Harmonic announced that SK Broadband, a Korean operator with about 6 million subscribers, has deployed Harmonic’s Direct-2-Edge (D2E) solution to provide IPTV service to some of its customers.

(For the initial announcement, click here.)

D2E is a cable modem termination system (CMTS) bypass product. It transmits IP video from the cable headend to edge QAM devices before delivering the video to subscriber’s homes.

(For more on the Harmonic approach to ‘Cable-Style IPTV,’ which won kudos two years ago at a CableLabs event, click here. For alternative approaches and views from Motorola and ARRIS, click here and here, respectively.)

SK Broadband is a hybrid provider with different kinds of networks, said Gil Katz, senior director of cable solutions at Harmonic. SK Broadband has cable HFC, as well as fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) and DSL.

The operator is using Harmonic’s bypass product for its HFC subscribers, but not for its FTTH subs.

D2E allowed the hybrid operator to provide the exact same IPTV service offering to customers no matter which side they’re on, said Katz, adding that harmonization of products is important, not just from a technology point of view, but also for marketing purposes.

Prior to using the D2E product, the operator had been deploying next-generation modems.

"They were very aggressive in terms of deploying DOCSIS 3.0 and DOCSIS 3.0 cable modems," said Katz, who estimated that SK Broadband has provided around 500,000 of its HFC subs with D3 cable modems to date.

In similar news, BigBand Networks announced in May that Korean provider LG Powercom was deploying its CMTS bypass product, known as vIP PASS, to deliver IPTV services to PCs and IP set-top boxes over DOCSIS 3.0 cable modems.

(For the initial announcement, click here.)

(To participate in a recent CTChatter Forum discussion on the topic of CMTS bypass, click here.)

– Linda Hardesty

Read more news and analysis on Communications Technology‘s Web site at www.cable360.net/ct/news/.

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