Wednesday, April 25, 2007

HDTV growth emerges as driver for fiber to the home

While cable companies and telcos are making a play for so-called "triple play" services combining telephone, high speed Internet and video, the rapid growth of high definition TV is likely to require them to upgrade their systems to fiber optic cable, an industry consultant suggests. That's because metal wire-based coaxial and copper cable lack the capacity to carry the estimated 20 Mbps that end users will require in order to get all three services including HDTV. Michael Kennedy explains in Telecommunications Online:

Video services consume most of the bandwidth within the voice, video, and Internet Triple Play portfolio. About 2 Mbps is required to deliver Standard Definition TV and 9 Mbps is required for High Definition TV. Whereas network designers can safely over subscribe bandwidth higher up in the network this cannot be done when allocating bandwidth to a single enterprise establishment, household or local serving area— especially for video service. HDTV sets are already out selling SDTV so HDTV must be taken as the standard offering when planning an Optical Distribution Network. This means that each household must be allocated a minimum of 20 Mbps because several HDTVs are likely to be in use at the same time.

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