Even in relatively easy economic times, it's incredibly difficult to predict what's coming next when it comes to the future of cable technology. And while it may be more fun to gaze into the crystal ball during a period of plenty, it's often a more fascinating process to do the same thing when budgets are tighter.BGR recently asked a variety of vendors that serve the cable industry what they foresee as the major challenges that the engineering community will need to tackle in 2010. The first installment of this article [CLICK HERE] offered an overview of the big issues that might keep engineers awake in the wee hours of the night throughout next year. In this second part, we delve into some the tools and techniques MSOs might use to take all those challenges on.
- Imagine Communications CTO Ron Gutman suggests that the impending business transition to a multi-platform, multi-device service offering will create a number of new opportunities and challenges for the cable engineer. Foremost on that list are protecting content distribution rights, reducing the permutations of the physical infrastructure while increasing the overall system flexibility and maintaining a uniformly high quality of experience (QoE) across the different viewing platforms for both stored and live content. To successfully support the new distribution paradigm, operations teams will look to reduce the number of physical permutations, while simultaneously providing a flexible platform for a scalable services architecture.
Gutman continues that in the legacy paradigm, bit rate served as a crude but not useless tool for monitoring quality. In the new multi-device, multi-network paradigm, video quality is important, but is augmented with on-line expectation for content accessibility and stream continuity, especially as it pertains to live video events. "Further, screen sizes and display types will have profound implications for bit rate, undermining its relevance as a quality-metric. As we move through 2010, engineers will need to expand their service quality definitions to include a broader understanding of QoE, Gutman concludes.
Laura Hamilton is editor-in-chief at BGR. Email her at [email protected].