Product News: February 4th, 2009

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Editor’s note: We’re always looking to improve the BGR reader experience, so we’d appreciate your candid opinions about what we’re doing right, and what you think we need to pay more attention to. Tell us what you think by participating in our short reader survey.

BigBand Double-Density BEQ6200 8:1 QAM Now Available



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BigBand Networks ( www.bigbandnet.com) announced commercial availability of its double density BEQ6200 8:1 QAM, which the vendor says gives ops twice the capacity to address the growing bandwidth demands at the edge of the network where rack space is at premium.

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“We’re at a tipping point in terms of bandwidth congestion at the network edge. As new applications such as high definition content, niche programming and time-shifted TV come online, congestion at the edge of the network demands denser and more cost efficient QAM platforms,” David W. Heard, COO at BigBand, says. “With our continued investment in QAM technology, we can now offer service providers the density they need paired with the manageability and lower cost of ownership.”

The BEQ6200 is BigBand’s fourth generation 1.5 RU edge QAM and increases density to 96 QAMS per chassis. It features 8:1 up-conversion and is directly stackable for improved hub operational efficiency. The BEQ6200 operates with BigBand’s VMS 4.3 to support configuration and management.

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Jones/NCTI Launches Broadband Opportunity Learning Development Program



Jones NctiJones/NCTI( www.jonesncti.com) recently launched its Broadband Opportunity Learning Development (BOLD) Program, which is designed to provide underserved and displaced workers, as well as at-risk inner city students, with workforce job training that will allow for entry into career opportunities in cable and broadband.



In launching the BOLD program at Montbello High School in Denver, Jones/NCTI is partnering with The Urban League of Metropolitan Denver, Hope Online Learning Academy Co-Op (Hope Online) and TUFF SHED.

Beginning this year, selected students from Montbello will begin taking the Jones/NCTI Installer Qualification (IQ) Program, the same industry-recognized online course used by major cable operators and independent contractor agencies nationwide. Upon completion of each online course, the student will undergo a hands-on assessment using the BOLD Program’s official Hands on Training (HOT) House, a scaled version of a typical residence, provided by TUFF SHED. The HOT House provides students with the hands-on training needed to perform broadband installations in a true residential setting. An industry “tool kit’’ has been provided by ARRIS at a reduced rate.

Upon completion of the program, the student is awarded industry recognized certification and college credit. The opportunity for job placement will be determined by the hiring company and community leaders through the outreach and job placement programs provided by Hope Online and The Urban League of Metropolitan Denver.

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SeaChange to Display Set-Top, Mobile Phone and PC Video Place-Shifting at CableLabs Conference



SeachangeAt the CableLabs ( www.cablelabs.com) Winter Conference in Denver next week, SeaChange International ( www.seachangeinternational.com) will demonstrate how cable operators can create seamless subscriber experiences across televisions, broadband-connected PCs and smartphones including Apple’s iPhone. The company will demonstrate its Intelligent Video Platform as part of the Innovation Showcase kickoff and during the main conference. The Intelligent Video Platform is the open SeaChange Axiom on Demand-based software solution for seamless place-shifting across any consumer video device.

SeaChange’s Winter Conference representation will include VividLogic Inc., the recent SeaChange acquisition whose in-home products include tru2way and Multimedia Home Platform (MHP) software solutions for TV operators and manufacturers of set-tops and consumer electronics.

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SCTE Launches Major New Green Initiative



Scte SemiSCTE ( www.scte.org) announced a new initiative designed to help cable operators to leverage the financial and environmental advantages of implementing “green” strategies. The Smart Energy Management Initiative (SEMI) is intended to drive the creation of meaningful solutions for more efficient operations and economic benefit, as well as positive community impact. SCTE has targeted several key areas, including Energy Management processes and products that can reduce current operational costs; Renewable Energy technologies that can benefit operators with ROIs of three-to-seven years; and Recycling and Recovery techniques that can minimize the disposal effects of outdated equipment.

The initial agenda for 2010 and beyond includes multiple forums to raise awareness of developing solutions and how they apply to cable operations; an intensive research and thought leadership program; expanded panels and exhibit platforms at Cable-Tec Expo and other SCTE events; development of best practices in the area of energy management; and practical technology demonstrations.

SCTE will host the first of several 2010 SEMI events in March at the Comcast Center in Philadelphia. The agenda is expected to include a variety of topics, such as development of a process for calculating baseline energy usage; updates on alternative heating and cooling solutions; and approaches to reduce outside plant powering costs and consumption. An inaugural forum in December 2009 addressed facility powering issues and the industrywide need for, and benefits of, comprehensive energy management plans.

The Society established an e-mail address – energy@scte.org – specifically for SEMI program inquiries and input, and plans to create additional vehicles for the collection and communication of information. SCTE anticipates that the collaboration will result in case studies, demonstration projects and standards-based solutions that will positively impact the bottom lines and public images of cable system operators.

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Incognito to Demo IPv6 Management Capabilities at CableLabs Confab



IncognitoIncognito Software ( www.incognito.com) announced the addition of CALEA reporting to its Address Commander software. A live demonstration of this capability, along with IPv6 planning and management capabilities, will be held at the CableLabs (www.cablelabs.com) Winter Conference 2010 in Denver next week.

Address Commander, Incognito’s carrier-grade IP address management software, supports the planning, management and reporting of IPv4 and IPv6 dual stack network resources, and now also supports CALEA reporting for law enforcement compliance. Address Commander can also be integrated with DHCP solutions enabling it to automatically capture DHCP scope configurations of regional deployments and detect problematic DHCP configurations.

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SageQuest Unveils Mobile Control’s New Control Center



SagequestSageQuest ( www.sage-quest.com) announced an addition to its Mobile Control GPS vehicle tracking solution with the release of Control Center, which provides proactive analysis of vehicle activity.

Using GPS vehicle activity data, Control Center calculates a variety of performance metrics for all drivers, vehicles and even divisions within a fleet. Individual performance is ranked against company defined benchmarks. These rankings visually highlight specific opportunities to improve performance regardless of whether they are captured by exception reporting. With a single click, customers can drill down to view driver scorecards or detailed activity reports. This drill-down supports managers' and executives' need to quickly identify the specific factors driving best practices or bad performance.

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Cisco Teams with itaas for Enhancements to SARA EPG



Itaasitaas, Inc. ( www.itaas.com) announced an agreement that designates itaas as the source for ongoing enhancements and support for the existing Scientific-Atlanta Resident Application (SARA) viewing guide for Cisco’s ( www.cisco.com) Explorer set-top platform. itaas will provide feature updates and product enhancements desired by Cisco as well as those requested directly to itaas by MSOs.

Feature updates to the SARA guide will be guided by the Cisco product teams and software releases will still undergo System Verification and Testing (SVT) in the Cisco labs prior to release. This stringent testing process will also be required for enhancements to the guide that are developed by itaas at the direct request of MSOs.

Aurora Snags ISO 9001:2008 Certification



AuroraAurora Networks ( www.auroa.com) recently received ISO 9001:2008 Certification. The ISO 9001:2008 standard outlines requirements and provides guidance on good quality management systems for businesses and other organizations. Companies that achieve ISO 9001:2008 certification have demonstrated to independent auditors that their quality management system consistently provides products and services that meet customer needs.

For more info on the ISO Management Standards, visit www.iso.org/iso/management_standards.htm.

Artel Video Systems ( www.artel.com), in cooperation with Media Links Inc., completed an interoperability test between DL4000 and MD8000 video transport platforms. The test included operation between Artel’s DLC300, DLC170AD, DLC170DA and DLC270 modules and Media Links’ MD8000-VIF. In addition to SD-SDI, DVB-ASI, HD-SDI, and ATSC, the DL4000 enables the transport of composite NTSC or PAL analog video over Media Links IP and SONET networks.

Vecima Networks ( www.vecima.com) signed a multi-year worldwide supply agreement with a major networking company to private label and exclusively sell a platform providing secure HD video. Vecima will retain the rights to sell the platform directly to a single leading U.S. MSO. The new cable network product is designed to provide cable operators with technology delivering HD digital video streams in a secure format connecting directly to newer flat panel TVs, eliminating the need for an additional digital set-top.

EchoStar Satellite Services(www.echostar.com) announced that Mega Hertz ( www.go2mhz.com) joined the ViP-TV Reseller Program. As a reseller, Mega Hertz will market the ViP-TV transport solution to cable systems and telcos seeking an IPTV solution for popular video and audio channels, including high definition.

Ixia ( www.ixiacom.com) made available what it says is the world's first solution for HDMI Ethernet Channel networking test. By combining Ixia's IxN2X traffic generator and Agilent's ( www.agilent.com) HDMI Ethernet Channel (HEC) and Audio Return Channel (ARC) physical layer test solution, the two companies become the first to offer a complete solution for testing devices according to the HDMI 1.4 Compliance Test Specification (CTS), Supplement 2.
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