June 21, 2007 -- At this week's SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2007, JDSU announced the addition of two new capabilities to its portfolio of communications test and measurement platforms for addressing the complexities of bandwidth-intensive digital video, VoIP and high-speed data services deployment for cable operators.
The company's digital service activation meter (DSAM) now performs digital quality index (DQI) measurements, enabling providers to quickly and accurately identify network impairments that affect digital services such as high definition TV.
According to JDSU, the DQI digital quality measurement capability detects and responds to problems in the distribution plant faster and earlier than current industry standards. The company contends that DQI has more power than modulation error ratio (MER) and bit error rate (BER) methods. (MER and BER only sample a small portion of the stream, are slow to respond to intermittent issues and are often too confusing for the average technician, says JDSU.)
The data gathered by the DQI is raw, digitized data directly from the demodulator that is comprised of analog components in digital form representing the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the received Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM) carrier. Its measurements are represented by an easy to understand index rating from one (lowest quality) to ten (highest quality), providing an instant indication of the overall quality of a QAM digital stream.
Also, the company's PathTrak hybrid fiber coaxial (HFC) test and monitoring portfolio now includes the PathTrak Forward Path Monitoring Solution, which according to JDSU monitors and trends performance at remote cable hubs and headends to quickly identify issues and remotely segment radio frequency (RF) performance.
The PathTrak Forward Path Monitoring Solution includes the company's RSAM-5700 remote analyzer probe. The platform monitors unmanned hub and headend sites to proactively monitor the forward path multiple downstream analog and digital channels used for digital video and triple-play services, quickly and remotely identifying forward path problems. With the platform, technicians can avoid driving to remote or unmanned locations to manually test networks, says JDSU.
Using a Web-based interface for easy viewing on DSAM meters (requires DSAM Browser option) or PC Internet browsers, a remote user can quickly view, analyze and segment network performance. The PathTrak Forward Monitoring System continuously monitors QAM and analog RF, including MER, BER, and level, to ensure quality VoIP, VOD and high-speed data services.
According to the company, both of the new capabilities serve to prevent unnecessary "truck rolls," while increasing workforce efficiency and ensuring service quality.
"JDSU continues to ensure our test and measurement instruments and systems give operators a proactive weapon against network challenges that can harm a consumer's experience," comments Kevin Oliver, vice president of marketing for JDSU's Cable Networks business unit. "Responding to operators' demands for simpler tools that help field technicians locate network issues, the DSAM's new DQI results are easy to interpret and detect the slightest digital signal impairments. The automated and remote design of PathTrak's Forward Path makes it a tool of great value, saving operators time and money as they continue to maintain high performance digital networks."