Sunday, August 28, 2005

Scientific-Atlanta and Microsoft Collaborate on IPTV Set-Top Boxes

Scientific-Atlanta and Microsoft announced that they are working together on IPTV set-tops for supporting initiatives such as SBC's Project Lightspeed.

The new line of Scientific-Atlanta IP set-tops, which will be integrated with the Microsoft TV IPTV Edition software platform, will support advanced codecs such as MPEG-4 Part 10/H.264 and VC-1 and will include standard- definition (SD), high-definition (HD), and whole home SD/HD digital video recorder (DVR) devices, as well as innovative gateway products that can serve an entire home with a single device.

Additionally, Scientific Atlanta said these new set-tops will support a "no new wires" strategy for operators, which will enable IP video to be delivered over existing coax cable already installed in millions of homes.

To help expedite the global implementation of IPTV services, country- or region-specific versions of the new Scientific-Atlanta set-tops will support U.S. or international standards.

  • SBC Communications has awarded IPTV set-top box contracts to both Scientific-Atlanta and Motorola. The contracts, awarded by SBC Services Inc., give equal market opportunity to both vendors and continue through the end of 2008. SBC provided a common set of specifications to both vendors to build the set-top boxes. At this time, SBC said it expects to use Motorola set-top boxes initially when it scales the service, with Scientific-Atlanta set-top boxes soon thereafter.

  • In March 2005, SBC awarded a contract to Scientific-Atlanta to provide IP video network equipment that would enable SBC to acquire, process, encode, and distribute digital media content to subscribers. SBC is currently testing this video network equipment as part of an SBC technical trial. Instead of using a traditional broadcast video system, in which all content is continuously sent to every customer's home, SBC companies will use a switched IP-video distribution system. In the switched IP-video network, only the content the customer requests is provided to the customer, freeing up bandwidth to be used for other applications.

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