It was apropos that the 2013 Cable Show was held in Washington D.C. considering the big role that regulators play in the industry. Not only did attendance seem lighter than last year, but opening sessions on Day 1 also were disjointed with speeches that were self-congratulatory, lacked substance, and made claims that were hard to believe, such as “the industry is an innovator; the US is really a leader in average Internet speeds.” And “all content will be available on all screens regardless of what MSOs and programmers think, and today’s disruption is really about business models.”
In Day 2 Michael Powell’s (president and CEO of NCTA) interview with Mignon Clyburn (current acting chair of the FCC) was interesting from a human perspective but lacked any real content. Brian Roberts demonstrated the Xi3 box and the new X2 user interface for Xfinity, which include voice commands and seem to be as good if not better than Siri. It appears to be powered by Veveo. I was impressed because it seems that Comcast finally got religion about user experience; it will be interesting to see how fast they can roll it out and how well it will actually works in the home.
M2M/IoT: CPE vendors and service providers were demonstrating home security, monitoring and control capabilities—a huge growth opportunity and a natural extension of their existing markets.
Cloud: Cisco demonstrated cloud DVR (http://www.acgresearch.net/knowledge-insights/videos/cloud-dvr-perspective.aspx). ActiveVideo demonstrated cloud-powered guides. ActiveVideo showed that mission-critical functions can be moved to the cloud. The company also announced wins with Charter and Cablevision.
CCAP: Cisco, Arris/Moto and Casa demonstrated their capabilities, and we are starting to see commercial shipments, which should continue throughout the year.
Gateways are starting to gain traction as well. Cisco was giving a sneak peak at its G8 hybrid IP gateway. Arris and Technicolor also were showcasing their products.
Azuki Systems, an innovator in delivering multiscreen over legacy networks, unveiled an approach for using its technology to reduce the bandwidth requirements for first screen viewing to enable QAM reclamation.
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