Cable Show 2010: Arris Tees Up IP Gateway For Video

Arris Group is showing off a preproduction version of its IP home gateway for cable operators -- which the company expects to ship later in 2010 -- here at the Cable Show.

The demonstration unit includes six MPEG-2 tuners, a DOCSIS 3.0 modem with eight channels down (for up to 320 Mbps) and four up (for up to 120 Mbps); and a 500-Gigabyte hard drive for DVR recordings and personal media storage. The device is designed to distribute video to relatively inexpensive IPTV set-tops elsewhere in the home.

The Arris gateway can dramatically reduce the cost of the components in the home, since full-blown digital cable set-tops and DVRs aren't required on every TV, said Stan Brovont, Arris's senior vice president of marketing and business development.

"We're convinced the time is right for the industry to move to IP video," Brovont said. "They're the same technical and economic forces that moved us to do voice over IP."

At least 10 service providers from around the world are actively interested in the Arris IP gateway, according to Brovont, who declined to name them.

Arris touted its ability to provide an "end-to-end" IP video solution that includes the IP gateway; the C4 cable-modem termination system; the EGT VIPr video transcoding platform; the ServAssure network monitoring system; and other components.

A panel of cable operator CTOs on Tuesday discussed their approaches to delivering IP video, unanimously agreeing that cable will be delivering IPTV soon.

The Arris IP gateway prototype, which doesn't have an official product name yet, also includes two voice jacks, support for Multimedia over Coax Alliance for home networking, four Gigabit Ethernet ports, and an eSATA port. The unit supports DLNA and DTCP-IP standards for multiroom DVR, content security and media sharing.

Brovont noted that the gateway will be part of a whole family that provide different options, such as Wi-Fi networking.

The demo on the show floor includes Digeo's Moxi guide, designed for 16-by-9 HD displays and with support for Adobe Flash. Most of "the guts" of the gateway are based on Digeo's DVR set-top design. Arris acquired Paul Allen's Diego last year for $20 million.

However, Arris will accommodate customer requests to use a different guide software on the gateway, Brovont said. "MSOs can customize and rebrand the Moxi guide, or they can use a different guide," he said.