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A Look Back at The Cable Show

Musings and mutterings from this week’s annual three-day fraternity get-together formally known as NCTA/The Cable Show . . .

  • The bash in Chicago is the yearly event for the rather insular cable industry . . . at times, it seemed like everyone there knew everyone else.
  • NCTA is one of the few shows at which one can catch celebrities who have actually accomplished things in their lives – Oprah Winfrey, Chicago Mayor and former Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, actor Kelsey Grammer, professional skier Bode Miller – and ones who haven’t . . . Paris Hilton.
  • Though the total exhibitor space seemed a bit smaller than in past years, and official attendance figures won’t be available for a few days, foot traffic seemed good and there was an energetic vibe.

Prevalent themes included:

  • The “TV Everywhere” concept
    • “People don’t live just in the home.  They need TV everywhere.”
  • The consumer experience
  • Over-the-top management
  • Second-screen experience
  • Multi-screen content and delivery
  • IP video
  • CMAP

Cisco Videoscape was prominently featured in the Cisco booth.

  • “One thing that Cisco does really well is present a solution,” an analyst said.
  • “[Videoscape] is a powerful message,” another said.

An interesting nugget from one of the keynotes – smartphones consume an average of 25 times the bandwidth of standard mobile phones, and tablets consume between 100 and 140 times that of standard devices.

Analyst observations:

  • “There are some interesting things here, like the Motorola/Skype relationship, but I don’t see much in the way of new technology.”
  • “Samsung continues to add services via its Internet-connected TVs . . . They’re becoming an aggregator for OTT services.”
  • “Does the head-end eventually become the cloud?”
  • “In the future, the big trend for TV is about ubiquity across networks and devices.”
  • “IP video is very important in an increasingly competitive environment of connected TVs, over-the-top (OTT) video providers and fiber build-outs by telcos.”

No word on what Paris thinks, though . . .

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