November 13, 2008

CableLabs(R) Issues Modular Headend Architecture Specifications for Converged Video and Broadband

CableLabs(R) announced today that it has released a family of specifications that defines a common set of interfaces for converged video and broadband services in a modular cable network headend. The Modular Headend Architecture (MHA) specifications include the existing DOCSIS(R) Modular CMTS specifications as well as a series of new specifications that define interfaces for narrowcast MPEG digital video services such as video-on-demand (VOD) and switched-digital-video (SDV).

The new digital video specifications result from an effort conducted at CableLabs, involving headend equipment manufacturers and cable operators. The specifications provide a point of harmonization between the Time Warner Cable-led Interactive Services Architecture (ISA) and the Comcast-led Next Generation on Demand (NGOD) architecture, which are used throughout the industry.

"This is important because for the first time we have an interoperable set of specifications that will lead to integrated equipment from multiple suppliers for delivery of advanced video and data services," said Tony Werner, Comcast CTO. Added Mike LaJoie, Time Warner Cable CTO: "Once again our industry's suppliers have worked with us through CableLabs to achieve a common approach which benefits the whole industry and our suppliers."

The MHA suite includes multiple specifications and an architecture overview technical report. The new specifications define MPEG video processing functionality for VOD and SDV Edge Quadrature Amplitude Modulators (EQAMs), as well as an interoperable resource management and video session setup protocol and an interoperable EQAM provisioning and configuration mechanism. With the addition of these new specifications, the MHA suite provides a common industry-wide approach for Universal EQAMs, as well as for Video EQAMs and M-CMTS EQAMs.

Cable operators, organizations, and vendor companies contributing to these specifications include: Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Rogers Communications, Shaw Communications, Cable Europe Labs, ETRI, ARRIS, BigBand Networks, Broadcom, Camiant, Cisco Systems, Harmonic, LiquidxStream Systems, Motorola, RGB Networks, and Vecima Networks.

Founded in 1988 by members of the cable television industry, Cable Television Laboratories is a non-profit research and development consortium that is dedicated to pursuing new cable telecommunications technologies and to helping its cable operator members integrate those advancements into their business objectives. Cable operators from around the world are members. CableLabs maintains web sites at;;;; and

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