Charter Taps Harmonic, nCUBE for VOD

Charter Communications Inc. is installing an end-to-end Gigabit Ethernet VOD system created by nCUBE Corp. and Harmonic Inc. in 12 markets, with additional markets scheduled for later this year. The systems have architectural flexibility and scalability that will allow Charter to simplify its networks and reduce costs.

The system combines nCUBE servers and Harmonic content-on-demand delivery systems with the Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) transport vehicle. GbE allows cable operators to deliver video services to customers with reduced transport costs. Operators have the flexibility to add new on-demand services to existing systems and can save overhead costs on decentralized server technology over existing networks.

nCUBE's n4 and enhanced n4x On-Demand Servers use a "hypercube" interconnect server architecture that can allow 53,000 users to simultaneously access a piece of content, and provides more than 200,000 hours of content storage. The nABLE On-Demand Management System is an automated back-office system for managing on-demand services. nODA allows operators to customize and brand their VOD and subscription VOD services.

Harmonic's open standards-based content-on-demand transport and distribution systems provide scalability, flexibility and interoperability with an array of equipment. Harmonic's VOD systems enable operators to adapt their networks to deliver content-on-demand services while introducing Gigabit Ethernet transport. The company's Narrowcast Services Gateway (NSG) processes streams from multiple high-capacity servers and performs multiplexing, program filtering and routing. The NSG features four dual integrated QAM RF outputs or multiple ASI output interfaces. The GIGALight DWDM transport systems will also be used in some markets.