Net Insight Seeks Stateside Channels

Net Insight, which provides transport gear to European and U.S. cable and broadcast networks, is venturing into the broadband space, pitching cable operators and telcos on a next-generation synchronous digital hierarchy (SDH) synchronous optical networking platform that focuses on channelization rather than packetization.

Using Ethernet multicast, NetInsight’s platform allows hundreds of TV channels to be encoded as Moving Picture Experts Group files and distributed via Internet protocol across broadband networks with full content protection, the company said.

“Our focus is on the transport end,” senior vice president Steven East said.

The company has several telco video deployments, in which the phone companies are using NetInsight switches to send video signals from a central office to gateway devices, East said.

Cable operators can use the same basic technology to deliver video on demand and other programming services.

NetInsight believes it can cost efficiently provide broadband operators with hardware and software, with 100% quality of service. Its switches are priced from $50,000 to $60,000, while its remote devices sell for between $8,000 and $10,000, East said.

The company’s Nimbra platform ensures that traffic traveling along one channel doesn’t interfere with traffic on a different channel, as could happen in a packet network, East said. Packet-based networks also require large software management tools, complicating transport of large amounts of video.

The video channels Nimbra delivers, either through unicast or multicast, automatically find their path through the network during provisioning, said East. Only the end points need to be identified.

An in-band signaling protocol based on Generalized Multiprotocol Label Switching (GMPLS) features handles set-up throughout the network.

NetInsight’s technology is in use by ABC, CBS, MSNBC and the European Broadcast Union, to name a few companies, for backhaul feeds between locations. The EBU, for instance, used NetInsight technology to send video from the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York to its European broadcast outlets.

NetInsight is pushing a “channelization” view of the world, instead of cable’s “packetized” leanings, although the company shares cable’s vision for Gigabit Ethernet and dense wave-division multiplexing.

With dynamic transfer mode technology, “you get channelized voice and video,” East said. “You get quality of services and guarantees at the transport layer. Our QOS is as good as anybody’s.”