Tuesday, July 5, 2005

Softbank Deploys UTStarcom's mVision IPTV System

Softbank BB has deployed UTStarcom's mVision end-to-end IPTV system to support its new "BBTV" IPTV service, which launched on July 1. The service initially offers subscribers 28 channels of live broadcast television and 5,200 movies on demand. Softbank BB's triple play service will be available in several service tiers, with pricing starting at 4540 Yen, approximately US$40.00 per month.

UTStarcom's mVision system is a unicast/multicast distributed system that scales to support millions of users and hundreds of thousands of content hours. It supports services such as broadcast TV, Network PVR (n-PVR), Video on Demand (VoD), and Near Video on Demand (NVoD).

In addition to UTStarcom's mVision system, Softbank is using the company's IP DSLAM and Gigabit Ethernet Passive Optical Network (GEPON) solutions serve as the access and transport platforms for its DSL, VoIP and IPTV services.
http://www.softbank.co.jpAs of May 2005, Softbank's Yahoo! BB was serving 4,847,000 broadband lines and had 4,588,000 VoIP customers.

Key components of UTStarcom's mVision include:

  • a Content Engine that provides live encoding, transcoding and transrating of analog or digital input streams into MPEG-2, MPEG-4, Windows Media 9 video formats and MP2, MP3, AAC, WMA, AC-3 audio formats. Variable bit-rate encoding from 22.5Kbps to 15Mbps enables operators to optimize video quality based on available bandwidth.

  • a MediaSwitch that leverages a chassis-based cluster architecture to scale with the number of subscribers and amount of storage required. The NEBS-compliant MediaSwitch resides in the central office and can serve multiple remote IP DSLAMs or PONs. The platform supports a density of 22,800 subscribers per telco rack. The storage capacity is rated at 100,000 hours of programming content per rack.

  • a new Set-Top-Box that is codec upgradeable via software push. It initially includes support for WM9,VC9, H.264 Codecs. The console delivers services such as real-time and time-shifted television, VoD, video gaming, and video conferencing. UTStarcom plans to continue to add new functions such as WiFi capability to the boxes in the future. An Electronic Programming Guide (EPG) and HTML embedded browser are included.

  • a carrier-class OSS software suite that reduces operating costs by handling media asset management, channel management and scheduling, billing, security and conditional access, system management, and other management functions. A secure data link ensures the privacy of user data. The suite also allows customers to view their accounts, change PIN numbers on their TV sets by using their remote control.

See also