Switched Broadcast Cable Architecture Using Switched Narrowcast Network To Carry Broadcast Services (2003)

By Gil Katz, Harmonic Inc.

Bandwidth is a precious resource in any cable network. Today, Cable MSOs broadcast hundreds of digital channels over HFC networks to all cable subscribers. These channels occupy a sizable part of the plant RF spectrum, yet at any given moment, most channels remain unviewed. Significant RF spectrum can be reclaimed by switching “less popular” broadcast channels according to user demand.

A narrowcast switched video network for VOD services is already in place in many large cable systems today. This switched network provides digital video content to subscribers on demand, occupying bandwidth only when a title is requested and sent over the HFC.

This paper will discuss the existing switched narrowcast network architecture as a scalable, cost-effective, flexible and “switched broadcast ready" network.

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