Published: 13.00 Europe/London, June 8, 2011

Belgacom TV has introduced a new technology enabling almost instantaneous channel switching while improving the image quality of its digital TV service. The technology was provided by Cisco and integrated by Nokia Siemens Networks.

“The main highlight of this deployment is that it’s a world first for a network-friendly implementation of the technology,” said Brook Longdon, head of media and entertainment at Nokia Siemens Networks. “It takes into account the fact that broadband access networks don’t have unlimited bandwidth for fast channel change services. Our technology addresses this constraint allowing Belgacom to use precious bandwidth to broadcast more content.”

Belgacom’s digital TV service offered distinctly superior image quality compared to analogue, but the digital TV’s channel change speed was slow. In addition to improving the channel switching speed of the digital TV system, Belgacom wanted to resolve occasional picture distortion caused by poor quality cabling at its subscribers’ premises. Nokia Siemens Networks’ solution, based on Cisco VQE technology, enables faster channel switching and eliminates picture distortion, using only little backbone bandwidth.

“Enhancing customer satisfaction and operational efficiency lie at the heart of Cisco’s technology for optimizing medianets,” said Everth Flores, director, service provider video operations for Cisco Europe. “We are pleased that Cisco’s Visual Quality Experience technology, together with the client-based fast channel change, found in our set-top box, has enabled Belgacom to significantly reduce channel change time of its digital TV system, improve video delivery quality and increase customer satisfaction.”

Under the contract, Nokia Siemens Networks has implemented an intelligent resource control mechanism within its media delivery platform. This platform, when overlaid on Cisco VQE technology, adapts the fast channel change service to work within the available bandwidth at each end-user device, thereby protecting other services on the same connection.

In addition, Nokia Siemens Networks’ media delivery platform – Ubiquity Multiscreen TV Platform – is used to control and manage fast channel change and packet-loss repair services, and remotely deploy it across set-top boxes being used by subscribers.