June 21, 2007 RGB Networks is showing a very efficient new Dynamic Bandwidth Manager (DBM) at Cable-Tec Expo which enables cable television operators to deliver up to 50 percent more video-on-demand (VOD) programming without increasing bandwidth or impacting picture quality.
In the company demonstration, attendees at the show are seeing side-by-side comparisons showing unmodified, standard definition (SD) and high definition (HD) VOD programs next to SD and HD VOD programs that have been ‘bandwidth optimized’ by the DBM with no discernable change in picture quality.
The DBM reduces the bandwidth requirements of VOD programs by processing them in real-time from the constant bit rate (CBR) they are typically delivered in, converting them to a variable bit rate (VBR), which frees considerable bandwidth. The demonstration shows an SD program that has been processed sufficiently to fit 15 VBR VOD programs into a 6 MHz 256-QAM channel, compared to the 10 CBR programs carried in most SD VOD deployments. The demonstration will also show a substantial bandwidth savings for HD, enabling operators to deliver three HD VOD programs per channel, compared to the two programs typically delivered.
“We specifically designed our Dynamic Bandwidth Manager to achieve significant VOD bandwidth savings while simultaneously preserving optimal picture quality and ensuring that subscribers experience no noticeable differences when using VOD’s fast forward, rewind and pause ‘trickplay’ features,” said Kerry Washington, RGB’s Technical Marketing Manager responsible for the DBM. “Our Cable-Tec demonstrations show that the DBM can meet operators’ goals of delivering more VOD programming without resorting to node splits and other costly methods for increasing bandwidth and without affecting the end-user experience.”
Complementing its bandwidth optimizing capabilities, the DBM is exceptionally easy to deploy as it processes VOD programs in real-time, eliminating the need for complicated pre-processing of the programs and any complex integration with VOD servers. Operators simply ‘plug’ the DBM into existing VOD deployments as it is compatible with all the major components of an end-to-end VOD system, including VOD servers, resource managers and quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) modulators. The DBM can also encrypt each VOD program as it is processed, making it dramatically easier for operators to continually add new programming to their VOD line-ups compared to solutions which require extensive pre-processing of the content.
Another advantage of the DBM’s real-time processing is that it can also be used in switched digital video (SDV) architectures, unlike pre-processing and non-real-time based solutions which cannot work with live broadcast programs.