RF & RF Return Solutions:
MSO and Telco operators continue to look for innovative ways to bring higher-bandwidth and higher value services to their customers while leveraging their existing current network investments. GPON is a compelling option to fulfill this challenge when combined with RF Overlay and RF Return Path Technology offered by iPhotonix.
While GPON RF Overlay solutions compatible with MSO video service offerings have been available in the market for a while, the opportunity to combine it with an innovative return path solution is now realized with the iPhotonix integrated RF-R Solution. iPhotonix’s proprietary Return Path technology allows operators to leverage their traditional head-end systems and set-top boxes (STBs) in a new GPON network, while gaining dramatic increases in both upstream and downstream bandwidth performance. Our RF Return Path technology is a key enabler for revenue streams such as Video On Demand (VOD) services and Switch Digital Video (SDV) “long tail” traffic that continues to experience explosive growth.
iPhotonix has developed an integrated IP RF Return solution released in 2011 that has been viable and more cost-effective option to legacy RFoG and limited RF return solutions that have been available in the past. Our mission is to supply Operators with capabilities to fully leverage and utilize its RF assets over a PON network without compromising it to operate as an RF (RFoG) Network. Our solution converts the RF Return signal from the STB to IP at the ONT and then transmits the return data along with all the other data to the head-end to be reconverted to RF and finally handed off to the set top control system. There is no unique wavelength outside the PON standard that is required to perform this task and the cost savings to not have to manage such a required wavelength is immediately realized. The solution can be categorized into two categories which are:
Transparent RF Return (SCTE-55-1)
The Transparent RF Return (TRR) method involves terminating the RF return signal at the ONT and tunneling the signal as a packetized bit stream toward the head-end. At the head-end, a modulator receives the packetized bit stream and modulates it back into the expected RF return signal. This signal is them demodulated by the video network's standard demodulator at the head-end.
Packet Aware RF Return (SCTE-55-2)
The Packet Aware RF Return (PARR) method involves moving the functionality normally found in the head-end modulator referenced in Figure 1 into the ONT. The video return channel RF signal is first terminated by the RF receiver at the ONT. That is, the RF data is sampled from the RF carrier signal and sent to a higher layer packet decode function within the ONT. This function then reassembles the upstream packets from the ATM cells that are retrieved from the data stream carried on the RF signal.
GPON solutions are increasingly becoming viable options that allow Telco & MSOs to offer higher-bandwidth services while preserving the value of their infrastructure. Selecting the right RF return technology is the critical step towards these goals. TRR and PARR provide backward compatibility with existing SCTE-55-1 and SCTE-55-2 two-way video systems with flexible ONT provisioning for each system. This avoids the limitations of the 3-wavelength RFoG solution or cost of a 4-wavelength RFoG solution. ONTs that can be provisioned for TRR or PARR are the most cost effective solution for RF Return. Our solutions leverages the home wiring infrastructure, supports tiered video service, PPV and telephony return all in an elegant way over GPON.
The iPhotonix family of outdoor/indoor GPON ONTs with CATV RF-Return supports CATV applications and both RF-Return Solutions. These units can handle a 1000 Amp fault current in the shield and also contain a forward path video receiver (CATV – 54 MHz to 1 GHz) with sensitivity up to -9 dB, supporting multiple gain stages, AGC and status indications, video powering on/off control and AGC gain control. These Units can also support the upstream data channel from set-top boxes, packet based interactive IPTV services including multicast video and video-on-demand RF Video with integrated RF Return supporting the 8 to 30 MHz return.