue does not affect 135 million modems. Reports stating this number were incorrect, and we reached out to the publications that published them to address their inaccuracy.

Our company takes product performance very seriously. We continue to work actively with security organizations and our Service Provider customers to quickly resolve any potential vulnerabilities to protect the subscribers who use our devices.

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