Charter Communications, Inc., in partnership with CableLabs, CommScope, Comcast, NCTA and SCTE•ISBE, today showcased a holographic streaming demonstration at the virtually held SCTE•ISBE 2020 Cable-Tec Expo, displaying how cable’s 10G-capable, high-bandwidth, low-latency networks can utilize multi-gig symmetrical speeds to deliver the technologies of tomorrow.
Powered by a hybrid fiber-coax (HFC) network and the latest DOCSIS specifications, the two-part demonstration showed a vision of the future workplace and home user experience.
“The future of work and home are quickly evolving and cable’s 10G-capable network is the ideal environment for innovating these network-powered experiences,” said Andrew Ip, Charter’s Senior Vice President of Emerging Technology and Innovation. “This first-of-its-kind demonstration gives a glimpse at how a powerful network can enhance the ways we work and live. As new technological advancements continue to emerge, our networks are capable of delivering whatever is yet to come.”
To perform the demonstration, the latest in ray-tracing tools and light field capture technology were used to create holographic content. Charter collaborated with San Francisco-based Visby, which conducted one of the first commercial light field shoots by using an array of 100 cameras sampling at 250 Gbps to produce 8,000 minutes of raw video footage.
The entire experience is based on next-generation cable architecture, combining a Charter-developed advanced edge compute cluster with a CommScope-provided 10G-capable HFC network, including home wireless delivery with the latest Wi-Fi 6E connection. The holographic experience was transmitted over an end-to-end multi-gigabit network, operating at single-digit millisecond latency.
Additionally, the Charter team developed software to manage the two-way, low-latency connection and deliver holographic data downstream that altered with gesture input from the user sent upstream. This 8K holographic content was presented on Looking Glass Factory’s latest light field display. The result is a real-time, interactive, 3D experience, transmitted over a cable network to a holographic display that delivers the highest resolution on the market, without the need for specialized glasses.
“10G was first announced at Cable-Tec Expo just two years ago, and today we were proud to open Expo with an innovative demonstration of the power of 10G,” said Chris Bastian, SCTE•ISBE’s Senior Vice President, Engineering & Chief Technology Officer.
Bastian added, “Collaboration across the cable ecosystem and with tech startups made today’s demonstration a reality and will be essential as we move this technology from demonstration to scaled, production-ready deployments. Just as the industry has done with other technologies, we now need to specify, standardize, and operationalize this service to bring the promise of light fields to cable customers.”