News Release

Cisco Introduces Video Gateways for Cable Operators' Video- on-Demand Services

New Video QAM Gateways will simplify the challenges that cable operators encounter when introducing and scaling new digital video services
Jan 13, 2004

SAN JOSE, Calif., January 13, 2004 - Cisco Systems, Inc. today announced the digital video quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) product series, as part of the next phase of the Cisco Next Generation Digital Video Network strategy, specifically designed to help cable operators deliver new video-on-demand (VoD) services. The product series will help cable operators lower VoD costs by more fully utilizing the power in their networks, minimizing expenses and offering greater platform flexibility and choice when deploying VoD services.

The new product series consists of the standalone Cisco® uMG9820 QAM Gateway and the Cisco uMG9850 QAM Module, which both serve as IP-to-MPEG-2 gateways between a Gigabit Ethernet transport network and a hybrid fiber-coaxial (HFC) cable network. The uMG9820 is a smaller, QAM-only platform optimized for smaller deployments, and the uMG9850 inserts into a larger, more scalable chassis optimized for larger deployments or mixed switching-and-QAM architectures.

"Cisco is bringing into play its considerable Gigabit Ethernet expertise and leadership to optimize architectures for VOD services," says Yvette Gordon- Kanouff, corporate vice president of strategic planning for Seachange. "With the introduction of the new QAM product series, cable operators will further benefit from the combined power of Gigabit Ethernet solutions along with a commitment to drive better performance and lower operational costs from vendors like Cisco and Seachange."

The new solutions allow for up to 240 standard-definition video streams per device, fully utilizing the capacity of a Gigabit Ethernet link. Realizing maximum efficiency from their Gigabit Ethernet connections means that cable operators will no longer need to daisy-chain less-efficient QAM devices together in order to take advantage of the full capacity of a Gigabit Ethernet link. This, in turn, eliminates the single points of failure associated with the QAM links in the chain and reduces the amount of QAM devices that need to be purchased and managed.

"These products have been fully certified for use in nCUBE VoD network deployments, and the combined power of Gigabit Ethernet solutions from both companies offers cable operators a system that is scalable, reliable, automatic, integrated, and extensible," said Joe Matarese, chief technical officer, nCUBE Corp. "In particular, the uMG9820 offers exceptional QAM density while the uMG9850 provides impressive configuration flexibility and greatly enhanced ease of operation."

The uMG9850 Module is designed for the Cisco Catalyst® 4500 Series. The chassis integrates QAM functionality with switching and pluggable optics into one system, enabling a cable operators' digital video network to operate more efficiently. The modularity of the Cisco Catalyst 4506 and Catalyst 4507R switches will support up to five Cisco uMG9850 QAM modules for a maximum of 120 QAM channels, allowing a cable operator to process up to 1200 digital video streams in one device.

The modular, standalone design of the Cisco uMG9820 QAM Gateway is hardware-configurable, allowing customers to incrementally add QAM cards to increase the density to a maximum of 24 QAM channels in a one-rack-unit (1RU) chassis. This building-block approach simplifies capacity planning and facilitates the expansion of additional QAM channels as VoD service grows. Now, cable operators will only need to purchase QAM modules as spares, rather than having to purchase an entire fixed-configuration system up front.


Both Cisco QAM solutions can be ordered immediately and will begin shipping in February 2004.