ATX GainMaker-Compatible Amplifiers: Accept no Substitutes

By Joe McGarvey, Senior Director, Marketing |

The English language is rife with idioms about authenticity. Advertisers scream at us daily to “accept no imitations” or “purchase no substitutes.” Even common surnames, like “McCoy,” have morphed into catchphrases to distinguish the “real” from the wannabe.

Why the obsession with originality? One reason might be as a counter to the preponderance of counterfeit out there. The sale and manufacture of knockoffs, like handbags and jewelry, is big business. Billions of dollars in counterfeit goods are sold annually through transactions that almost always start with “Pssst.”

Reverse Course

Not all imitations, of course, are illegal or ethically questionable. Products are often created through a process of reverse engineering, which roughly means the manufacturer duplicated an existing component, subassembly or product without access to the original drawings, documentation, or computer models. This is done daily, often to create spares or components for products no longer available or to claim compatibility with a popular and well-regarded product in the hope of providing an upgrade option.

While the reverse engineering process isn’t illegal, it’s also not foolproof. Like any technical procedure, building a facsimile of an original product without the original designs and documentation requires an element of art that can sometimes mar the science.

“While the reverse engineering process isn’t illegal, it’s also not foolproof.”

Artificial Amps

Take an HFC amplifier, used by MSOs to ensure the delivery of video and high-speed data services to millions of subscribers. Building a successor to an established brand without the original and required drawings and design information is no easy feat. Odds are high that the imitation is going to fall short of the original in some manner or another. With amps, maybe it’s the selection of lower-cost components for critical functions?

Earlier this year, ATX Networks introduced its GigaXtend™ GMC family of 1.2GHz HFC amplifiers. These GainMaker®-compatible products are designed from the original drawings and documentation, which ATX acquired through an agreement with Cisco.

Cisco selected ATX to carry on the legacy of its venerable GainMaker amplifiers. No other company has access to the original documentation and drawings, ensuring that the performance and reliability of ATX’s amplifier portfolio are as “authentic” as possible and superior to products affixed with unauthorized tags of compatibility.

The Real Deal

When it comes to high-tech imitations, it’s never just about the product. Does the company behind the product have a stellar reputation? Does it have a history of innovation and reliability with some of the largest cable operators in the world? And what about the evolution of that product? Knockoffs often originate in the pursuit of immediate opportunity, with little thought given to support, maintenance and future generations of the platform.

The momentum behind DOCSIS® 4.0 leaves little doubt that MSOs are committed to extending the spectrum range of their HFC networks, ensuring a long-term future for outside plant actives and passives. Not just the only technology supplier offering authentic GainMaker-compatible amplifiers, ATX also stands alone in delivering an outside plant roadmap for the next 30 years.

So, if you’re in the market for GainMaker-compatible HFC amplifiers, there’s only one Real McCoy. Accept no imitations — or you might end up being “Pssst” off.