All You Need To Know About Set Top Box (STB) Interoperability
1. This writeup addresses Cable Operators in immediate contact with the subscribers in the CATV service sector, with QAM, where bulk of Set Top Boxes (STBs) are deployed. HITS, DPO ultimately uses STB similar to those in CATV but with QAM after downlink. DTT uses OFDM. All these inputs are based upon coaxial cable inputs into STB. TVoIP is insignificant since reckoned a TELCO domain where inputs may be through UTP.
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2. A little bit of re-capitulation is required to understand this paper ,since expected to be read by not so technically literate people involved in CATV Networking, and others mentally seeking semblance with mobile telephone sets usage environment. To start with, for benefit of CATV segment, an explanation of basic electronic content transmission and reception.
3. In this schematic, Content is handled similar to a letter, envelope is RF carrier generated in the modulator, Distribution Platform is like the letter box starting at Headend , medium can be wireline or wireless, the envelope carrying the letter, i.e. content reaches the receipient letter box, the Set Top Box (STB) wherein envelope is opened (de-modulation), inside STB, and contents in the envelope retrieved and displayed on TV screen.
4. This is like kindergarten level understanding of addressable broadcast technology under which CATV networks operate.
5. Similarly, in the headend, content is processed, encoded along with decoding instructions, enclosed, i.e. enveloped, in the carrier and pushed into distribution plat form.
6. In the above schematic, content, as received from sources, is digitized (encoded), viewership authorization managed , with coded instructions on how to enable viewing, when received, and, if authorized, to view, modulated, combined and powered to drive the distribution platform to reach the subscriber.