Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) [NYSE: TXN] announced a new DOCSIS 3.0® (Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification) product that supports cable set-top-boxes (STB) with both MPEG-TS (transport stream) and Internet Protocol (IP) capabilities. This latest addition to the Puma 5 family provides equipment manufacturers with the ability to create a new breed of hybrid STB products. STBs with TI’s Puma 5 solution enable cable operators to extend their current digital TV products with compelling new services such as programmed and Internet sourced IP television (IPTV) while minimizing new infrastructure investment.
The newest member of the Puma 5 family, the TNETC4820, builds upon TI’s current portfolio of DOCSIS 3.0 compliant products, allowing original equipment manufacturers (OEM) to quickly deliver STBs and other cable TV equipment with the higher transfer speeds of DOCSIS 3.0, seamlessly supporting voice, video and data services. To facilitate home networking and data-centric applications like IPTV, the Puma 5 architecture includes high-speed interfaces including Gigabit Ethernet and USB 2.0. In addition, wireless networking, powerline technologies and advanced coaxial networking solutions can be easily integrated into the platform.
The Puma 5 family includes a high-performance Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) subsystem ensuring high quality-of-service (QoS) voice even in the presence of significant data traffic.
“The TNETC4820 is sampling today and we are working with our customers to design next-generation STB and video gateway devices that allow consumers to seamlessly enjoy traditional digital video as well as IP based video programming and VOD,” said Ran Senderovitz, TI’s cable business manager. “TI’s newest addition to our Puma 5 family targets the growing STB market with the goal of further improving the way consumers view and interact with exciting multimedia services such as IPTV.”
TI’s TNETC4820 is compatible with both legacy QAM (quadrature amplitude modulation) cable video and IP-based data streams, and can function either as a transport or video gateway into the residence. Supporting both STB and gateway solutions, the TNETC4820 helps operators change the way end-consumers receive video to the home and distribute video inside the digital home by allowing operators to deliver video over IP concurrently with their current video over MPEG distribution system.
To provide further value, Puma 5 based video gateways have the ability to translate any video signal into an IP message allowing operators to deliver video through home networking technology to low-cost STBs. This flexibility allows the equipment to accept legacy video, IP data or both from the network and distribute multiple channels throughout the home. As a result, operators can rapidly roll-out new multimedia services like IPTV as marketplace demand continues to grow.
“Changing video consumption patterns are pushing TV service providers to offer a ‘unified video’ experience – one that combines delivery of both traditional and IP video services to a variety of display devices, but especially to the growing universe of HDTV sets. Technology suppliers that can enable TVSPs to offer cost-effective and transparent solutions for ‘unified video’ will have an edge in the market. DOCSIS 3.0 looks to be the logical starting point for an elegant migration path for cable service providers to unified video as it provides them with a platform to meet this demand,” said Patti Reali, Research Director, Technology & Service Provider Research at Gartner, Inc. “Moving forward, DOCSIS 3.0 technology will allow operators to significantly strengthen their competitive position by introducing new services without significant investment in their infrastructures.”
With a DOCSIS 3.0 compliant video front end, TI’s Puma 5 can enable a new range of video and transport gateway applications by leveraging a DOCSIS fat pipe in the upstream. New applications enabled by Puma 5′s video and transport gateway include place shifting capabilities, video sharing with mobile devices networked to the home and improved and faster interactive gaming. The TNETC4820 takes advantage of a scalable multimedia processing architecture which includes video input/output (I/O) capabilities for easy expansion and enhancement of the system’s video handling facilities.
The TNETC4820′s configurable DOCSIS 3.0 subsystem can support as many as four upstream and up to 8 downstream channels, or various combinations of DOCSIS and/or MPEG video channels. The TNETC4820′s video I/O facilities allow the number of downstream channels to be easily scaled upward to as many as eight. The TNETC4820 joins the already extensive Puma 5 family of DOCSIS 3.0 chipsets. The current TNETC4800, TNETC4810 and TNETC4830 chipsets all provide high-speed DOCSIS 3.0 line speeds, flexibility, scalability and cost-effectiveness, but with slight variations for specific applications.