Comcast Wholesale and the National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC) announced this morning the renewal of a multi-year agreement for the HITS National Authorization Service (NAS), which included support for universal digital terminal adapters (uDTAs.)

With NAS, NCTC cable operator members can reduce the cost associated with their live, on demand and IP services through a centrally managed platform.

Comcast Wholesale’s latest features for the NAS platform expanded its centralized conditional access platform to support uDTAs as well as a wide range of MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 STBs and retail devices using CableCards.

Encryption of uDTAs from NAS allows cable operators to purchase and install low-cost DTAs and wall-plate devices from a choice of vendors. In addition, the NAS uDTA solution supports offering a multi-room IPG, which enables content stored on one DVR to be viewed on DTAs throughout the customer’s home.

NCTC members and other cable system operators using uDTA encryption from NAS can also deliver multiple tiers of digital video packages to DTAs within their existing billing environments. 

“HITS remains an important asset for many of NCTC’s members, and the renewal of the NAS agreement ensures that members can continue to depend on Comcast Wholesale and HITS for their digital service,” said Corey McCarthy, NCTC’s chief financial officer and senior vice president of business development.

The NAS conditional access platform provides cable operators with a cost effective alternative to purchasing and operating the headend management systems required for managing permissions, set-top boxes (STBs), and interactive programming guides (IPGs). These centralized services also support offering pay per view (PPV), video on demand (VOD) programming and meeting EAS (Emergency Alert System) requirements. 

Originally launched in 1996 in partnership with a leading manufacturer of digital set top boxes (STBs), NAS today is wholly owned and operated by Comcast Wholesale, which is a division of Comcast Cable.

“Our new agreement with NCTC is the latest step forward in an 18-year partnership that has collaborated on solutions allowing the industry’s independently owned cable operators to remain competitive and grow their businesses,” stated Barry Tishgart, vice president, Comcast Wholesale. “The ongoing investments we make in innovations such as NAS, the HITS Q2 Platform and our IP Services suite, illustrate the benefits of utilizing solutions pioneered and supported by an industry leader that has a first-hand understanding of a cable operator’s business requirements.”