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Entropic Demo Sets Aside Bandwidth For Video Streams

Entropic Communications is staging a demo at the CableLabs Summer Conference 2009 of a technology that could let cable operators guarantee that sufficient bandwidth is available to deliver high-definition IP video streams to devices inside a subscriber's home.

"As the industry moves toward converged services allowing for the sharing of personal and premium content on the same network, the need for a reservation-based quality of service manager becomes a critical component to guaranteeing content delivery," Entropic vice president of technology Anton Monk said in a statement.

The demo takes advantage of a new capability of Universal Plug and Play (UPnP), an international standard for device interoperability on IP networks. The UPnP QoS 3.0 specification defines a framework for policy-based, parameterized quality of service, allowing a service provider to manage bandwidth allocated for different devices within the home.

The new CableLabs Reserved Service Domain (RSD) specification, part of the OpenCable Home Networking Extensions (OCHN) specification, includes support for UPnP QoS 3.0 and the parameterized QoS capability offered by MoCA 1.1.

The demo showcases Entropic's EN2510 single-chip, coaxial network controller and RF transceiver, as well as Intel's Media Processor CE 3100 system-on-a-chip.

The demo comprises three PCs configured with the Entropic MoCA 1.1 solution and a UPnP QoS 3.0 stack built by Belgium's Ghent University-IBBT -- one serving HD content to two video clients. An additional PC with a MoCA 1.1 bridge is used to simulate additional network traffic.

In addition to the bandwidth-reservation features, Entropic will show network contention-resolution features, to handle what happens if sufficient bandwidth isn't available for a new stream. Users will be presented with a list of contending streams, along with their relative importance, to let resolve contention. Alternatively, a cable operator could have established specific policies to rank video streams in order of importance, and revoke the one with lowest relative importance to free up congestion.

The CableLabs Summer Conference 2009 is taking place Aug. 9-12 in Keystone, Colo.

Separately, Broadcom on Monday announced that its home-networking reference design platform has received MoCA 1.1 certification.