Cable best for IP-based video in Europe, Cable Europe Labs exec says

Cable Europe Labs Managing Director Peter Percosan believes cable operators will inevitably migrate to IP platforms and that as they do they will have an advantage over telcos trying to offer TV on non-FTTH networks.

"As a home's peak consumption grows towards 100 Mbps or higher, all flavors of telco IP connectivity will be insufficient. Even on the less extreme case, more and more TV viewing is HD. Even considering only one live TV stream, the Internet access product is severely impacted," he said during a Q&A with IP&TV News.

Percosan cited "many analysts" in determining that homes with multiple HD televisions, tablets, smartphones and PCs will have a "peak unicast usage" of 120 Mbps downstream.

Cable operators, he said, should be able to migrate their networks to handle this demand--and more--via a series of technologies including moving content into the cloud. The moves, he said, will not occur immediately.

"The cool thing about IP migration is that it will be done a little bit at a time... cable operators will reassign DVB-C channels currently dedicated to broadcast television to support new video (or other IP-based) products. This can be done with as little as one channel or as many as all channels."

IP itself will not be the competitive differentiator once you get past the non-FTTH telcos, he emphasized. Instead, "[w]hat wins the day will be great customer support, service reliability, relevant product bundles, close attention to consumer trends."

In other words, all the things that operators are now using to differentiate their services will migrate to IP as the technology moves in that direction.

Broken down into categories, Percosan suggested that service providers must provide "[g]reat Internet speeds to every device" as well as good product bundles and stay alert to new trends such as how consumers use their IP connections to a plethora of new devices.

"We need to continually innovate to support this trend," he said.

A trend Percosan called "less obvious" is the need to navigate and discover content and perhaps even to "embrace niche approaches" such as what Time Warner Cable is attempting in the United States.

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IP&TV News conducted this Q&A

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