Internet Photonics Tweaks GigE Product Line

New video-multiplexing and conversion gateways from Internet Photonics Inc. are designed to provide cable operators with cost-effective means to extend their legacy infrastructure to provide video-on-demand, according to the vendor.

"Some MSOs have extensive ASI (asynchronous series interface) networks in place, and they need a more graceful migration path," said vice president of marketing Gary Southwell. "These solutions actually save money in VOD deployments because they don't have to make changes in their existing infrastructure."

IP has collaborated with Path 1 Network Technologies Inc. to develop three new pieces of equipment — a LightStack GE Gateway for both QAM (quadrature amplitude modulation) and server devices, and a LightStack ASI [asynchronous server interface] Bridge. The new devices are designed to provide links between currently deployed Digital Broadcast Video-Asynchronous Serial Interface units and Gigabit Ethernet (GigE).

The gateways can be installed at distribution hubs, to convert GigE channels to ASI streams, or at the headend, where operators can use existing VOD servers with ASI interfaces while integrating with newer GigE QAMs in the distribution hub.

Operators can multiplex over 230 IP-encapsulated MPEG-2 (Moving Pictures Expert Group) video streams received by the GigE interface into MPEG streams transmitted over ASI interfaces.

They can also deploy Internet Photonics' dense wave-division multiplexing platforms to multiplex up to eight GigE "Virtual Fibers" over a single 10-gigabit wavelength.

And systems can use the gear's unique "SONET (Synchronous Optical Network) Wraparound" capabilities to create bandwidth and deliver VOD traffic alongside existing SONET or synchronous digital hierarchy traffic without disruption, he said. All three devices come with 6 ASI ports and a single GigE port.

Southwell said IP will conduct field tests of equipment in November, with a general release scheduled for December.

Plenty of operators with aggressive VOD launches on tap have legacy DVB-ASI equipment, including Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications Inc. Southwell said one MSO also is looking at using the new equipment to map broadcast traffic onto the VOD network.