Demonstrating the Future of Content Delivery at NAB East

logo_main_standardThis week, we’re at the NAB Show New York (Booth #737) to demonstrate our vision for content delivery in the media and entertainment market.

Front and center in our booth is the DSR-7400 Series Transcoder IRD that HBO selected earlier this year to optimize its current MPEG-4 HD distribution platform while paving a path for future content distribution. We updated this fifth-generation of our popular transcoder IRD family with multi-tuner DVB-S2X and HEVC processing capabilities to enable programmers to sunset their SD satellite distribution. The DSR-7400 Series IRD will further allow affiliate operators to efficiently process existing HD services, and facilitate the delivery of tomorrow’s Ultra HD and HDR services.

Be sure to drop by our booth (#737) to see demonstrations of our DSR-7401 transcoding 12 HD video services into an optimized SD Statmux for efficient MVPD distribution.

Announcing ARRIS’s New R&D Center in Bangalore, India

Today, we opened a new, multi-million dollar R&D and Operations center in Bangalore, India, dedicated to innovation for our customers worldwide.

The Ulsoor, Bangalore site – which houses a state-of-the-art lab and testing facilities – becomes ARRIS’s largest global development center outside of the US. It’s an IP creation hub that unites world-class engineers from the former ARRIS and Pace sites in the region (following ARRIS’s January 2016 acquisition of Pace). Now, they can more easily collaborate on the technology to drive the next era of broadband and video experiences—from Gigabit Internet to 4K TV, and Wi-Fi.

Our Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Bob Stanzione, inaugurated the facility with Kiran Gadi, Country Head and VP, Engineering for ARRIS India, in a ribbon-cutting ceremony this morning.

Take a look at our photos from the ceremony:

 

 

 

 

 

Debating the Gigabit home in 360 at Broadband World Forum

Customers buy the experience, not the technology.

This was the central idea underpinning a lively panel we hosted recently at Broadband World Forum in London. Bringing together some of the industry’s leading minds from Altice Labs, Deutsche Telekom, KPN, Orange, and Parks Associates, we took a closer look at how the gigabit home is being rolled out across Europe, and the opportunity for operators.

One thing was clear: although the majority of subscribers might not care about what tech is used to deliver their services, they have high expectations about the quality of service they receive.

Here, our panelists agreed, lies the challenge and the opportunity.

Read on to find out more, or head here to watch our 360 video series  

The gigabit home – are people ready?

Gigabit speed presents a huge opportunity for operators, but the important question is whether consumers’ homes are ready for it. The panel agreed that getting fast speeds to the home is one challenge, but equally important is the reach and reliability of the network once inside.

In addition to high-performing gateways, the panel discussed the importance for operators to educate customers about optimum equipment placement to ensure the best coverage. This isn’t just about speeds, but guaranteeing people’s entertainment isn’t disrupted when they stream their favorite shows – the blame for which can end up back on the operator’s plate. More on this later.

How to make the money?

The real value to operators will come not from speed but sticky services that keep customers loyal to their provider.

Operators can be successful by providing new services that sit on top of their established network – entering a ‘penta-play’ market by adding IoT services into the mix.  However, the opportunity differs by market. For example, market penetration for monitored security in the UK is 10 times that of Germany where the category needs better communication and understanding.

But the largest opportunity really still lies in content, as consumers’ appetite for entertainment in the home – be that broadcast, subscription or OTT – continues to rise.

New IoT paradigms

Delivering new IoT services requires new models, and for many telcos, the best and most efficient way to do so is partnerships. APIs also play a big role, and for the connected home to succeed, there will be a greater need for operators – and potentially even competitors – to work together as the capabilities extend beyond the home, requiring integration with mobile networks to allow IoT devices to continue to function outside.

To virtualize or not?

On virtualization, the panel was split. At least one operator said ‘no’ to complex gateways, with cost being a key consideration for something simpler. Here, network function virtualization was the model of choice, allowing for functions to operate within the cloud. Others believed the delivery of the desired experience was only possible through smart gateways – while the theory of a virtualized box got the thumbs up into the future.

The need to be unseen

The dilemma, it was put, was that operators are continually troubled by the fact their customers want them to be invisible – they want the service to ‘just work’, with no additional dialogue required from the provider. (Except when it unfortunately goes wrong, of course.) However, as third parties introduce more services and telcos work together to scale the opportunity, the need for a strong brand was acknowledged, or operators risk being swallowed by the competition.

As one panelist said, if you don’t provide a platform allowing users to have new and great experiences, the provider next door will.

We thank our panelists for giving their time, opinions and insight at Broadband World Forum:

  • Yves Bellego, Director of Network Strategy, Orange
  • Remco Helwerda, Innovation Strategy Consultant, KPN
  • Jon Carter, UK Head of Business Development – Connected Home, Deutsche Telekom
  • Paulo Mão Cheia, Head of Unit GPON, FTTx and QoS Probing, Altice Labs
  • Darren Fawcett, Chief Technical Engineer, ARRIS
  • Brett Sappington, Senior Director of Research, Parks Associates (moderator)

We shot a series of 360 video with our panel straight after the event – join the huddle and get the inside track from the show floor here. You can watch it via your YouTube app, browser or compatible VR device.

80 years of high-definition television

Television tower at Alexandra Place in 1936

Television tower at Alexandra Palace in 1936

Today marks 80 years since the BBC began the world’s first regular high-definition television service. This was a far cry from what we call HD today – in 1936 it was an increase from 30 TV lines, to 240, which was the old measure of such resolution. Today’s variety of specifications, from HD, to UHD, 4K and even 8K reflect not only the rate of change but the choice available to us.

And through so much change, TV has remained at the center of our content consumption. The Video Advertising Bureau just released findings that TV still commands 89% of viewing time, demonstrating that even with the penetration of mobile and tablet devices, many still gather around a TV to be entertained and informed.

From here, the future looks bright (which we say without a sense of irony given the promise of things such as HDR). Not only are the screens getting better, but access to so much great, high quality, content has never been better. TV budgets are now rivaling that of movies, with HBO’s latest offering, Westworld reportedly costing $US100m for the first season, and $US25m for the pilot. Netflix, which is not a TV network in the traditional sense and just shy of 20 years old, will reportedly spend billions on original content in the next year.

For ARRIS, it’s all about delivery of that content and onto the screens in the way it was intended by the producers. The viewer needs to see the effects laboriously pored over without pixelation; to experience a heartfelt monologue delivered without interruption by buffer; and have the next episode load before their significant other has time to say “Haven’t we watched enough episodes tonight?” To achieve this, consumers need the right devices in their home, distributing a fast and reliable service on behalf of the operator. Otherwise, they’ll just switch off.

Here’s to 80 years of high-definition television, and to many more.

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

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