Project Main Details
Switched Video Transport helps cable TV operators get ready for the new demands coming from customers.
Today, cable TV operators are faced with huge challenges. The higher bit rates required with arrival of HDTV and 3D TV calls for new technologies to distribute the TV streams. These have to be cost effective, and they have to be compatible with packet based transport.
This high capacity HDTV increases the capacity requirements in the network. Cable operators are adding on more edge QAMs to cope with the increased coding capacity required.
The DWDM network easily and cost efficiently fulfills the new capacity requirements.
But the distribution also needs to be solved. It can be done in several ways – either with routers or
with Transmode Switch Video Transport Solution, which is integrated into the transport equipment.
Internal Use Only
There is a difference between traffic flow and a service. In a point to point service, there is not much happening at all.
Unicast traffic that travels between A and B, of course, travels between A and B.
But, unicast traffic flow in a multipoint service still travels between A and B.
If there is traffic flow within the same service that goes from X to Y, it does that; there is nothing to prevent it.
In a broadcast traffic flow, broadcast traffic moves from the source to everybody else. Anyone is free to send a broadcast, and the traffic goes to all other leaves..
In a multicast flow, the traffic goes from source only to listeners. The traffic does not go to anyone that is not a listener. It’s called a multicast tree, and you can see that it is prudent. The traffic is only forwarded to the listeners or to parts that have listeners
The operator needs to distribute the traffic from the master head end to the edge QAMs, that are the beginning of the Hybrid Fiber Coax or HFC network. This has to be done without any traffic duplication and, of course with the 5 9’s of availability. The video traffic is IP multicast, and it’s forwarded as multicast traffic in the network.
There are two alternatives to deliver the video distribution - either to use IP routers or an enhanced transport network. IP routers are quite inefficient for transport. They are overly complex; they have backplanes; they are not optimized for this solution. IP routers also have somewhat uncontrolled delay (or latency) and delay variation (or jitter) in the traffic flow, and that’s not desirable for transport applications. IP routers require advanced configuration skills from the operators, especially if the service involves MPLS, which is notoriously known to be hard to configure and to operate. Finally, IP routers are also very expensive, especially high-end routers with service provider editions. Transmode’s Switched Video Transport solution, on the other hand, provides very efficient transport. It has very minimal delay (latency) and it has the impressive almost zero delay variation (jitter). There is no configuration at all required beyond turning the feature on, it is only the set up of one single VLAN service. And the solution is cost optimized, since it is already included in the transport equipment that would be required in addition to the routers with the router based solution.
When setting up the video distribution networks, it’s not enough for the network or the switches or the IP routers to have normal IP multicast groups. It must also be possible to indicate from which source the traffic should be taken.
The multicast, or group address , and the source address are required to identify traffic flow on the TV channel. Here, see the example from the operations manager from Motorola. The network or the switch must support what is called Source Specific Multicast. Not all switches and routers do this. Most often, this is a feature that is only found in high end switches and routers.
Transmode’s Switched Video Transport solution supports IGMP V3, which enables edge QAMs to say, “Hey, I want these channels, and I want them from that source.”
IGMP V3 supports the selection of source address in a stream.
The Transmode Switched Video Transport Solution also includes Source Specific Multicast support, which allows the network to forward only the joint traffic flows
and it has the right price point.
For today’s TV traffic, which is normally a couple of 100 Megabits, the transport network doesn’t necessarily need to be multicast to work. With only about 3 to 400 Megabits of traffic, it’s okay for all edge QAMs to get all the traffic. The edge QAMs simply ignore the traffic that they are not interested in.
With high definition TV, the traffic goes up to several gigabits of traffic. It’s not possible to forward a 7 gigabit traffic stream through only a gigabit Ethernet interface; it’s really, really hard. Now the transport network has to be multicast aware. What multicast aware means is that the transport network needs to listen to the IGMP sessions where the edge QAMs request or joins the channels, and only forward the relevant traffic to the edge QAMs.
Transmode Switched Video Transport is multicast aware. It supports the Source Specific Multicast which makes it possible for a service provider to have a real IGMP V3 implementation and to makes it easier with IP addressing and routing in the service provider network. Source Specific Multicast also increases robustness against address clashes and malicious use of multicast traffic. It’s also possible in the Switched Video Transport solution to have additional Ethernet services, and this could include local insertion of traffic or channels for the master head end, back channels from the edge QAMs; for example, to indicate what remote control buttons are pressed, etc to support services such as real time TV voting.
What we are showing here is that the Switched Video Transport Solutions enable the network to automatically accommodate an efficient HDTV distribution, without any need for expensive routers.
Switched Video Transport provides you with this cost efficient distribution, using Source Specific Multicast and supports full IGMP V3. It leverages your packet based network and totally eliminates the need for costly IP routers in your distribution stream. And, of course, it has the famous Transmode low latency and zero jitter and the best in class synchronization to support your services in the best possible ways.
The product that we use is the EMXP, the Ethernet Muxponder II family. They consist of the EMXP10, which has ten gigabit Ethernet ports and two 10Gig Ethernet ports, and is often found in the TM-102 chassis but could also be fitted in the other TM-Series chassis. The EMXP22 has a higher port density, with 22 Gigabit Ethernet ports and two 10Gig Ethernet ports and is very often used for aggregation. It can fit into the TM-301 or TM-3000 chassis. In these cases, with the additional edge QAM needed, it’s often the EMXP22 that is found in the hubs or head ends. The EMXP80 serves as the master head end or ring interconnect. It supports 8 x 10 gig services and can be used in a TM-301 or TM-3000 chassis.
In summary, Switched Video Transport provides these unique features in the transport networks, enabling cost efficient transport of HDTV transport, and it does it in the best possible way with ultra low latency and zero jitter.
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