The New Frontier of Custom Digital Service (1999)

By Patrick Harshman, PhD, Elisa Camahort, Steve Toteda, Harmonic Inc.

The growing subscriber demand for advanced digital services, such as video, internet access and telephony, creates a lucrative opportunity for both cable operators and other service providers. To effectively compete against broadcasters, DTH satellite operators and telcos with xDSL, MSOs must solve the two major issues facing them during a digital service rollout.

The first is efficiently using available system bandwidth to maximize service delivery options. The second is creating customized analog and digital services that can be targeted for specific customer demographics. Achieving bandwidth efficiency and customized service delivery capability is desirable from an operational perspective, providing flexibility and scalability. Equally significant is the improved ability to deliver the quality and quantity of content and service options that customers are coming to expect.

New technologies that enable content customization, digital rate adaption and the opportunistic bit stuffing of data into video streams allow cable operators to address both the bandwidth efficiency and custom service delivery objectives, opening the door to expanded revenue opportunities. The new abilities enabled by these technologies provide cable operators with a differentiable advantage as the broadband service marketplace becomes increasingly competitive with the entry of non-traditional service providers.

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