Denver may be the "cable TV capital," but until now, it had not hosted a major industry trade show. All that changed last month when thousands of technical folks arrived in the Mile High City for the annual SCTE Cable-Tec Expo. Among its business in Denver, the Society bestowed a number of honors on industry luminaries, and also elected a new chairman at the Expo.
Like the proverbial freight train that's thundering down the mountain, cable TV's rush into the digital era has begun in earnest. Led by Tele-Communications Inc.'s deployment of hundreds of digital headends and hundreds of thousands of digital set-tops, cable installers and technicians are setting up and troubleshooting digital equipment every day.
The latest round of bickering came after a "digital TV working group" of the Joint Engineering Committee met — for the first time — to begin hammering out what a "cable-ready" digital TV should look like. Representatives from both industries met and were treated to a prepared presentation by the co-chair who represents the consumer electronics side.
There are at least three kinds of taxes that come up when people talk about taxing the Internet. The first kind is state sales taxes on items purchased over the Internet. That's not an FCC issue, but it is a controversial issue that Congress will have to deal with. A second kind of tax is telephone access charges.
Technological advances emerging in stride with rising concern over an aggressively expanding cable industry are leading the telcos back to their future. Like it or not, local exchange carriers are once again confronting the fact that the ability to offer video entertainment services is vital to holding onto their core residential voice and dial-up data market.
High-speed data-over-cable. Telephony. Digital video and interactive TV. These are the new buzzwords of the '90s as cable network operators rush to take advantage of their high-bandwidth networks by deploying new, feature rich services in their drive to derive more revenues from their customers. The hardware side of the house, which has had problems keeping up with it all, is nearing the point ...
Two years after its passage, the Telecommunications Act of 1996 is finally producing some new competitive alliances. A heretofore obscure section of the legislation (Section 103) allows previously-restricted public utility holding companies to create subsidiaries that can provide telecommunications and information services without prior SEC approval.
It's not news that Denver has long been considered the center of the cable universe. It's home to a host of MSOs and cable-centric businesses. The industry's most important research and development work is being done at CableLabs, located just west of town. And it won't be too long before ground is broken on the University of Denver campus for the National Cable Center and Museum.
When it comes to digital video, Tele-Communications Inc. is out there on its own, boldly forging ahead with deployment, while nearly every other major MSO has taken a more cautious approach. Some even say the digital economic model is broken because new set-tops are wildly expensive, and there are so many analog receivers in existence.
Depending on which technology master you serve, telecommunications competition is either the dream you've always hoped for, or the nightmare that has you sitting bolt upright in the middle of the night. In the two years since telecommunications was overhauled via legislation, true competition has been largely nonexistent.
Low-power communications transmitters can be operated in the United States without radio licenses, provided that their power is low enough that they will not cause interference. Garage door openers, wireless LANs, wireless headphones and motion sensors are all examples of unlicensed low-power transmitters.
It's been nine months since the cable industry, with TCI Chairman and CEO John Malone at the helm, penned a letter on CableLabs stationery that will long be remembered as the shiny lure that attracted the trophy fish. That two-page letter, signed by Malone, CableLabs CEO Richard Green, and Continental Cablevision President Bill Schleyer, was sent to a "Who's Who" of consumer electronics and inf...
Ask anyone where video is headed and they'll tell you it's going digital — eventually. But even the most bullish digital proponent will tell you it will take years before the hundreds of millions of analog TVs and VCRs are truly obsolete. So, what should cable operators do in the meantime? Here's one idea: Deliver both.
Technological advancements and cost reductions in optical dense wavelength division multiplexing technology are causing cable operators to re-examine their fiber optic architectures, and are giving them an opportunity to increase bandwidth while lowering system maintenance costs. A case in point is cable giant Tele-Communications Inc.
ADSL has been around in concept for about 10 years. The idea is simple. Those same copper wire pairs that carry analog voice telephone calls can also be used to carry digital data. The voice signal uses only the frequencies up to about 4 kHz. Copper wires have a larger bandwidth than that. But getting from concept to practice has been difficult.