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Prequalifying Your Infrastructure for IPTV
by: Don McCarty
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OSP Magazine OCTOBER 2006
Up until 10 years ago, our service providers went their own separate ways. Dial tone was delivered by the telcos who also provided bandwidth over their high capacity circuits, such as T1 over paired copper conductors. Television was delivered over coaxial cables that delivered analog RF television.
Over the last 10 years, the growth of satellite service, the growth of digital cable, and the beginning of HDTV have all left their signatures on the television outlook. Today, a new delivery technique threatens the TV delivery: Internet Protocol Television (IPTV), and it is rapidly becoming the delivery medium of choice. The traditional ILEC communications industry is now in competition with the cable and satellite providers.
The long-established paired copper conductor distribution plant that is now being used by telcos to deliver Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) and Internet in the form of ADSL will deliver IPTV.
The set-top box that experienced a stumble is making resurgence in IPTV systems. According to a recent market research report from S2 Data Corporation, more than 66.7 million Advanced Home Networking ports will ship with IPTV Customer Premises Equipment in 2010(1). Advanced Home Networking ports are defined by S2 Data Corporation as both wireless networking and wired technologies transmitting over coaxial, power line and phone line wiring. S2 Data predicts that more than 41 million IPTV CPE units (IP STB, ONT/iNID, and Residential Gateways) will ship in 2010 with Advanced Home Networking technologies.
In order to provide quality IPTV, a minimum of 25 megabits will have to be available at the side of the house to provide service to 3 standard set-top boxes and 1 HDTV box, plus acceptable Internet bandwidth.
Some telcos have made the decision to provide bandwidth using fiber-to-the-home (FTTH), and I feel that this is the right business plan for new subdivisions that have no other transport vehicles, such as cable or paired copper conductors. In older subdivisions IPTV service is provided over paired copper conductors using a fiber-fed Video Ready Access Device (VRAD) at the cross-connect box fiber to the network (FTTN) and providing the 20+ megabits to the Network Interface. Therefore, in order to benefit from the huge copper subscriber base, it's critical that the telcos maintain a quality, robust copper infrastructure.
The Cable Pair
Prequalifying Today’s POTS Customers for Tomorrow’s IPTV Service
If the difference is less than 2.2dB, then that customer is pre-qualified. If the difference is greater than 2.2dB, then that customer is beyond the reach of that VRAD.
For example, the maximum amount of 26-gauge cable pair that will support IPTV on a VDSL is 4,000 feet of distribution plant. The Circuit Loss at 1004 Hz for 4,000 feet of 26-gauge is 2.2dB. If a field technician measured the loss at 4.8dB and then measured the loss at the cross-box at 3.1 (3.1 subtracted from 4.8dB equals 1.7dB), then that customer is pre-qualified for IPTV if a fiber-fed VRAD is placed at that cross-connect box.
If you start today with a circuit loss comparison, then you can confidently pre-qualify and deploy IPTV to those customers within the reach.
Remember: If you’re going to win the game, make sure you have the right equipment. That means the right test sets and your techs must have the right training. Invest in them now and reap the rewards.
About the Author - Don McCarty
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