BigBand Networks, a provider of broadband multimedia platform solutions for broadcast television and on-demand services, and Pioneer Digital Technologies, a creator of interactive navigation software for digital cable TV set-top boxes, have announced the completion of the joint development of an end-to-end switched broadcast system.
The system brings together service management, switching and media processing of live video content on the BigBand BMR (Broadband Multimedia-Service Router) and client access through Pioneer’s Passport DCT interactive navigation software platform.
The combined offering enables cable operators with systems based on the Passport DCT system to provide live programs in dynamic response to subscriber viewing, so that only those programs being watched consume bandwidth and resources. This significantly improves cable plant efficiency to support expansion of broadcast programming and advanced services such as VOD and HDTV.
For the new system, Passport DCT has been modified at its core to manage dynamic broadcast video switching seamlessly. Passport DCT will notify the BigBand Switched Broadcast Manager in the cable headend when a switched program is requested. The server system identifies whether an existing transmission of the requested program in the subscriber’s area can be joined. If not, it instructs the BigBand BMR to switch the program to an available frequency and signals Passport DCT to tune to that frequency. When subscribers stop viewing the program, that frequency becomes available for other content.