The Nuts and Bolts of Broadband – evolving access architectures at SCTE Autumn Lecture

Tal Laufer, Director, Product Management, CMTS/CCAP, ARRIS

Tal Laufer, Director, Product Management, CMTS/CCAP, ARRIS

This week, I will be speaking at the SCTE UK Autumn Lecture Meeting – “The Nuts and Bolts of Broadband” – covering evolution in access architectures.

Many operators plan to attend the event and will be asking the same question: How can we evolve our network to support growing bandwidth demands, driven by the crazy number of new applications and increases in consumption of services like UHD and virtual reality?

During my presentation I will provide guidance, based on the studies and investigations the ARRIS team has undertaken, to assess the different evolution paths available for operators.

It is a common assumption that PON will be the chosen path for greenfield deployments. However, with the up-and-coming innovations in the DOCSIS domain, operators can achieve competitive service tiers, possibly at lower cost. New innovative technologies, such as DOCSIS 3.1 and Full Duplex DOCSIS will also enable high speeds to existing subscribers, who represent the vast majority of cable operators’ subscribers. For existing subscribers using the HFC network today, operators are looking for cost effective solutions to provide high-speed tiers, with minimal change to their plant, and therefore lower capex investment.

ARRIS is geared up to help cable operators find their optimal solution, which is also dependent on geographical dispersion, financial capabilities, and the traffic engineering requirements unique to their subscribers. I will outline the various solutions and architectures during my presentation “Delivering Gigabit Speed and beyond to the Home – Next Evolution in Access Architecture” on Wednesday, October 19th, at 10:30am.

Tal Laufer, Director, Product Management – CMTS/CCAP

Connecting the dots for an IoT future at Broadband World Forum

Ian Wheelock, ARRIS Engineering Fellow

Ian Wheelock, ARRIS Engineering Fellow

This week, I will be speaking at Broadband World Forum about how to use the home gateway as the enabler for advanced services and IoT support in the home. The event comes at a time when home connectivity is evolving and services providers are preparing for the next generation of connected devices and equipment.

Make no mistake, IoT will be one of the exacters of change as service providers work to provide sufficient bandwidth to connect a growing number of devices. But this isn’t just about the sheer number of devices, it’s also important to note the added complexity that will be introduced to home networks. The lack of cohesion stemming from third-party solutions brings a new set of problems to service providers. And with IoT vendors now able to have direct conversations with consumers, existing relationships that service providers have with end users could change.

In the coming years, we’ll see more IoT solutions enter the home that will enable home automation, energy control and health monitoring. Reliable and robust Wi-Fi throughout the home will be key to ensuring quality of experience of these innovative new services. ARRIS constantly researches new ways to enhance the capabilities of home gateways, enabling operators to provide these services with the quality required for a seamless experience. I will be discussing how at Broadband World Forum.

Join my presentation “Leveraging current and future gateway devices to unify the disaggregated smart home dilemma” on Tuesday, 18th October @ 16.45.

Ian Wheelock, ARRIS Engineering Fellow

ARRIS SCTE/ISBE Cable-Tec Expo– Photo Recap

Last week, at SCTE/ISBE Cable-Tec Expo™ the cable telecommunications engineering event of the year —ARRIS led out some of the most compelling conversations about the future, from our booth on the show floor.

We met with service provider customers, media and industry analysts to share the latest technology and strategies for delivering services like gigabit, 4K, and IoT. And our experts led discussions on hot industry topics like virtual and augmented reality, DOCSIS® 3.1, and machine learning in network operations—including a panel of top industry executives moderated by our own executive chairman, Bob Stanzione-that advanced the conversation on distributed network architectures, virtualization, and managed Wi-Fi®.

In case you weren’t able to make it, check out a few pictures from this year’s show below.


EMEA Channel Conference 2016

This week, we hosted almost 40 of our EMEA Channel partners at the ARRIS Channel Conference, which took place this year in the UK. It’s an annual opportunity for us to build on our close relationships with our local partners and share the vision, product innovation and expertise that serves our mutual growth strategies in EMEA.

The event included keynotes, training sessions, one-to-one meetings, and workshops over the course of a week. Our ARRIS Home Experience Center showed our channel partners how they can engage with their customers on product showcases and future technology discussions.

Click here for more information about the ARRIS Channel Program.

Wednesday evening saw a gala awards dinner, where we recognized the winners of the EMEA Channel Awards 2016 – including Normann Engineering, Lucas Telecom, SDT ELECTRÓNICA, Telco, Vector, Telegroup, Eurostars Communications, Klonex and Improware.

Congratulations to the nominees, winners and all who have contributed to our continued success!

Here are some photos from the awards ceremony:

Cable-Tec Expo – ARRIS & SCTE Introduce ARRIS Cable Technician Pocket Guide

171c4e4b574ab2c8a271b27f3d89876cFor busy cable technicians, it can be difficult to stay apprised of the latest information and engineering equations. After all, every day they make countless stops at homes and businesses to address a wide variety of customer needs, from problems connecting to the server and IP address issues, to slow application performance and poor cable connectivity.

To help field and cable technicians overcome this challenge, ARRIS, in partnership with the SCTE, recently launched the ARRIS Cable Technician Pocket Guide. The app converts the pre-existing ARRIS Cable Technician Pocket Guide, which includes a wealth of useful charts, graphs, tables, and industry-specific mathematical formulas, to an easily downloadable mobile application for iOS and Android mobile devices. The app is available in both free and premium tiers.

Technicians can easily reference valuable material in the app, including: a customizable dashboard, quick search feature, calculators, formulas and a tables toolbox.

Now available in a digital format, the app will be continually updated throughout the year as information becomes available, ensuring technicians stay up-to-date on the latest intelligence and guidelines.

During Cable-Tec Expo, ARRIS will offer the premium app – which includes the ability to compute engineering functions and equations using the calculator tool – free to all users to download* for a limited time.

For more information about the ARRIS Cable Technician Pocket Guide please visit here.

 * US stores only.

What is the best technology to solve video compression problems?

People of ARRIS

Rich Peske, VP, Product Management, ARRIS

There has been a continued trend to push more network functions, including video compression, into datacenters and virtual cloud environments. While there are clear advantages for the virtualization of many network functions, there are also certain cases where there may be a hindering cost or performance penalty.

Video compression systems are being used for a wide range of scenarios today. Some key use cases include:

  • Different content: File-based (VOD) and Live
  • Different clients: STB, connected TV, PCs, laptops, tablets, smartphones
  • Different codecs: MPEG-2, AVC, HEVC, VP-9
  • Different resolutions and formats: SD, HD, 4K, HDR
  • Different sources: Encoding (baseband input) vs. Transcoding (compressed IP input)
  • Different encoding devices: Broadcast encoders, consumer cameras, professional cameras
  • Different environments: Datacenters, space or power constrained facilities

Video compression, with newer codecs such as HEVC and higher resolutions such as 4K (3840 x 2160 pixels), is very compute-intensive, particularly for live content.

To achieve reasonable power, space, cabling, and reliability requirements, hardware acceleration is often used. This can be in the form of dedicated ASICs, FPGAs, GPUs, or embedded encoding hardware inside Intel CPUs or integrated smartphone chipsets. Therefore, video compression systems often utilize one or several of these technologies to achieve the necessary performance. ARRIS is utilizing the latest ASIC compression chips in our new encoder/transcoder systems, the ME-7000 Converged Compression Platform. This platform is targeted for live encoding and transcoding applications for professional broadcast and distribution of full resolution TV programming.

The ME-7000 serves a wide range of consumer display devices, from smartphones to big-screen UHD me-7000_herodisplays. Currently, the platform  is being used worldwide by operators such as Televisa Izzi in Mexico and Eastlink in Canada.

By combining advanced hardware compression with general purpose CPU computing, the ME-7000 offers advantages in power, space, reduced cabling, and improved long-term reliability while enabling flexibility and an easy-to-use software-only compression system. For example, in the HEVC HD live encoding/transcoding use case, the ME-7000 has 10x-15x better power and space usage than CPU-based compression systems.

For applications, a file-based compression or for live content with lower resolution video or simpler codecs, pure software-based implementations can offer acceptable performance in a virtual environment.

ARRIS works with a number of partners offering software or hybrid software-hardware solutions to match the best technology with these types of use cases to best meet the needs of our customers.

Asking whether software or hardware is better for video compression is the wrong question. Rather, one should ask, “What is the best technology to solve my video compression problem.” Depending on the use case, the choice of technology can differ.

What is important, is that the technology and the use cases are aligned for the best price and performance, both for initial CAPEX and on-going OPEX. ARRIS’s approach is to dedicate time to understanding our customers’ specific circumstances, business goals, and optimize solutions that map to their situation.

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