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.
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.
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
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Company: Building B
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.