Entropic's Channel Stacking Switch Technology Tapped by BSkyB and Global Invacom for New Multi-Switch

Thursday, November 6th, 2008
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BSkyB to Deploy Global Invacom Multi-switch With Channel Stacking Switch Technology to Cost-Effectively Deliver Entertainment Services to Multi-Dwelling Units

SAN DIEGO — Entropic Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq:ENTR), a leading provider of silicon solutions to enable connected home entertainment, announced that BSkyB (Sky) [LSE:BSY] has chosen Global Invacom, one of the largest manufacturers of satellite and cable peripherals in the world, to supply its new four-channel satellite channel router (SCR) incorporating Entropic’s Channel Stacking Switch (CSS) technology. This new solution will help Sky address demand from residents in multi-dwelling units (MDUs) for their Sky+ and Sky+HD set-top boxes and multi-room services.

Expanding Satellite Services for Multi-Dwelling Units

Many residential buildings, especially older ones, have limited cable access making it very difficult to cost-effectively address the growing consumer demand from those in such buildings for Sky+ and Sky+ HD, the UK’s most popular digital video recorder (DVR) and high-definition (HD) services respectively. Sky’s new four-channel SCR is designed specifically to address multi-dwelling units with limited cable access by leveraging the multi-tuner support enabled by Entropic’s CSS chipsets. CSS technology is able to support multiple tuners over a single cable. Sky’s new multi-switch can support up to two PVRs and a number of future Sky+ and Sky+HD boxes will have SCR technology built in to take advantage of this new multi-tuner support.

“We are very pleased that Global Invacom has successfully incorporated Entropic’s CSS technology in our new SCR,” said Pascal Wharton, head of Sky Homes at BSkyB. “This technology will help us to cost-effectively expand our coverage for the MDU market and meet the entertainment demands of our customers without costly retrofitting or rewiring.”

With the new multi-switch, Sky can more easily upgrade existing customers to its popular Sky+ and Sky+HD boxes. This capability, supported by CSS technology, will help satisfy the additional demand from MDUs for DVR functionality and increase customer satisfaction.

Flexibility and Scalability

Global Invacom was selected as the OEM of choice to deliver the Sky SCR. The four-channel SCR multi-switch was designed to be flexible and scalable. The SCR can be deployed in dwellings with single cable topographies as well as in dwelling with twin “shotgun” cable infrastructures. Further, since the SCR was designed to be cascade-able, allowing multiple switches to be deployed in a series, it can provide programming to any size MDU.

“Entropic’s CSS technology has been a key part of the solution that enabled Global Invacom to develop the SCR meeting Sky’s requirements in the MDU market,” said David Fugeman, sales and marketing director at Global Invacom. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with Entropic and delivering innovative cost-effective products that meet the needs of the PayTV provider community.”

Benefits of Channel Stacking Switch Technology

Entropic’s CSS technology significantly reduces both the cost and the cabling complexity of single-family and multi-resident home satellite installations. Unlike traditional satellite installations, which require a unique cable for each tuner from the satellite dish to the set-top box, Entropic’s CSS chipsets enable multiple video streams from individual or multiple satellites into the home over a single cable. This simplified cabling architecture allows for the deployment of set-top boxes with multiple tuner capabilities, in multiple rooms without expensive installation or retrofitting. Additionally, CSS technology enables plug and play for set-top box upgrades and lets installers reuse existing cabling to quickly set up a DBS system.

“We are delighted to work with respected leaders like Global Invacom and Sky to enable the delivery of advanced video services to customers,” said John Graham, vice president of marketing at Entropic. “As a company, we are focused on delivering solutions for connected home entertainment and our CSS technology creates new markets for operators by bringing satellite television into residential homes and multi-dwelling units with ease.”


The Sky SCR multi-switch product is available now through its MDU specialist installer network.