Switched Unicast: It’s Not Just About Capacity (2006)

By Ran Oz

Switched unicast is a form of switched broadcast in which each subscriber receives a unique program stream. The benefits of switched unicast extend beyond reclaiming network capacity. This paper discusses the benefits of a switched unicast implementation, exploring issues such as addressable advertising, content personalization and transformation, along with other opportunities for overall enhancement of the subscriber’s viewing experiences. Additionally, cable operators can get precise viewership statistics without relying on TV audience rating firms, since intelligent switched unicast systems monitor and respond to all subscriber activity, and can store data about which programs subscribers are watching.

The paper also examines the role of switched unicast in enabling more open conditional access systems, expanding choices of set-top boxes and other subscriber devices, and driving innovations such as edge-based rate shaping and adoption of universal edge QAMs that further enhance bandwidth efficiencies.

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