IP Video Architecture
Enabling Operators to Meet Consumer Demand for Converged Home Network and IP Content and Services
Cable operators have evolved over the last ten years from delivering only analog video to providing a triple play of interactive digital video, voice and data services. Along the way, their capital investments have been directed at each service in turn, usually success-based. This investment has resulted in wide-scale deployments of high-order digital modulation techniques that deliver vastly increased amounts of content and information. This is achieved within the same 6 and 8 MHz channels that previously only carried one analog video channel. However, this paradigm is starting to show its age, and may become unsustainable if recent trends in HSD growth and increasing competition from Telco and satellite sources continue. The ever-increasing pressure to provide more HD program content, interactivity and whole home personal video recording is forcing cable operators to find new ways to increase the quantity and quality of video programming options for their subscribers. Operators are also being challenged to enhance the overall user experience by offering more options for accessing the subscribers’ personal media stored on their in-home devices as well as the operators’ streaming and stored content.
IP is emerging as the ideal infrastructure for the operator to meet these demands. Utilizing all IP transport brings an operator’s network a new level of simplicity by managing one protocol across the network and eliminating a variety of high-cost and inflexible edge elements previously required for MPEG/DVB distribution. This simplicity, coupled with algorithms for bit rate management, significantly enhances network throughput. Additionally, deployment of an all IP network will drive down OPEX in two fundamental ways. First, the IP network will simplify the device infrastructure between the headend and the home. Increased commonality between devices will translate into higher capacity utilization and lower configuration management and maintenance costs. Second, MSOs can deploy and monitor services holistically across the entire IP network. Network capacity planning, monitoring and trouble resolution is simplified and accelerated when data, voice and video services all share a common set of interfaces. In addition, the open interfaces of an IP environment foster competition, simultaneously reducing capital cost and increasing innovation.
IP Convergence at the Edge, Distribution Network and Home
The ARRIS IP Video Architecture is designed to accelerate the introduction and deployment of an open, scalable, converged, IP Video service offering over cable that is both capital and operational expense efficient. The ARRIS IP Video Architecture relies upon the inherently flexible IP domain to preserve the operators’ existing MPEG infrastructure investment while ensuring maximum utilization of bandwidth. The ARRIS IP Video Architecture supports operators who prefer to start with a hybrid IP and MPEG/DVB approach as well as those that want to migrate to a full IP architecture in one step. This is achieved through convergence in the network elements creating, acquiring and delivering services to the subscriber and in the subscriber client devices creating the user’s personal media consumption experience.
ARRIS End to End IP Video Architecture
The ARRIS IP Video Architecture vision is an end-to-end, flexible, open architecture that can be easily modified to accommodate future demands on a cable operators’ service delivery network. It is intended to scale cost effectively from initial small trials to network-wide regional or national deployments. This is accomplished by re-using a substantial portion of existing Video management and processing and headend equipment including existing CMTS infrastructure, which will eventually transition to much higher density architectures such as Converged Multiservice Access Platform (CMAP).
Video Ingest and Origination:
The ARRIS video ingest and origination sub-system includes linear and on-demand encoders, content storage and streaming servers and application (portal) servers. ARRIS VIPr video transcoder and ConvergeMedia XMS platforms serve as these components.
Video CDN Management:
The ARRIS Video CDN Management sub-system encompasses seven key areas of back office functionality: content asset propagation, video CPE management, subscriber guide, service entitlement and purchase, video session handling, advanced advertising and service assurance. The ARRIS Portal, ConvergeMedia Management and ServAssure product suites combine to deliver this functionality.
The subscriber client component of the ARRIS IP Video Architecture is the ARRIS Whole Home Solution. The ARRIS Whole Home Solution includes a family of Gateway and Media Player products to support hybrid and full IP architectures. These Gateways and Players combine simultaneous use of feature-rich video and telephony services, multi-room DVR, Wi-Fi, DOCSIS 3.0 data rates, and other services. This solution answers the demand for a single service provider offering that provides multi-room subscriber access to unicast and multicast content—whether via cable, over the top, or the subscriber’s personal media on their home network.