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Technicolor tops 10 million DTAs sold in North America

Tue, 01/31/2012 - 1:11pm
Mike Robuck

Paris, France-based Technicolor has strengthened its foothold abroad by selling 10 million digital terminal adapters (DTAs) in North America.

Technicolor didn't announce who its North American DTA customers were in its release this morning, but Time Warner Cable is using the devices in its analog-to-digital conversion pilot in Augusta, Maine and surrounding communities.

During Time Warner Cable's fourth-quarter earnings call last week, CEO Glenn Britt said all-digital conversions were slated to take place in more of Time Warner Cable's footprint this year.

Mediacom is also using Technicolor's DTAs for its all-digital conversion projects in Iowa and the Florida/Alabama market.

Like other cable operators, namely Comcast, Mediacom and Time Warner Cable are freeing up bandwidth by converting their analog channels to digital. The end result will be more HD and SD channels, as well as faster DOCSIS 3.0-based tiers and other services.

Cable operators can reclaim between 250 MHz and 300 MHz in each system that goes all-digital. If a typical cable system has 79 analog channels and the operator decides to move 59 of those channels to digital, while perhaps leaving 20 or so as a lifeline analog service for some select markets, it would reclaim 354 MHz.

Given 354 MHz of reclaimed spectrum in the example above – and the fact that, on average, 10 standard-definition MPEG-2 digital programs can be inserted into one 6 MHz slot – this yields enough bandwidth for nearly 590 channels.

Technicolor first released its standard definition DTA in 2009 and followed up with a high definition version shortly thereafter.

Comcast set the table when it came to the SD DTA product specifications, and has started to roll out HD DTAs.

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