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Cable burned by bird…

Sun, 01/21/2001 - 7:00pm
Karen Kessler-Tanaka

These satellites in the sky are becoming a real threat to cable. According to a report from Cahners In-Stat Group, digital direct-to-home satellite services are pulling way ahead of digital cable TV providers in the race to get interactive digital television services to market.

Michelle Abraham, an In-Stat senior analyst, tells CED why. "Certainly one of the reasons for the higher numbers for satellite is because when it's turned on, coverage is instant across an entire region, and cable services must be rolled out on a neighborhood by neighborhood process."

Abraham says that both satellite and cable are offering digital video services, but the interactive services are much more prevalent among satellite. For example, says Abraham, there are satellite providers who already have the order-a-movie-and-get-a-pizza-too function up and running. For cable, that idea is still half-baked.

Abraham says don't count cable out. Many cable companies have made announcements that they are going to try and catch up. They had better hurry, however. In-Stat's findings project that by the end of 2004, direct broadcast satellite will claim 95 million subscribers, while digital cable subs will number around 48 million worldwide.

Another Cahners In-Stat report found that wireless Internet access devices, like PDAs, wireless modems and two-way pagers will become the favored way to access the Internet, eventually bumping the PC.

Information on both reports can be found at Cahners In-Stat Group.

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