R-PHY: What It Is, and Advantages of This Solution

Remote PHY (R-PHY) Architecture, a type of Distributed CCAP Architecture (DCA), is a relatively new architecture that is becoming increasingly popular due to the perpetually rising demand for fast and reliable networks, especially among triple-play customers.

Here at Radiant Communications Corporation, providers of quality telecommunications equipment, including MPEG 2 encoders, we’ve compiled some essential information about R-PHY architecture.

What is R-PHY Architecture?

R-PHY is one of two types of DCA (the other being MAC-PHY). By using pseudowires to emulate a connection between a CCAP Core and a set of Remote PHY Devices (RPD), network operators are able to reduce their cost by limiting the amount of physical equipment needed.

How does R-PHY Architecture reduce complexity?

This architecture allows the MAC functions, including signaling functions and downstream and upstream bandwidth scheduling, to remain in the headend. This setup is simpler than MAC-PHY, which reduces the likelihood of operational failure. Fewer failures translates into happier customers, as well as reduced costs in repairs. Additionally, by keeping more complex functions centralized, it creates a simpler path toward virtualization in the future.

How does R-PHY work with existing network architecture?

One of the greatest advantages of R-PHY is that there are highly detailed specifications available, ensuring consistency between vendors and increasing interoperability, which ultimately makes things simpler for operators. The R-PHY architecture will also make it easier to accommodate higher bandwidth speeds in the future.

Why is there a need for higher bandwidth?

More users continue to demand greater bandwidth to accommodate the many intensive tasks that they perform, such as streaming HD video and music, gaming, and accessing cloud-based services. All of these tasks may consume copious amounts of bandwidth, leading to reduced performance and latency issues. While bandwidth speeds may have been measured in kilobytes merely a decade ago, many MSO’s today offer speeds of over 100MB. Although speeds of 1GB are typically only offered to businesses now, there is no doubt that this will eventually become available to the average consumer.

How does R-PHY facilitate the transition toward gigabyte services?

The R-PHY architecture allows MSO’s the gradually shift toward providing gigabyte services by shifting some of their equipment from the headend to the network node and allowing the network to run more efficiently. R-PHY may also improve signal quality and provide a greater degree of reliability.

To learn more about the equipment you need for your network, including fiber patch panels, MPEG 2 encoders, QAM insertion, and more, give us a call today.

FAQ About Fiber Optic Technology

If you’re new to fiber optics, or broadcasting technology in general, you probably have run into quite a few unfamiliar terms like PON or MPEG-2 encoder. Here, we answer some basic questions about fiber optics and some of the common terms that you are likely to encounter as you’re looking to purchase equipment for your network.

What is a fiber optic cable?

In simplest terms, a fiber optic cable is made of either single or multiple fibers that carry light. The fibers are made of either glass or fiber, with plastic being the material most readily available to consumers. The light carries data at high speeds.

What are the advantages of fiber optics over traditional copper cables?

Fiber optic cables can carry a much greater amount of data than copper wire. Not only can they carry more data, but they are also able to transport it faster, making fiber optics ideal for long distances. The cables themselves are also thinner and more flexible than copper, making them easier to install. The last section of the local loop is typically still connected with copper cables.

What is a PON?

PON stands for Passive Optical Network. This type of network architecture is used on a large scale by telecommunications providers offering “triple play” packages (phone, TV and Internet). It uses a passive splitter to take one input and broadcast the signal to many users. On a smaller scale, many businesses are replacing LANs (Local Area Networks) with PONs as they are less expensive, offer higher security and can be easily expanded to include more users.

What is an encoder?

A video encoder allows you to convert your video content into a type of file which can be streamed to your users. Our series of MPEG2 video encoders allow you to convert your files to the standard MPEG-2 format or H.264 for high-quality videos.

Have more questions about your fiber optic network? We’re here to help. Give us a call today for more information or to request a quote on our products.

Which FTTX Network Is Right For You?

Fiber to the x, or FTTX, is a general term for a fiber optic network structure that refers to the “last mile” in telecommunications. To look at it another way, let’s suppose that you own a hotel. If a retail service provider is a tree, then the trunk of the tree reaches to your hotel, where it then branches out to deliver content to the leaves in each of the rooms where your customers are staying. This type of setup is common not only in hotels, but in hospitals, retirement homes, and MDU’s such as apartments.

While the concept of FTTX remains the same, there are several different variations that use different amounts of fiber optic cables and copper wires.

  • FTTH (Fiber to the Home): This type of setup uses the most fiber optic cables, taking them all the way to a box either on the outside or inside of the home. Copper wires are only used to complete the connection between this box and the various devices, such as a router or set-top TV box.
  • FTTB (Fiber to the Box): In this scenario, fiber optic cables reach the boundary of a building, such as an MDU, with other wires being used to complete the connection.
  • FTTC (Fiber to the Cabinet): A cabinet refers to a cabinet or closet, typically about 1,000 feet away from the building. High-bandwidth copper wires such as Ethernet cables complete the loop.
  • FTTN (Fiber to the Node): This setup is used by some providers offering triple-play telecommunications packages. Unlike FTTC, the street cabinet may be miles away from the customers, and copper wires are used to complete the connection.

How does this relate to Passive Optical Networks (PON)?

A PON is a specific type of FTTX  network architecture that greatly reduces the equipment needed to deliver content to your customers. In fact, a single optical fiber can serve up to 128 customers.  

An essential piece in a PON setup is the encoder. Our QRF-5000 encoder is a cost-effective way to encode your locally generated content and efficiently deliver it to your customers.
Fiber optic transmission is the fastest and most effective way to reach your customers, and Radiant Communications Corporation has all the equipment you need to improve your network. Browse our product gallery today to see all of the components we have to offer.

All About the MPEG-2 Video File Format

Today, MPEG-2 is the most widely used video container format. You probably see the term all the time without giving it much thought. But do you know what “MPEG” stands for or how the format came to be? In this post, we’ll briefly explore the answers to these questions and more.

What does MPEG-2 mean?

The first part of the acronym stands for the “Moving Pictures Expert Group,” which is the name of the organization that developed the file format as an international standard. The number two represents that this was the second standard that was developed (MPEG-1 was the first). It is also referred to as H.222 or H.262 by the International Telecommunication Union.

How long has MPEG-2 been in use?

This file format first became available in 1995. It replaced the MPEG-1 standard that was developed in 1993 and added support for interlacing and high definition. It was also preferred over MPEG-1 because of its lossy video and audio compression, allowing for relatively small files that maintain a high level of quality.

Where is MPEG-2 used?

MPEG-2 is not just the standard format for cable and satellite broadcasting; it is also used for movies and other programs that are stored on DVDs. To convert a file to this format so that it can be broadcast, you’ll need a MPEG-2 encoder.

Are there newer formats available?

Yes. MPEG-4, specifically MPEG-4 Part 10 or H.264 is a newer and even more efficient format that is the standard for Blu-ray Discs. Many Internet streaming sites also use this format, as well as some HDTV broadcasting stations.

Where can I get a MPEG-2 encoder?

Radiant Communications Corporation proudly makes HD encoders with a variety of options to suit many organizations, including Public, Education, and Government groups. Our VL4500 series HD encoders are able to encode both MPEG-2 and H.264, which allows you to work in the present while preparing for the future, without the need for additional equipment.

The MPEG-2 format came about through the work of many individuals, and it is used a standard throughout the world. To find out which MPEG 2 encoder is right for you, feel free to speak with one of our knowledgeable representatives.

Looking Back: The History of Fiber Optics

Today, telecommunication relies almost entirely on fiber optic cables. Without this technology, there would be no need for HD video encoders. But the use of these cables is a relatively recent development. Today, we look back on the beginnings of fiber optics and trace them all the way to where the industry is today.


Experiments with light refraction, which is essential for fiber optics, began in the mid-1800s. In 1870, John Tyndall created an experiment which demonstrated this principle by having a jet of water flow from one container to another. By directing a beam of sunlight at the water, a zigzag path of light was seen. In the year 1880, Alexander Graham Bell invented the Photophone, which used these principles of optics to transmit voice data. However, even though it was more advanced than the telephone, available technology made it impractical for use.

Mid 1900s

It wasn’t until the mid-1900s that the word “fiber optics” was first used. In the 1950s, the first practical glass fiber was created, which greatly expanded its use. With the advent of laser and LED technology, a very small light source was able to create the light necessary for the fibers to be functional. From the 1960s onward, there was rapid growth in the field of fiber optics as people around the world continued to experiment with and improve on the technology.

Late 1900s

It was in 1976 that AT&T first experimented with installing a fiber optic system in Atlanta, Georgia. Others soon followed, but it wasn’t until a few years later that fibers were capable of carrying light pulses over longer distances without the signal weakening. By 1980, these issues had been largely addressed, and fiber optic cables were used at the Winter Olympics that year to transmit television signals with great success. In the 1980s, as computers saw rapid development, people began to realize the potential for using fiber optic cables, which were capable of handling far greater amounts of data than traditional copper cables.

The 2000s and beyond

By the year 2000, copper wires had been almost entirely replaced with fiber optic cables, except local loops, as seen in FTTx setups. It is these vast networks of fiber optics cables across the globe that have made the success of the Internet possible.

As you can see, people everywhere rely heavily on the power of fiber optics for telecommunications, and at Radiant Communications Corporation, we have been around since the industry first began to see huge developments. Whether your organization needs HD video encoding solutions or PON/RFoG insertion equipment, we’ll be there to guide you every step of the way.