Cable is looking at 3D

Chris Forrester

Rapid TV News’ latest Round Table examined cable’s challenges and opportunities, and learnt that many cable operators are investigating new services, especially to exploit cable’s wide bandwidth to deliver 3D television to users. Box-supplier ADB, for example, said 3D was now very much on cable’s radar.

“Our customers are looking for different types of products,” said Alexandre Boyen, Director, Technical Marketing at ADB’s, Cable Business Unit. “Some basically [look to] increase ARPU on one side and some others are looking into stabilizing the subscriber base, so typically we have a product that has solutions that focus more on one or the other, but you always have to have in mind what benefits you bring with your product that really respond to those requirements.”

Boyen said that ADB is already deploying HD-enabled boxes to clients. “We might now see things like 3D video. Once you've tried watching 3D video it's really an amazing experience, you're really in there, and I think this will apply for programming like sport, and other live events, and there's certainly a substantial number of customers who would pay for this kind of service. “

Cornel Ciocirlan, Director, Systems Engineering, Arris, and another participant in the Round Table, said his clients were very much focusing on growing bandwidth. “Cable in the 21st Century is about to experience a major rework. What we are being asked for is to be able to provide maybe a ten times increase in bandwidth that will be needed in the next few years, and that goes from all levels of the network. It starts with the set top box, it starts with the CPE, that maybe we'll need some DOCSIS 3.0. I'm not saying that's [all] needed today, but certainly in the next three or four years. There's a major technology push that will happen and DOCSIS 3.0 is just one part of it, but I think we're doing some estimates that the average bandwidth per subscriber will go from 90 kilobits per second today to 1.5 megabits in 2015, and if you average that over the size of the nodes in cable that is a tremendous amount of bandwidth that you have to deliver.”