BigBand gets personal with new system

BigBand Networks traditionally has been a strong presence among cable TV providers and cable-like providers such as Verizon Communications by selling these companies on the virtues of switched digital video. Today, the vendor announced a personalized media system and video-processing platform that furthers the SDV concept in the evolution toward personalized services for both IPTV providers and cable TV companies.

John Reister, chief architect at BigBand Networks, told FierceIPTV that the network-agnostic platform, called the MSP 2000, is aimed at enabling multiple personalized applications, and likely will be used initially to support targeted advertising applications. As actual service subscription prices are expected tp be driven down by increasing competition, targeted ads are considered a high-priority application for many TV service providers looking to realize more revenue.

The system, in either IPTV or cable TV QAM architecture, can be deployed between a headend or like-purposed gear and the access network, and it supports MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 H.264 SD and HD video. It also has 200 Gbps switching power.

Reister said, "There are other ways to do personalized services. You can try to do it in a set-top box, but you have costs issues, and the scale makes it prohibitive. You can do unicast, but again you have cost and scaling challenges, and enormous bandwidth implications. Putting it in a separate pizza box just creates another device that takes up more space. Moving it into a single network platform is the best way to make personalized services manageable by the carrier."

He said several carriers are testing the MSP 2000, though he did not identify them. Carriers such as AT&T have talked in the past about pursuing a higher degree of personalization in their IPTV services.

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