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SA to Take SDV Platform Into Motorola Shops

Scientific Atlanta is extending its switched digital video platform to support digital set-top boxes from its No. 1 competitor, Motorola.

Greg Hardy, vice president of business development for Scientific Atlanta’s transmission network systems group, said the Motorola solution is “in our labs now, and we’ll begin installing and shipping that late this year or early next year.”

Historically, both Motorola and Scientific Atlanta video headend and set-top solutions have been largely proprietary, providing tight integration among their own components.

The component of SA’s SDV solution that would communicate with Motorola set-tops is the Universal Session and Resource Manager. The USRM allows applications, including switched digital video and video-on-demand, to access the network; it then delivers the requested content to edge devices under its control.

The USRM “allows us to break out of the SA-only world, if you will,” Hardy said, by handling additional monitoring and provisioning capabilities that would normally be handled by SA's Digital Network Control System.

Switched digital video lets cable operators free up bandwidth (or deliver more programming in the same amount of bandwidth), by delivering less-frequently viewed channels only when subscribers tune to them.

Scientific Atlanta, a subsidiary of Cisco Systems, announced USRM in January and released the software as an upgrade to its SDV servers in June. 

Time Warner Cable, one of SA’s SDV customers, expects to roll out the solution in Motorola-based systems, Hardy said. The operator currently is deploying the vendor’s SDV platform in systems in Ohio and the Carolinas, among other locations.

Overall, SA’s switched digital video customers are in the process of deploying the technology in systems representing more than 7 million homes passed, according to Hardy.