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Broadband Cable TV Access Networks: From Technologies to Applications

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Broadband Cable TV Access Networks: From Technologies to Applications


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  • Copyright 2001
  • Dimensions: 9" x 6-1/2"
  • Pages: 464
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-086421-8
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-086421-5

Next-generation CATV systems: architecture, protocols, technologies, and applications.

  • Cable modems and digital set-top boxes: architecture and operation
  • HFC and its competitors: DSL, FTTL, DBS, and MMDS
  • Evolving from two-way HFC networks to next-generation DWDM access
  • Key applications: EPGs, IPPV, VOD, web browsing, e-mail, e-commerce, and more

Broadband cable TV networks are undergoing a massive transformation, from simply broadcasting analog TV channels to providing sophisticated, two-way interactive services such as high-speed Internet access and video-on-demand. Now, one of the field's leading experts reviews the technologies, protocols, applications associated with the CATV revolution, and previews the migration path from today's two-way hybrid fiber/coax networks to the awesome capacities of tomorrow's DWDM fiber networks. Coverage includes:

  • HFC cable networks vs. the competition: DSL, FTTL, DBS, and MMDS
  • Key fiber-optics transmission technologies: directly and externally modulated laser transmitters, optical receivers, and Erbium-doped optical fiber amplifiers (EDFAs)
  • Architecture of DWDM access networks
  • Hardware architecture and operation of digital set-top boxes and cable modems
  • Software architecture and applications for digital set-top boxes

Ovadia offers in-depth analyses of single and multiple-wavelength fiber-optics transmission impairments over HFC and DWDM networks, and presents the emerging two-way DWDM network architecture. Finally, he discusses the DOCSIS cable modem protocol, as well as key set-top box's applications such as electronic program guides (EPGs), video-on-demand (VOD), Internet-based applications such as e-mail, and e-commerce.

Whether you're an engineer, scientist, cable professional, manager, or investor, if you want to understand where cable is headed, you need Cable TV Access Networks: From Technologies to Applications.

Sample Content

Table of Contents


1. Broadband Hybrid Fiber/Coax Access Networks Overview.

Introduction. Traditional Cable TV Networks. Two Way HFC Access Networks. Competing Access Technologies. References.

2. Basic Cable TV Background: Modulation, Signal Formats and Coaxial Cable Systems.

Analog Modulated Video Signal Formats. Digital Video and Audio Signals. Cable TV Frequency Plans. Coaxial Cable TV Components and Systems. Multichannel Coaxial Cable TV Systems. Cable TV Return-Path Transmission Characteristics. References.

3. Directly Modulated Cable TV Lightwave Laser Transmitters.

Semiconductor Laser Diodes. DFB and Multiple-Quantum-Well (MQW) Laser Diodes. Laser Dynamic Characteristics. Noise in Laser Diodes. DFB Laser Transmitter. Return-Path Laser Transmitters. References.

4. Externally Modulated Cable TV Lightwave Laser Transmitters.

LiNbO3 Optical Modulators. Linearization Methods of Optical Modulators. Optical Linearization Methods. Externally Modulated Laser Transmitter Design. References.

5. Lightwave Receivers for Cable TV Networks.

p-i-n Photodiode. Noise Sources in Lightwave Receivers. Carrier-To-Noise Ratio at the Receiver. Nonlinear Behavior of p-i-n Photodetectors. Basic Cable TV Receiver Design Configurations. References.

6. Optical Fiber Amplifiers for Cable TV Networks.

Optical Fiber Amplifier Components. Basic EDFA System Configurations. Amplifier Noise and CNR Calculation. EDFA Requirements for Cable TV Networks. References.

7. RF Digital QAM Modems.

RF QAM Modem Building Blocks. MPEG Transport Framing. Reed-Solomon Codes. Interleaver/Deinterleaver. Trellis-Coded Modulation (TCM). Randomizer/Derandomizer. M-ary QAM Modulator Design and Operation. M-ary QAM Receiver Design and Operation. Adaptive Equalizer. Carrier and Timing Recovery. MER and EVM. BER of M-ary QAM Signals in AWGN Channel. References.

8. Subscriber Home Terminals.

Digital Set-Top Box Building Blocks. Cable TV RF Tuner. Out-of-Band (OOB) Receiver. RF QAM Transceiver. MPEG Video/Audio Demultiplexer and Decoder. Conditional Access and Control. Graphics Processor. Set-Top Box CPU and Memory. Advanced Set-Top Box with Built-in DOCSIS Cable Modem. M-QAM Transmission Impairments in HFC Networks. References.

9. Transmission Impairments in Multichannel AM/QAM Lightwave Systems.

Clipping-Induced Nonlinear Distortions. Bursty Nonlinear Distortions. Multiple Optical Reflections. Dispersion-Induced Nonlinear Distortions. Optical Fiber Nonlinear Effects. Polarization-Dependent Distortion Effects. References.

10. EDFA-Based WDM Multichannel AM/QAM Video Lightwave Access Networks.

Architecture and Performance of Multichannel AM-VSB/QAM Video Lightwave Trunking Networks. The Problem with the Current HFC Networks. DWDM Downstream Access Network Architecture. DWDM Upstream Access Network Architecture. References.

11. Data-Over-Cable Interface Specifications (DOCSIS) Protocol.

DOCSIS Communication Protocol. Downstream PHY Layer. Upstream PHY Layer. Downstream Transmission Convergence Sublayer. Media Access Control (MAC) Layer. Random Access and Contention Resolution Methods. MAC Layer Protocol Operation. Quality of Service (QoS) and Fragmentation. CM and CMTS Interaction. References.

12. Digital Set-Top Box Software Architecture and Applications.

Digital Set-Top Box Software Architecture. Native Applications. TV-Based Interactive Applications. Internet-Based Applications. Integrated Set-Top Box Applications. References.

Appendix A: Comparison of DAVIC and DOCSIS Specifications.

Appendix B: International Cable TV Frequency Plans.

CCIR System B/G Frequency Plan. CCIR System I Frequency Plan. CCIR System D Frequency Plan.

Appendix C Satellite Transponder Parameters for Cable TV Networks.





Broadband cable TV access networks have been going through a dramatic transformation worldwide since the late 1980s. The technology vision, which was articulated by several visionary industry leaders such as Bill Gates of Microsoft, of "information at your finger tips" has started to become a reality. With the invention and emergence of the Internet and Intranet as the information superhighway, cable subscribers and small businesses did not want to be left behind and were eager for high-speed access.

Traditionally, cable TV networks were broadband coaxial networks that offered one-way broadcast of analog video channels. The fundamental understanding of the physics of various opto-electronics devices and components led to the invention and development of key fiber-optics transmission technologies such as high-power directly and externally modulated DFB laser transmitters operating at 1310 nm and 1550 nm, optical fiber amplifiers, and optical receivers. These fiber-optics technologies transformed cable TV network architecture to 750-MHz and greater bandwidth hybrid fiber/coax (HFC) networks. Furthermore, the development of low-cost highly integrated communication chips, modules, and systems such as quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) modulators, transceivers, and MPEG encoders and decoders, enabled cable operators to introduce many digital video programs to the home using a digital set-top box. Instead of low-speed Internet access using a dial-up modem, high-speed Internet access through cable TV networks is possible using a cable modem either as a stand-alone unit or built into a digital set-top box.

The continuing insatiable desire at sometimes accelerating pace for more "bandwidth" and more services on demand has forced the cable TV operators to rethink their two-way HFC network architecture, paving the road toward two-way dense wavelength division multiplexed (DWDM) cable TV networks.

From 1992 to 1996 as a research scientist at Bell Communications Research (Bellcore), I had the privilege to work with many world-class scientists and participate in the emerging fiber-optics and QAM receiver technology studies. With a built-in HFC test-bed, my colleagues and I were able to provide valuable technical analysis and auditing services to the Regional Bell Operating Companies such as Pacific Bell and Ameritech, as well as cable TV equipment manufacturers. My exposure to the hardware and software development of digital set-top boxes and cable modems came during my work as a principal scientist at Digital Network Systems, General Instrument from 1996 to 2000. In particular, I was exposed to the various discussions and debates on the different cable TV network and set-top box requirements while participating at the various cable TV standards meetings such as DOCSIS, IEEE802.14, and OpenCable.

The purpose of this book is to provide the reader with the basic understanding of today's two-way HFC cable TV network technologies and their evolution toward DWDM network architectures. This book, which can be used as the basis for a graduate-level material, is intended for engineers, scientists, cable TV professionals, and students interested in learning more about the existing and emerging cable TV technologies and applications.

The book is organized into five main sections:

  • The first section, which consists of Chapters 1 and 2, provides an overview of the two-way HFC network with the competing access technologies, including digital subscriber line (DSL), fiber-in-the-loop (FITL), direct broadcast satellite (DBS), and multichannel multipoint distribution service (MMDS). Chapter 2 provides basic cable TV systems background, including different analog and digital video modulation formats, cable TV frequency plans, coaxial cable components and systems, and return-path transmission characteristics.
  • The second section of the book, which consists of Chapters 3, 4, 5, and 6, introduces the key fiber-optics transmission technologies, including directly and externally modulated laser transmitters such as distributed feedback (DFB) and YAG laser transmitters operating at both 1310 nm and 1550 nm, optical receivers, and Erbium-doped optical fiber amplifiers (EDFAs).
  • The third section of the book, which consists of Chapters 7 and 8, discusses the hardware architecture with the key components, features, and functionality of end-user home terminals, including cable modems and digital set-top boxes. Chapter 8 also includes a budget link analysis for digital set-top box in the presence of various HFC network impairments.
  • The fourth section, which consists of Chapters 9 and 10, provides an in-depth analysis of single and multiple-wavelength fiber-optics transmission impairments over HFC and DWDM networks carrying both AM-VSB and QAM channels. The emerging two-way DWDM network architecture is also discussed in Chapter 10.
  • The last section, which consists of Chapters 11 and 12, discusses the transmission protocol, the software architecture, and the various applications for the end-user home terminals. This includes the DOCSIS protocol for cable modems, native applications such as electronic program guides (EPGs), TV-based and Internet-based applications such as video-on-demand (VOD), e-mail, and e-commerce for digital set-top boxes.

Shlomo Ovadia has earned his B.Sc. in Physics from Tel-Aviv University in 1978, and his M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Optical Sciences from the Optical Sciences Center, University of Arizona in 1982 and 1984, respectively. He spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow at the Electrical Engineering Department, University of Maryland, investigating different III-V optoelectronics materials and devices. In 1987, Shlomo joined IBM at East Fishkill as an optical scientist developing various IBM optical communications and storage products. He joined Bellcore in 1992, where he developed an HFC test-bed, and studied the transmission performance of multichannel AM/QAM video transmission systems. As a project manager and a senior scientist, Shlomo provided technical analysis and consulting services to the Regional Bell Operating Companies as well as to various cable TV equipment vendors. In 1996, Shlomo joined General Instrument as a principal scientist in Digital Network Systems division, where he was developing the next-generation digital set-top boxes for both domestic and international markets. In April 2000, Shlomo joined Intel's Cable Network Operation business unit in San Jose, California, as a principal system architect developing communication products such as cable modems. He is a Senior Member of IEEE/LEOS/Comsoc with more than 60 technical publications and conference presentations. Shlomo served on the technical committees of many IEEE/LEOS conferences, and he is a regular reviewer for various IEEE publications such as Photonics Technology Letters and Journal of Lightwave Technology. Shlomo has eight pending patents, and his personal biography is included in the Millennium edition of Who's Who in Science and Engineering (2000/2001).



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