Bresnan Communications has bulked up its video-on-demand (VOD) library by using EdgeQAMs from Harmonic.
Bresnan – with more than 300,000 subscribers in parts of Montana, Utah, Wyoming and western Colorado – is using Harmonic’s Narrowcast Service Gateway (NSG) 9000 and 9116 EdgeQAMs with privacy mode encryption for the upgrade. The NSG Universal EdgeQAM platform will allow Bresnan to migrate to a modular cable modem termination system (M-CMTS) architecture in the future.
“As we were planning the expansion of our VOD architecture, two requirements were critical: the ability to deliver a secure and robust on-demand service today, and to support other future applications such as modular CMTS to deliver more bandwidth in the future. The NSG 9000 satisfies these requirements,” said Pragash Pillai, VP of strategic engineering for Bresnan.
Pillai told CED that the project started in November of last year and will wrap up in most of Bresnan’s markets by the end of this year.
Bresnan increased its VOD storage in the majority of its markets to 3,000 or 4,000 hours per system with the addition of high-definition (HD) VOD content to the VOD library.
“We were using the Motorola SEM EdgeQAM, but we decided we wanted to use a much denser platform, and privacy mode was also important to use to secure the VOD content,” Pillai said. “We decided to deploy the NSG 9000 EdgeQAM platform for VOD and redeploy the Motorola SEM EdgeQAMs for our HD deployments because on the broadcast side we need full encryption and the SEM can do that.
“My thought process was also to buy the next-generation NSG 9000 platform to support the modular CMTS architecture.”
Pillai said Bresnan isn’t in a hurry to rollout wideband data services with 80 Mbps or 100 Mbps tiers until there’s a business case for the faster speeds. Currently, Bresnan offers an 8 Mbps service while Qwest, its main competition, offers a 1.5 Mbps service.
Pillai said it also makes sense to buy Harmonic’s next-generation platforms now because it’s more dense, which means the cost per QAM goes down significantly.
Harmonic counts nine of the Top 10 cable operators in the U.S. as its customers and has deployed its EdgeQAMs in hundreds of cable systems nationwide.
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