Charter Selects nCUBE and Harmonic Gear for Cable Services Expansion

Charter Communications Inc. recently announced two major contracts as part of an expansion of services. The company bought nCUBE Corp. VOD equipment and Harmonic Inc.'s Broadcast Network Gateway to improve VOD services and enable HD programming in several markets.

The VOD and HD equipment deployments will be in Birmingham, Ala., Alhambra/Pasadena, Calif. and Glendale/Burbank, Calif. nCUBE's VOD upgrades will also appear in Fort Worth, Texas, Newton, Conn., and Long Beach, Calif. Harmonic's equipment will also deliver HD in University Park/Highland Park, Texas and Miami Beach, Fla.

Charter has been working with nCUBE for several months in the event Charter's original VOD provider, DIVA, could not continue to deliver services. DIVA recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Charter has already installed and tested nCUBE equipment where the company is offering VOD services on the Scientific-Atlanta platform, and plans to launch VOD services through nCUBE on Motorola platforms later this year.

nCUBE is providing Charter with its suite of on-demand solutions for VOD, including the nABLE On-Demand Management System, nODA, which allows operators to customize user guides, as well as the n4 and enhanced n4x servers.

Harmonic is providing its Broadcast Network Gateway, which accesses and distributes HD programming. The HD digital turnaround system accesses HD content available from satellite or over-the-air broadcasts and distributes the content over a cable network. The gateway uses integration of multiplexing and QAM modulation functionalities in a single unit. The BNG protects the video quality of the source HD programming by passing through incoming HD streams.