Viodi View – 06/20/13

Were there any surprises at last week’s cable show? Probably not, as what was demonstrated represents what has been shown for decades in proof-of-concepts, trials and even limited commercial rollouts of interactive television approaches from Qube to Videoway to the Full Service Network. The revolutionary thing about last week’s conference is that now the technologies, the associated cost and ecosystems and the customer appear to be ready to make the future the present.

On the Road… At the Cable Show

An image of the opening of the 2013 Cable Show.
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Service providers of all types are transforming from physical infrastructure companies to software companies, and cable operators are no different. This is the sense one was left with at the 2013 Cable Show. This three-day event, held in Washington D.C., provided operators and its association the opportunity to showcase this transformation from pipe providers to owners of a bandwidth ecosystem that is a platform for a variety of home-grown as well as complementary and, potentially even, competing third-party applications from over-the-top providers. Thanks Calix for picking up this post.

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From Video to Broadband – Regulations Need to Catch Up

Ken Pyle interviews Matt Polka at the 2013 Cable Show.
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“Our members are moving from being cable video companies to broadband Internet companies,” said Matt Polka president and CEO of the American Cable Association (ACA). He was reflecting upon the how the business has shifted from video to broadband-centric services. His concern is that ACA members also need to have access to the same technology, on display at the 2013 Cable Show, afforded to the larger providers. Polka points out how his members maximize the use of their resources, as they make up for their relatively small size with nimbleness and resourcefulness.

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The Voice Remote Control – A Trojan Horse in the Living Room

Comcast's Voice Remote is demonstrated in this video at the Cable Show.
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The voice-enabled remote control may become one of those 10 year overnight successes. The definition of success may be the question, as adding this piece of hardware as part of the user interface ecosystem may have far-reaching impacts beyond the obvious benefit of finding better content and finding it faster. Click here to read more and to see an exclusive video overview of Comcast’s XR11 voice-controlled, remote control.

Nailing the Content Search & Discovery Experience

Ken Pyle interviews Comcast's Amit Bagga regarding the challenges of developing the TV User Interface.
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“There is a significant initiative (about 200 people working on the challenge) at Comcast in terms of making it easier to find content that they want to watch,” said Amit Bagga, Chief Scientist, Search and Discovery, Technology & Product Development for Comcast. In this interview, Bagga suggested that maintaining the lean-back experience of watching TV, while making it easy to find the content they want to watch, is the goal.

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Analyst Opinions on Cisco’s CRS-X Core Router & Its Impact on Competitors by Alan Weissberger

The Cisco® CRS-X, which will be available this year, is a 400 Gigabit per second (Gbps) per slot core router system that can be expanded to nearly 1 petabit per second in a multi-chassis deployment. The CRS-X provides 10 times the capacity of the original CRS-1, which was introduced in 2004 as a new class of core routing system designed to scale network capacity to accommodate the proliferation in video, data and mobile traffic, which has taken place over the last decade.

Click here to read the opinions of analysts, including Alan Weissberger’s unique insight.

Some Tweets and Short Thoughts:

  • “It is a momentous development,” according to Covington & Burling LLP, regarding last week’s amendments to the Mexican Constitution that is expected to lead to broad changes in Mexico’s telecom and broadcast sectors. Expanded competition, broadband and openness is anticipated. Paul Maxwell hinted about these changes and the potential impact to must-carry/retransmission rule in Mexico in this interview earlier in the year. Amazing how fast this idea worked its way through Mexico’s body politic.
  • A&E’s Saban: “Technology influences the nature of the content; for the better” #cable13
  • Disney’s Sweeney: “Consumer has taken control & not giving it back” talking about expectations for content on multiple screens. #cable13
  • Advice to operators from opening panel: Adopt agile development processes & learn to “fail quickly” #cable13

The Korner – A Nice Lasting Impression of the 2013 Cable Show

Ken Pyle interviews Janice Arouh of ESN at the 2013 ACA Summit.
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In the previous issue of the Viodi View, I wondered what would be my final impression of the 2013 Cable Show. Similar to the 2006 show, a programmer left an imprint – a more positive one than the 2006 show – an imprint that will stay with me. The kindness of Janice Arouh of programmer ESN will be remembered as her offer of a ride ensured I got to the airport in time and relieved some of the stress associated with my normal seat-of-the-pants travel.

I had met Janice at the 2013 ACA Summit and it was great to see her at the Cable Show. In this interview,  Arouh discusses the independent suite of networks that comprise ESN. What is different about ESN is they produce and distribute the content that populates their eight channels. By controlling the entire chain of copyright, they have the rights to provide the content to any screen; as Arouh says, “A 360 degree view.”

Click here to read more and view the video.

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