Cable Show: Something for Everyone in the City of Angels

Posted on in In The News, Press Releases

Top-Flight Speakers, Panels, Technology Exhibits on Tap in LA

When the industry convenes in Los Angeles next week for Cable Show 2014, attendees will have plenty to keep pique their collective interests.

From a list of top-flight speakers and array of panels cutting across a variety of disciplines, to an exhibit floor with well over 200 exhibitors and an expanded Imagine Park, networking and educational opportunities will abound at the Los Angeles Convention Center from April 29 through May 1.

General session speakers on Tuesday, April 29 include A+E president Nancy Dubuc; Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti; Jerry Kent, chairman of Suddenlink; Rob Marcus, chairman of Time Warner Cable; John Martin, CEO of Turner Broadcasting; NCTA president Michael Powell; and ESPN president and Disney Media Networks co-chairman John Skipper.

Wednesday’s lineup features FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts and Discovery Communications president and CEO David Zaslav. In addition, there is host of talent from the creative community: Michelle Ashford, creator, writer, and executive producer of Showtime’s Masters of Sex; Richard LaGravenese, co-creator, writer and executive producer of WEtv’s The Divide; and quadruple threat Kurt Sutter, creator, writer, producer, and actor, FX’s Sons of Anarchy

Thursday concludes with Cox president Pat Esser; Rob Lloyd, president, development and sales, for Cisco; Josh Sapan, president or AMC Networks; and Matt Weiner, creator, writer, director, executive producer of AMC’s Emmy-winning retro advertising drama, Mad Men.

Spread across some 105,000 square feet, 230 exhibitors, including 24 CableNet participants, will show their latest equipment, devices, services and programming.

Imagine Park returns to Cable Show 2014 as the place to gain an early glimpse of what’s next in broadband and television worlds. It’s also the home to a number of informative sessions. Check out the schedule here.

The venue will also house the “Internet of Things,” where visitors can explore the frontier functionality for connected devices. For example, your mobile communicates with your thermostat, which in turn chats with your refrigerator that gossips with your smart door knob. Here, attendees can learn about how machine-to-machine communication via broadband has changed over the last five years and how de riguer it become over the next five.

The Imagine Film Challenge is also on tap, a competition pitting four student teams charged with creating short films of seven minutes or less. The challenge will afford the student squads from Columbia College Chicago, Loyola Marymount University, New York Film Academy and hometown UCLA access to top filmmakers and industry executives, as well as the opportunity to have their work viewed by some of the world’s leading TV and digital media organizations. The films will be shot and edited on the show floor of the LA Convention Center and surrounding areas throughout the Cable Show, with the winner taking home the top prize award following the screenings and deliberations.

The projects will later be broadcast on competition sponsor ShortsHD, which is available on DirecTV and AT&T U-Verse, and across Europe and Africa.

Imagine Park will also serve up Happy Hour, sponsored by Time Warner Cable, on Tuesday from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

 

TWC Unleashed 300-Meg Broadband To Some

Posted on in In The News, Press Releases, Uncategorized

Speed Upgrades Start In Los Angeles, NYC

 

Time Warner Cable said it has begun to offer broadband speeds of up to 300 Mbps (downstream) in parts of New York City and Los Angeles as part of its “TWC Maxx” all-digital network and service upgrade initiative.

In the upgraded areas, TWC subs who are on the MSO’s Standard tier (15 Mbps down by 1 Mbps upstream) are being bumped to 50×5, while customers on the Ultimate plan (100 x 5) are being accelerated to 300 x 20 at no extra charge, the MSO said, noting that customers will need a DOCSIS 3.0 modem to get the boost. Its Standard service runs about $57.99 per month, while Ultimate is priced about $107.99.

Areas that are getting the speed boost include Costa Mesa and West Hollywood in California, and in areas of Woodside (in Queens) and Staten Island in New York City.

TWC’s network and Internet speed upgrades are coming “soon” to the LA areas of Covina, Cypress, Hoover, Crenshaw District and Jefferson Park, and to upper Manhattan and additional neighborhoods in Queens and Staten Island in New York City. By the end of June, TWC will be delivering the new, faster speed plans to more than 200,000 customers, the MSO said.

Time Warner Cable Business Services unit has also introduced speed tiers of 100 Mbps down by 10 Mbps upstream, as well as 200×20 and 300×20 as new options, complementing the speeds of up to 10 Gbps it offers via its fiber-based Metro Ethernet platform tailored for larger commercial customers.

“These significant speed increases and network enhancements will allow our Internet customers to get the most out of their TWC experience,” “With this service transformation, our customers can enjoy all the ways they use TWC Internet even better, including streaming video, downloading music and more,” TWC chairman and CEO Robert Marcus said, in a statement.

TWC has completed its all-digital rollout in NYC, and expects to wrap it in L.A. by year-end. With the upgrade, TWC is also expanding its VOD library to 75,000 hours of content, and extending the reach of a new cloud-based interface for its video platform.

The upgrades are part of the MSO’s three-year ops plan announced in late January, weeks before Comcast announced its proposed acquisition of the nation’s second largest MSO.

 

– See more at: http://www.multichannel.com/news/technology/twc-unleashed-300-meg-broadband-some/374029#sthash.3E7MRUhm.dpuf

Comcast’s hotspot network grows to 1M nodes, driven by crowdsourced Wi-Fi

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Comcast revealed on Wednesday it has grown its Wi-Fi hotspot network to 1 million nodes. Considering that on Tuesday its FCC filing on its planned acquisition of Time Warner Cable listed 870,000 hotspots, it appears to be ramping up its wireless network quickly.

Comcast can scale so quickly because its broadband customers are doing much of the heavy lifting. Its latest wireless home gateways all operate in dual modes, providing a private home network for the customer and a public network that can be accessed by any Comcast broadband customer. Comcast also offers public hotspot capabilities to all of its business customers and has built with thousands of high-powered outdoor hotspots in key high-traffic zones in its operating territory.

Comcast isn’t breaking out how many neighborhood hotspots it’s running versus commercial access points, but they make up the vast majority of its network. Comcast is part of the CableWiFi consortium, which pools together the outdoor and business hotspots of Time Warner, Cox Communications, Cablevision Systems and Bright House Networks. CableWiFi has 200,000 hotspots in total, meaning Comcast has more than 800,000 access points transmitting from living room shelves.

Though its hotspot network is a considerable resource for Comcast’s customers, it’s not the easiest to use. Customers still have to log in to each hotspot using their Xfinity credentials, but emerging technologies like Hotspot 2.0 will eventually make those connections automatic. When that happens Comcast can turn its hotspot footprint into a kind of mobile data overlay offloading smartphone and tablet traffic off from cellular networks.

Comcast told regulators it’s weighing using that footprint to create a Wi-Fi First mobile network, using cellular systems to fill in the gaps between its hotspots. It hasn’t revealed whether it would sell such a service to consumers to sell Wi-Fi capacity to other carriers.

 

Charting Charter’s Progress

Posted on in In The News, Press Releases

Charter Communications’ launch of a new app that can stream more than 130 live TV channels in the home to tablets and smartphones (with some out-of-home access expected down the road) marks the latest step in the operator’s transformational process under Tom Rutledge, who took the helm more than two years ago.

A big piece of this shift involves other services as well as a fresh brand that Charter will use as it completes all-digital upgrades.

Following up on plans first revealed by Rutledge last November, the company confirmed (subscription required) that Charter (hat tip: DSL Reports) has already introduced that new brand, “Spectrum,” in two markets — Fort Worth, Texas, and Greenville, S.C.

Similar to Comcast’s Xfinity playbook, Charter is introducing the brand with new services that are tied to this analog-reclamation process. At this stage, Spectrum means the doubling of max Internet download speeds – from 30 Mbps to 60 Mbps – at no additional cost, alongside a hefty expansion of live HDTV channels, a larger VOD library, and advanced voice service paired with unlimited nationwide calling

As this site shows, Charter is using the new brand to tout a set of new triple-play packages: Select, Silver and Gold.

And expect the brand to reach several more Charter markets in the coming weeks and months, as the MSO expects to complete its all-digital shift in all markets by the end of 2014. Those efforts are already underway in markets such as southern California, and parts of Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, Massachusetts and Missouri.

– See more at: http://www.multichannel.com/blog/bauminator/charting-charter-s-progress/373747#sthash.Lh5RryoI.dpuf

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