BigBand Debuts Personalized TV Platform

BigBand Networks is gearing up for a day when pay-TV operators deliver a unique video stream to each subscriber, with the launch this week of a video-processing platform aimed at both telco and cable providers.

The vendor’s Media Services Platform MSP2000 uses off-the-shelf hardware components to deliver personalized video services, such as dynamic ad insertion, customized interactive program guides and fast channel change for switched video.

BigBand chief operating officer David Heard said several telcos and cable companies are testing out the MSP2000, which he said was built closely to customer specifications.

“Moving personalization into a single platform is the only way you can make this scale,” Heard said, arguing that special-purpose headend gear or set-top-based approaches are more difficult to manage.

The BigBand MSP2000—with 200 Gigabits per second of switching capacity per chassis—supports MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 H.264 video, in standard- and high-definition formats. The system would sit between headend video encoders and the access network, which can be either IP or QAM devices.

BigBand designed the product for both IPTV and cable operators because when the company surveyed both types of providers it found 95% of the personalized-video features they wanted were common, according to Heard.

BigBand expects IPTV providers to be the first to commercially deploy the platform, Heard said, with applications including fast channel change, signal retransmission and video-quality monitoring.

Cable operators, according to Heard, initially are looking to use the MSP2000 to deliver advanced advertising features, such as splicing different ads into a linear TV stream based on viewer demographic information or other data.

BigBand did not disclose specific pricing. Heard said the MSP2000 would carry a baseline price, plus usage-based fees for applications that run on the platform.

Current BigBand customers include Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Verizon Communications, Cablevision Systems and Los Angeles-based cable interconnect Adlink.