Seamless, Scalable HDTV Roll-Outs Over Today’s Headends (2003)

By Sylvain Riviere, BigBand Networks, Inc

Offering HDTV programming is a necessity for cable operators competing with satellite and terrestrial broadcast television alternatives. However, digital cable faces several challenges in broadly replicating the HDTV services currently available via alternatives: • Maintenance of equal video quality, satisfactory to broadcasters, content creators and subscribers, while maintaining cable plant bandwidth efficiency • Compliance with carriage of data associated with programming according to the PSIP standard and openly accessible by consumer electronics devices • Responsiveness to programming changes by on-air broadcasters whose content is being mapped onto cable plant, such as when sudden shifts are made in use of bandwidth from an HDTV feed to several SDTV feeds This paper describes a comprehensive way to roll out full HDTV experiences in existing headends. It suggests channel line-up scenarios that achieve bandwidth efficiency with high quality content through advanced video bit rate adaptation techniques, effective multiplexing of PSIP data, and real-time intelligent responsiveness to broadcaster changes.

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