Virgin Media taps Cisco for digital TV upgrade

As Virgin Media proceeds with its nationwide DOCSIS 3.0 network build out, the U.K. operator is turning to Cisco to upgrade its existing digital TV systems. The cable MSO will deploy Cisco's Next-Gen IP network core and edge routing switching, digital head end products in addition to system management and monitoring tools. Virgin will install Cisco digital video head end equipment throughout its regional and central head ends to support both traditional standard definition and high definition television services. Also, Cisco's edge and IP core technology will provide high-speed distribution between the video head ends to support delivery to Virgin Media's access network. When the network is completed, the new video platform will deliver services to more than 12.6 million U.K. homes.

Of course, the million dollar question is what role will the new equipment play in delivering new IP-based services? Stopping short of saying the new equipment will be used for IPTV, a spokeswoman in an interview with Cable Digital News said that "the agreement with Cisco is to help enhance our existing TV platform, which broadcasts content over DVB-C [Digital Video Broadcasting - Cable], and then our VoD service runs on IP."

Although Virgin is being tight lipped about its IP service offerings, the new video upgrade will leverage its ongoing DOCSIS 3.0 build out. Virgin is currently leveraging DOCSIS 3.0 to offer 50 Mbps downstream speeds across all of its cable systems. In addition, the MSO is conducting a 200 Mbps trial in Ashford, U.K., with Cisco.    

For more:
- Cable Digital News has this article

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