Last call from NoLa
While nature abhors a vacuum, reporters abhor unused notes. And on that note, here are a few final lagniappes from last week’s SCTE Cable-Tec Show in New Orleans:
- During the “Technology Leadership Roundtable,” moderator Leslie Ellis asked the panelists how many IP-connected devices they have in their homes. The scorecard: Ellis, 25; Cisco’s John Chapman, 33, with 25 video-capable; Time Warner Cable’s Mike Hayashi, 24, with six related to work; SCTE CTO Dan Howard, 14, including routers, servers and thin clients; Cox’s Jay Rolls, 18; Comcast’s Steve Reynolds, 22, with six video-enabled. What does this mean? That the above are seemingly the ones behind cable’s much ballyhooed migration to IP video. (By comparison, we have a paltry six.)
- Like The Cable Show in May, there seemed to be an iPad in every vendor booth. But the difference this time around was that some iPads were being used for more than just showing videos. While Comcast and CableLabs were showing their iPad remote control applications  at the show, Ericsson’s Android-based tablet was in its second stage of design. Ericsson’s IPTV Remote, which uses DLNA applications, has a pretty cool touchscreen interface that scrolls into future video listings and allows viewers to launch programs on their TVs and browse different types of video media, as well as preview and organize playlists. The demo seemed to impress Canoe Ventures CTO Arthur Orduna and the group of National Cable & Telecommunications Association members who watched Ericsson’s Michael Adams run the demo. Orduna liked the Ericsson tablet even more when Adams said it could use EBIF, as well.
- Over in the “secret squirrel” section of Ericsson’s booth, the company was demonstrating a bar code scanning system that allows users to capture the bar code on a DVD movie box with an iPhone or other device, and then watch it, buy it or reserve it when the movie becomes available. Another approach was using “QR” codes, which is a small box that appears on the right-hand corner of a screen that can be scanned just like a bar code by, again, capturing it with an iPhone.
- There were also a lot of multi-room DVR offerings being demonstrated at Expo. ADB showed its Virtual Gateway, which allows users to share content and tuners in a home while sending content to any device. ADB’s Virtual Gateway takes a software approach to home networking and uses MoCA 1.1, DLNA and Wi-Fi. Previously purchased gaming consoles can also be used to access and control content.
- Arris’ media gateway, which supports either QAM-based or IP-based video delivery, is currently in trials and ready for deployment early next year, according to Bruce McClelland, president of Arris’ Broadband Communications Systems. Arris first showed its media gateway, which uses components from Arris-owned Digeo, at The Cable Show, but in addition to system integrations since then, new features have been added.
We will have our usual Expo roundup in the next issue of CED. As always, it will be interesting to see how some of the technologies we saw last week develop over the course of a year when Expo moves to Atlanta in November.
Here’s hoping they have coffee in the press room next time around. New Orleans probably tops the list of cities that make massive morning infusions of caffeine mandatory during a trade show.