ARRIS @ NAB 2017

Picture1We’re attending the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show at the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) this week to share our vision of tomorrow’s entertainment technology with thousands of global professionals.

NAB is one of the largest media and entertainment conferences in the world – making it the perfect location to demonstrate some of our latest video and content delivery technology – including our new HEVC encoder solutions and Ultra HD compression solutions.

And, while you’re there, make sure you also check out our:

  • Managed Wi-Fi® solutions for the connected home
  • Virtualized IP network solutions
  • Unified, multiscreen SECUREMEDIA® content security system
  • Personalized content security and advertising software

In addition, Susan George, VP of Sales at ARRIS, will discuss how she leverages technology for success on a panel, “Media Minefield: Women Navigating Technology in Daily Operations” on Monday, April 24th at 8am PT at the Westgate Hotel.

You can find us on the show floor in booth SU1916 at the LVCC, and follow us on Twitter (@ARRIS) for the latest ARRIS news.

Living with the Future – 4 Predictions for Home Connectivity in 2017

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Charles Cheevers, CTO, CPE, ARRIS

Predictions serve a dual purpose. On one hand, they challenge us to fulfill the promise of new offerings and innovation. On the other, they excite us about the kinds of technologies and breakthroughs that might make it into our homes this year.

For 2017, I am predicting the potential for several advancements in the home that could help enable some of the latest ‘headline’ consumer technologies, such as IoT and VR etc. Here are four key innovations that I can see happening this year:

Gateways get companions and open the smart home as new classes of home device emerge

Single gateways and routers have done a great job creating connections for Wi-Fi devices in the home. As broadband speeds to the home increase, this needs to be reflected inside the home. The gateway is set to get some help from Wi-Fi extenders increasing range and performance to support services like 4K video over Wi-Fi.

These new devices offer both challenge and opportunity:

  • Challenge – to create better Wi-Fi and not act as interference. We solve this with software in the devices, supported by the cloud – to ensure best channel use and make sure the home clients are on the right access point, roaming quickly across them.
  • Opportunity – to add functionality to devices deeper inside the home and in rooms where connectivity is most needed. This could be, for example, IoT low-power radios to support smart device onboarding; or voice input and audio output – allowing the device to ‘double up’ as a wireless connectivity point and a smart assistant.

Adding functionality will enable service providers to leverage their position in the home and converge Wi-Fi capex spend with new IoT and smart assistant opportunities – it makes economic sense to deploy aggregated services.

In addition, increasing the footprint of extenders could also support emerging 60GHz applications, such as fast-sync to mobile devices and low latency un-tethered VR, that require in-room high bandwidth.

Service providers can take advantage of this device demarcation to add connectivity features in an all-in-one device. The natural evolution is to a future home architecture with a single connectivity device per room.

Shared Spectrum and convergence to 5G – experimentation and first reference architectures will emerge

As we move towards 5G, combining multiple wireless technologies into a seamless experience will be key. Consumers are only interested in the best access to the service or content on whatever device.

This is driving convergence of wireless connectivity at the device level to embrace connectivity for IoT, gigabit broadband, roaming, voice, VR, AR – independent of the physical layer. And, the lines between unlicensed and licensed spectrum-based devices are set to blur – more than the LTE + Wi-Fi capabilities in devices today.

New approaches to spectrum use – e.g., CBRS shared spectrum and frequency control via Cloud Spectrum Access Solutions as well as the aspirations of 5G – mean that service providers that don’t own LTE spectrum will be able to offer a seamless and robust solution across macro and pico wireless solutions.

We envisage a new class of home cell that is Wi-Fi dominant in the home and supports the 3.5GHz CBRS band promise over LTE – enabling the best of Wi-Fi and LTE within the home. The service provider augments the reach of 3.5GHz LTE with 5GHz Wi-Fi, and uses local wired connection for backhaul.

While mmWave promises point-to-multipoint transmissions at 10Gbp to get into the home (in good line of sight conditions), the 5G signal will be converted to Wi-Fi or sub 6GHz LTE inside the home. Solutions that terminate and retransmit, convert, and translate will be key for this multi-hop connection

Providers to investigate VR for live TV - testing the blended experience

The introduction of mmWave connectivity at 60GHz could provide more than 25Gbps of bandwidth wirelessly around the home – proving a platform for next-gen services such as untethered VR/AR.

VR/AR presents a number of challenges to begin considering:

  • Short-term – to support the large file downloads of gaming and graphic centric VR/AR experiences
  • Mid-term – to support low-volume VR experiences from the ‘best seat in the stadium’
  • Long-term – to support a million unique streams from the stadium – requiring new technologies and improvements in event IT infrastructure. Today live VR generates 6-10Mbps per view at 1080p levels and this will increase significantly with 4K level transmissions.

So long-term, VR/AR may not just be the prerogative of the gaming community. The industry is experimenting now to find the best blend of VR/AR and TV experiences.

The TV experience offers multi-camera views, helping the viewer find the best action at a live event. Adding VR/AR allows the users themselves take control of the camera. The ability to switch between live and user-controlled experiences will be an area to watch over the coming years as VR/AR tries to make its mark. TV producers are already experimenting with VR segments of scheduled live shows – allowing the viewer to continue immersing themselves after the live show has ended

Virtualization will increase hardware capabilities – not make CPE hardware redundant.

The predicted demise of hardware is not happening – the reality is that software partitioning between device and cloud is changing. When software has shifted to the cloud – there will still be a gateway and a set-top – very similar to today and with new features like IoT, Smart Assistant and 60GHz

Virtualization for vCPE is about the repartition of software features – allowing new services that require low latency knowledge of the home to be handled in the cloud. This enables rapid development cycles; development once in the cloud versus multiple times on different platforms and best in class services. For example, the best parental control solution could run on all platforms from a single cloud instance instead of trying to develop for all unique platforms.

Where does this leave CPE? On one hand there is less need to add more CPU capability if the service can be processed in the cloud. On the other, there are services that should stay in the CPE – for example; to benefit from low latency; to ensure optimal graphics performance or for the best wireless connectivity – guaranteeing a clear future for physical CPE.

ARRIS @ NCTC’s Winter Conference

The NCTC Winter Conference brings together one of the broadest cross sections of independent video wec17logoand broadband providers in the US. This week, we’re in New Orleans to meet with this incredibly diverse mix of operators, so that we can help them deploy the fastest Gigabit services, the latest DOCSIS® 3.1 technology, and the most comprehensive and reliable Wi-Fi® networks.

ARRIS’s industry-leading portfolio is also one of the broadest ones on the market—spanning the network, cloud, and home. But what’s key to NCTC’s independent operators is that our portfolio also offers a variety of solutions to suit providers large and small. At the show, we’ll be discussing how we can leverage ARRIS’s unmatched global scale to power this new digital world for subscriber bases of all sizes.

If you’re in New Orleans, drop by our booth (#300/302) to learn more!

ARRIS @ NCTC

NCTCNext week, ARRIS will be exhibiting at NCTC’s Winter Educational Conference in Phoenix, AZ from February 15-16th. Our focus is on the technical underpinnings of delivering advanced new entertainment services like Cloud DVR and Multiscreen.

Our booth (#303/305) will feature active demonstrations of our industry-leading Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) and network solutions supporting the new bandwidth and technology requirements of these services. We’ve organized them in four relevant experience areas under the following topics: Cloud & IP Video Solutions, Gigabit Services, Wi-Fi® Without Limits, and Next Generation Devices.

We’ll run a remote demo of IP video over our DCX3635. Our E6000® Converged Edge Router will showcase Gigabit service using DOCSIS® 3.1. We’ll demonstrate our Hosted Service Provider Wi-Fi Solution for public, commercial and domestic deployments—which played a key role in our recent collaboration with Suddenlink to roll out carrier-grade Wi-Fi to its commercial customers.  And we’ll have a variety of new CPE devices on display, including new IP gateways.

Also, be sure to catch Charles Cheevers, ARRIS CTO of the CPE business, talk on Preparing for IP Video, which will cover the evolution of network and CPE technologies and—like ABR, DOCSIS 3.1, and Gigabit Wi-Fi—that’s driving new IP video experiences.

The Three Biggest Trends Behind Tomorrow’s TV

TVThe Future of TV was one of the hottest topics of discussion at CES last week. But while newer, bigger, thinner displays; virtual reality goggles; and LED and HDR innovations may have gotten most of the headlines, the underlying technology that enables those innovations was the focus of meetings in and around the show with the world’s leading service providers.

In fact, it really boils down to three incredibly important developments that are quietly transforming TV and the way that service providers will deliver it:

Multi-gigabit Services: This is the biggest development powering the future of TV.

Service providers are upgrading to multi-gigabit pipelines, because today’s TV services sip bandwidth compared to the waterfall of bandwidth that tomorrow’s applications—from 360-degree entertainment, to holographic video and virtual reality—are destined to use.

4K Video over Wi-Fi: 4K is here, but it needs faster Wi-Fi to be everywhere.

The 100 Mbps it takes to stream 4K content to a single device is sorely lacking from most Wi-Fi networks. Given our current appetite for HD content, the inevitability of ubiquitous 4K makes the case for upgrading the content delivery pipeline not only to the home, but throughout it. The answer: gigabit Wi-Fi access points and extenders in the home.

Over the Top (OTT) Set-tops: All of the world’s content is coming to a single screen.

We watch traditional TV, and we watch OTT TV. For most of us, they’re two separate experiences, but soon we’ll be able to enjoy both over a single user experience on our TV, because OTT capabilities are coming to set-tops. Service providers are preparing to deploy these new devices so that we easily can watch anything we want, on the best screen available.

As the hottest technology starts making its way into our local stores and shopping lists, these three trends will be making it all work in millions of homes around the world.

What to Do When Holiday Lights Slow Down Your Wi-Fi

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Like most of us, you’re focused on family 1750_DecBanner_4_Treeand friends, baking cookies, buying presents and stringing holiday lights. But that last one on your list might actually slow down your Wi-Fi. Holiday lighting creates electrical interference that can affect the wireless network in your home.

What’s important to note is that most electronics also have the potential to cause interference—lighting in particular. But you don’t have to cut down on your holiday décor to get your binge-watching fix this season. There are two easy ways to make sure your Wi-Fi is as festive as you are…

Start by upgrading your router. A new 802.11ac router—like our SURFboard® SBR-AC1750—can connect you faster over the less susceptible frequencies and uncrowded channels. Another good trick is to use a network extender which lets you boost your Wi-Fi strength wherever you need it.

For more ideas to help speed up your connection this holiday season, check out our Buyer’s Guide and the rest of our products at Surfboard.com.

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