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Cable's Wi-Fi Video Attack
Craig Leddy | Contributing Analyst
Cable has been working on Wi-Fi gateways to combine IP video and advanced Wi-Fi for the home.

While creating many challenges, these new Wi-Fi gateways offer numerous possibilities.
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Look Ma, No Wires: New Wi-Fi Gateways Take Video Airborne
Cable, a wired technology, is finding fertile new ground by going wireless. For the past several years, the cable industry has been working on combining the traditional set-top box (STB) and cable modem into a powerful gateway platform that can handle both TV signals and high-speed Internet.

New, Wi-Fi-enabled "unified gateways," as some are calling them, can serve as media centers inside the home for all types of media and video devices. Or, like a wireless router, they can be stuck away in a closet or attic as a so-called "headless" gateway.

Since today's consumers are living on tablets, smartphones and other wireless devices, MSOs can feed their customers' wireless appetites. Also for the first time, wireless will become a major part of the home network, providing unique challenges in sharing and balancing wired and wireless bandwidth.

Is Wi-Fi good enough to support cable's wireless video aspirations? Compared to cellular, Wi-Fi is an imperfect, unlicensed transmission medium, subject to signal interruptions and inadequacies. But the wireless industry, with input from cable companies and organizations such as CableLabs, is pushing for better spectrum utilization, next-generation hotspot enhancements and seamless roaming capabilities.

Cable's developing strategies with wireless offer intriguing possibilities. The wireless video gateways, along with cable's continuing reliance on IP technologies and RDK, will enable cable providers to establish a powerful IP platform for cloud DVR, branded user interfaces, VoD and linear TV on thin client receivers and any Wi-Fi-connected devices.

To support a full complement of video programming, Wi-Fi is a challenging distribution medium. Cable providers will need to engage in vigilant performance monitoring to assure their customers' quality of experience. Eventually, cable could realize the vision of an intelligent network that can seamlessly deliver video in any format to any device, while maintaining high performance and carrying out customer-care functions.

Look Ma, No Wires: New Wi-Fi Gateways Take Video Airborne discusses the new line of gateways and their implications for the future of this market. It includes profiles of 12 suppliers of advanced STBs and gateways, focusing particularly on their wireless strategies.

Sample research data from the report is shown in the excerpt below:
Table of Contents (cii0814_toc.pdf)
Overall, cable's interest in wireless gateways stems from its need to innovate quicker, embrace IP video and improve user experience. The industry must shake off the shackles of legacy STBs. In doing so, it can take advantage of new software-based technologies and cloud-based service opportunities to remain competitive with other service providers and over-the-top (OTT) players. There are many market drivers that are pushing cable toward adoption of wireless video gateways, as shown in the following excerpt.
[click on the image above for the full excerpt]
Companies profiled in this report include: Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS); Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO); Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC); Evolution Digital LLC; Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.; Humax Co. Ltd.; Netgear Inc. (Nasdaq: NTGR); Pace plc; Samsung Group; Technicolor SA; TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO); and Ubee Interactive Inc.
Total pages: 19
JUNE 2014
Cable & OTT: New Opportunities for Convergence
This report explores the market drivers, opportunities for convergence and the challenges ahead. It includes profiles of 10 cable software suppliers that offer solutions that support cable's TV Everywhere and multi-screen initiatives, which also can lend support for cable-OTT integration.
READ SUMMARY
Including table of contents, executive summary, and financial metrics
MARCH 2014
4K Ultra HD: Big Opportunities, Big Challenges for Cable
This report explores UHD requirements, opportunities and challenges for cable. It includes profiles of seven cable suppliers that have announced UHD technology products.
READ SUMMARY
Including table of contents, executive summary, and financial metrics
DECEMBER 2013
Cable's New Quest for Advanced Advertising Treasure
This report explores the industry's progress with DAI and the opportunities and challenges of advanced advertising technologies in a multi-screen environment. It includes profiles of seven key suppliers that support cable's advanced advertising aspirations.
READ SUMMARY
Including table of contents, executive summary, and financial metrics
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ANALYST
Tim Kridel
Tim writes for both Mobile Networks Insider and Cable Industry Insider. He has previously covered the wireless and cable industries for a number of research firms, including Heavy Reading.
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Tim Kridel
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CONTRIBUTING ANALYST
Craig Leddy
A contributor to Heavy Reading Cable Industry Insider, Craig is a veteran cable industry writer, speaker, and market analyst.
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Craig Leddy
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ANALYST
Denise Culver
Denise is the author of IP Services Insider. She has more than ten years' experience in technology journalism.
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Denise Culver
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