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Tandberg Takes Crypto To The Edge

Tandberg Television is adding support for privacy-mode encryption to its universal edge QAM platform, which promises cable operators a more efficient way to secure video-on-demand titles when individual subscribers request them.

The vendor’s EQ8096 universal edge QAM, which provides up to 96 channels in a two-rack-unit-high chassis, also supports the DVB common scrambling algorithm and simulcrypt.

“This lets operators provide a higher level of security for VOD,” said Brad Ferris, Tandberg vice president of business development for cable. He added that the alternatives to using privacy-mode encryption -- session-based encryption and bulk encryption -- are more expensive on a per-stream basis.

Ferris said privacy-mode encryption will be available in the thrid quarter as a software upgrade to the EQ8096.

Other platforms that support privacy-mode encryption include Arris Group’s D5 Universal Edge QAM and Harmonic’s Narrowcast Services Gateway.

Tandberg’s other key product that will be featured at the Cable Show is the RX8320 ATSC Broadcast Receiver, designed to help cable operators recreate analog signals from local TV stations after broadcasters shut off analog signals in February 2009.

The RX8320 passes through incoming digital signals, and can convert HD signals into analog NTSC for legacy analog subscribers. The unit can read and act on Active Format Description (AFD) data, and also processes ancillary metadata for closed captions, program rating and Nielsen AMOL into the outgoing analog stream.

Lisa Hobbs, Tandberg vice president of business development of satellite and broadcast, said demo units of the RX8320 are available now and that the product is scheduled to ship in July.

Other ATSC receiver vendors include KTech Telecommunications, Sencore and Wegner. Tandberg’s Hobbs claimed the RX8320 is unique in being able to automatically fail over to a digital over-the-air broadcast if the unit loses the signal over a fiber link.