Comcast Media Center to repackage HITS
Last week, CMC’s cable operator affiliates were notified that the HITS2Home service was going to be discontinued this summer, and that the HITS platform is going to be expanded thanks to a new satellite agreement with SES Americom. HITS stands for “Headend in the Sky” and dates back to when the CMC facilities and services were owned by AT&T.
“We have signed a deal with SES Americom for a complete repackaging of HITS in terms of satellite space segment,” CMC COO and SVP Gary Traver told CED. “What we’re doing is consolidating the traditional HITS platform, HITS Quantum and HD Quantum onto a set of three satellites that are all two degrees apart from each other so the entire service platform can be received by one single triple-beam antenna. We’ve been working on this for about a year.”
The change will allow the CMC to consolidate its HITS services onto three satellites instead of the seven that were needed before.
The CMC will also move its services from KU-Band to C-Band as part of the overhaul. Traver said the C-Band will provide more availability because it’s not subject to the rain fade of the KU-Band.
“We’ll get much better availability to the cable operators,” Traver said. “The second part is that because they (cable operator customers) are all on one dish, everything that we continue to add is part of that platform, and we have some very interesting and aggressive plans [that] people can get without needing additional antennas.”
The CMC will provide more details about the new platform at the National Cable Television Cooperative’s Winter Education Conference next moth in Phoenix.
“It really sets us up for providing our MSO customers with a much better and stronger platform,” Traver said. “It puts us on a really strong foundation for the future, so we’re really happy about it. Obviously, the first half of the year we’re going to be moving our customers into this new configuration, which is part of what we’re going to be working on with our affiliates.”
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