xOD Capsule - January 15, 2008

Mon, 01/14/2008 - 7:00pm
Michael Robuck
   January 15, 2008

Peer 2 Peer

ET conference draws a bead on future
The SCTE's Conference on Emerging Technologies takes a long view of the technologies that will impact the cable industry three to five years from now, but that doesn't mean some of the material isn't applicable today.

John Clark
SCTE President and
CEO - John Clark

One case in point is the first session of the conference, which is Tuesday's "Advanced Advertising Technology: Driving the Next Growth Engine." With cable's Project Canoe initiative just starting to gain traction, and with the SCTE Standards Program's work on addressable advertising via DVS 629, advertising opportunities are top of mind with most MSOs and with the advertising industry this year.

"I think that one (advertising session) is going to be a highlight because people often use ET for capital planning – what type of equipment is out there, what type of network architecture will be there three to five years from now," said SCTE President and CEO John Clark. "What makes the advertising session a little different is it's not just about capital planning, it's also about revenue generation. We expect that one to be crowded and a definite highlight in L.A.

"The advertising session also syncs up with our standards effort. In our standards development, the area we see with the highest activity is digital program insertion (DPI). We see a high interest in advanced advertising in both an ET environment and a standards development environment."

Advance/Newhouse SVP Arthur Orduna is scheduled to moderate Tuesday's advanced advertising session.

Marv Nelson
SCTE VP of Professional
Development - Marv Nelson

Marv Nelson, the SCTE's VP of professional development, said this year's slate of sessions has its roots in the keynote by Ethernet co-founder Bob Metcalfe at least year's ET conference.

"Last year, Bob Metcalfe talked about Ethernet everywhere in terms of seeing millions, and even billions, of nodes connected up so that everything you touch in the home is just another device that is connected by Ethernet," Nelson said. "That's where we started as a program committee when we started talking about ET this year. What is going to happen when we have this hyper-connectivity, and what will that do to the rest of the network? What does it do to us in terms of the planning we need to do for that network?

"That's where you'll see the rest of the sessions driving toward. The Cable 3.0 session, which is a play off of Web 2.0 nomenclature, is about what cable will look like in its next iteration because it's not just about video anymore."

Wednesday's "Cable 3.0: Personalizing Services Beyond Web 2.0" will be moderated by Time Warner Cable SVP of Advanced Engineering Mike Hayashi.

The ET event dates back to 1988 when it started out as a conference on fiber optics. For the first time last year, the SCTE hosted a collaboration Web site where panelists and attendees could access the panelists' papers prior to the conference. The SCTE also provided wireless Internet access during the conference to help the audience access those papers, since the panelists didn't directly present their papers during the sessions.

After getting some feedback, the SCTE has made a few tweaks to this year's conference.

"The big change this year is that there will be more opportunities for dialogue," Nelson said. "Every year there are questions at the end of the sessions that we didn't get to. Last year, we did the 'submit your questions by e-mail' avenue, but this year we're going to be real intentional about getting all of those questions onto the collaboration site; so even if you don't get your questions answered at ET, you'll get them answered on the collaboration site."

Debra Swann, the SCTE's VP of marketing and business development, said that while last year was the first time the collaboration site was used, the panelists are more engaged the second time around.

"[The Web site] allows for ongoing interaction post-conference, so it stretches the ET experience for those who wish to participate," Swann said.

Another change from last year is that the panelists will spend some time summarizing their submitted papers.

The ET conference was last held in California in 2005.

"Traditionally, whenever we've been in northern or southern California, we have the opportunity for our attendance to increase with people coming from the entertainment industry and Silicon Valley, as well," Clark said. "We expect that in L.A. this week."

  — Michael Robuck, Senior Editor, CED

 RGB's Dynamic Bandwith Manager 

Download lowdown

Comcast takes aim at more HD content
Comcast has thrown down the gauntlet against competitors such as Verizon and DirecTV with the announcement that it expects to have more than 1,000 linear and HD VOD choices by the end of the year. continue

Comcast-TiVo debuts; rollout of DOCSIS 3.0 will be phased
Comcast maintained a high profile at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), with Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts announcing that its TiVo service has been launched in New England and will be made available in more markets throughout 2008. continue 


ICTV Create, Distribute, Experience

SeaChange inks VOD agreement with Top 5 cable op
SeaChange has signed a one-year Master Purchase Agreement with one of the five largest cable TV companies in the U.S. continue

EchoStar, Sling Media debut new products at CES
Sling Media demonstrated a slew of new xOD-related products at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). continue

Cisco products aim at connected home
Multi-room DVR and distributing content around the home were key themes at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Cisco extended its DVR line with three models in its new 8500HDC DVR family that all incorporate those capabilities. continue

TiVo on board with Internet download of videos
Subscribers to TiVo's Season Pass tier of service will be able to download video content from the Internet to their TVs. continue

Camiant allies with QAM makers; also with SeaChange
Camiant has partnered with five major QAM manufacturers to provide cable operators with an edge management system. continue

Netflix allowing subs to stream 'unlimited' movies, TV shows on PC
Netflix announced that it is allowing its more than seven million subscribers to stream an unlimited number of movies and TV episodes on their PCs for no additional fee. continue

Netflix hooks up with LG Electronics to deliver movies to TVs
Netflix is joining the fray of companies that are offering up movies to customers' TVs via Internet connections. continue

Quartics ramps up product demos at CES
Quartics took advantage of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to showcase three of its new xOD-related products. continue

Companies plan to build national mobile TV distribution system
Samsung Electronics, MobiTV, Nokia Siemens Networks, Rohde & Schwarz and SES Americom's IP-Prime announced a plan at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to build a national mobile TV distribution system in the U.S. continue

Vongo, Starz serve up content to Samsung's P2 portable player
Samsung's P2 portable video player has become the eighth video player to be certified by Vongo, allowing consumers to download Vongo's subscription movies and other video content for mobile viewing. continue

Two-way talk

Cox chooses NDS' IEX STB testing solution
Cox Communications has chosen NDS' IEX system as the operator's preferred automated set-top box (STB) testing solution, which will replace manual testing equipment. continue 

BIAP bows EBIF product suite
BIAP has unveiled its end-to-end Enhanced Binary Interchange Format (EBIF) product suite for the cable industry - including operators, programmers and third-party enhanced TV (ETV) application developers. continue 

AT&T's U-verse subs in Ohio get interactive services
AT&T announced today that its U-verse customers in Columbus, Ohio, now have access to new interactive services. continue

Heard on the 'Net

• LG Electronics launches digital TV on the go, reported by the San Jose Mercury News.

• Sony and Nielsen strike a deal for new cross-platform metrics, reported by MediaPost.

• HD movies without the format war, reported by The New York Times.

Company: Building B
Belmont, Calif.
CEO: Buno Pati

Claim to fame: The company is building an entertainment platform and service that incorporates the strengths of wireless broadcast technology and the Internet to deliver a personalized, broadband video experience to the living room TV without the need for a PC.

Recent news of note: In December, Building B named Martin Lundie as the company's CFO. Lundie has also held the position of CFO at Picolight Inc., PolyStor Corp., Vixel Corp. and Lightwave Microsystems Corp.



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