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Cable Technology Feature Article

March 11, 2013

Minerva Networks' New Unified Solution Improves Home Video Ease of Use

By Steve Anderson, Contributing TMCnet Writer

Home entertainment in general is becoming less about a single point of entry, and more about an increasingly complex network of operations. With multiple screens commonly located throughout a typical house, as well as the issue of smaller screens like tablets and smartphones, a multi-screen solution rapidly becomes a necessity to manage it all.

Cable television providers, meanwhile, are left to either keep up with customers' interests or find themselves left out in the cold. Minerva Networks (News - Alert) seems to have a new solution in mind, one that it’s actively previewing down at the CableLabs Winter Conference in Orlando, Fla. this week.

Minerva Networks' new solution is based around its earlier iTVFusion management platform, and can work on either a hybrid or a pure IP network, allowing cable multi-system operators (MSO) to offer several new advanced television solutions that customers are hungry for, including DVR systems that can work in multiple rooms, multi-screen video delivery over both DOCSIS and QAM networks, and the always-popular video on demand services.

The Minerva Networks solution allows for a greatly simplified back-office management setup to bring out enhanced services, while allowing current investments to be used to their fullest capability. This helps ensure a minimal trepidation on the part of decision makers, worried that their previous investments would be rendered useless in the wake of a new product offering.

At the same time, it adds a level of protection to those current investments by offering support for several different content formats.

Since it can be used in a hybrid or pure IP system, it allows for easy integration with legacy systems, as well as the newest in cloud-based video on demand – something not all cable providers have even fully examined yet for use in their own systems.

Since at last report, over 300 operators have used Minerva Networks' software platform, that improves the likelihood that it will work will in a wide variety of cable provider environments. Between a solid current user base, an improved ease of use with working with current technology, and a sound likelihood of working well with more advanced technologies that may not even be completely in service yet, the end result is an addition to many cable providers that's likely to prove worthwhile in the end.

The demands of cable customers are getting more complex every day, and in a buyer's market, cable providers who fail to at least show progress toward those demands are likely to find themselves out in terms of customers. The growing number of alternatives presented by cable-cutting services like Netflix, Hulu (News - Alert) Plus, Amazon Instant Video and a host of others makes the situation even more urgent.

Being able to power the next generation of cable services is likely to make a big difference on that point, and keep current cable subscribers more likely to remain so even as replacement goods emerge.

Edited by Braden Becker

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