There were some new and exciting things at this years SCTE. There was a good drum line at the opening event but also there were new products and innovative ideas (Cisco and PNM). In test equipment this year at the SCTE EXPO Rohde and Schwarz, JDSU and VeEx all had some new things on display. None of the items are currently shipping (with the exception of R&S who used existing equipment) but it does show that test equipment vendors are keeping an eye to the future with the ever evolving cable market. In this article we willl cover a personal favorite, the DOCSIS burst demod by VeEX.
VeEx was displaying it's CX380S DOCSIS Burst Demod Feature (QAM Wiz) estimated ship Q1 2014. Any product with a DOCSIS burst demodulator is just cool because this is complicated technology packed into a hand-held meter.
QAM Wiz captures all UCDs from the downstream DOCSIS channel then parses and stores the UCD information. This allows the user to select an upstream DOCSIS channel and then start to capture and display the bursty cable modem signals using the internal DOCSIS burst demod. The meter shows upstream burst constellations, MER and list of the cable modem MAC Addresses on that upstream channel that the user is currently viewing.
The product is currently under development. I got to see only QPSK constellations and MER from a live DOCSIS 3.0 CMTS being demodulated by the DOCSIS burst demod. But what I saw was really impressive. Very tight constellations and cable modem MAC addresses. Often times you only get the CPE MAC addresses, so these guys seem to have the makings of a real cool product.
Check out some screen shots:
The user interface and DOCSIS burst demo is still under development and is missing a lot of features. However the folks at VeEX seem to have a good handle on the features that cable operators are looking for. I'm really hoping that I'll be able to take an early test drive of this product when a beta version becomes available (hint) and do a more detailed review at that time. Great job guys!