DOCSIS Set-Top Gateway (DSG): Next Generation Digital Video Out-Of-Band Transport (2004)

By Sanjay Dhar, Cisco Systems, Inc

The cable industry has found a perfect weapon to create a sustainable competitive advantage against satellite operators and converge services over a common, standardsbased network. Offering value-added services such as on-demand video and gaming creates much needed differentiation that satellite technology cannot offer. Due to the success of its high-speed Internet business, cable operators have built the largest IP networks ever assembled using DOCSIS technology. The industry is looking to extend the power of their DOCSIS data networks to the digital video part of their business. The current video network is based on a costly, proprietary architecture that does not scale to efficiently or cost-effectively support high-bandwidth, interactive services. It is essential that cable operators evolve their digital video networks to a high-bandwidth converged architecture that leverages prior investments in HFC cable plants and enables the video side of operations to benefit from open standards. DOCSIS Set-Top Gateway (DSG) technology promises a major step towards a converged data, voice, video network. DSG enables standardization of set-top technology and offers the potential to reduce set-top box (STB) costs by half. While Korea leads in the adoption of this technology, major U.S. MSOs are examining the technology and making plans to deploy DSG later this year. This paper covers constraints of the traditional digital video network transport architecture and discusses benefits to migrate.

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