The 2012 Spring Technical Forum Proceedings are now available for purchase. These cable tech white papers are an invaluable companion piece to this year’s Spring Tech Forum sessions.

Topics covered in this year’s proceedings include:

  • Human-to-machine interaction
  • Emerging display technologies
  • HFC architecture enhancement
  • Optimizing wireless networking
  • IP video delivery
  • Media storage and caching
  • IPv6 performance analysis
  • And much more

But, don’t just take our word for how beneficiary the Spring Technical Forum papers are for charting the next steps of cable tech, check out Leslie Ellis’ review of the 2012 proceedings. Read her two part series on the 2012 papers:

So, purchase your copy today from our Spring Technical Forum Store. Get them now »


Quite the conversation was happening at The Cable Show 2012. Here’s a select number of Tweets from the last day and immediately following The Cable Show.

  1. ChuckParkerTech
    Attending NCTA’s 2012 CableShow Looking for evidence of the “Digital Living Room” of the future #Cable12

    Tue, May 29 2012 12:06:09
  2. CiscoSPVideo
    We’re collaborating with The Oriental Cable Network to develop next-gen experiences based on Cisco Videoscape! #Cable12

    Fri, May 25 2012 14:04:35
  3. ZCorum
    Were you at The Cable Show? Is the future rosy or angst-ridden? #Cable12

    Fri, May 25 2012 13:57:11
  4. thebauminator
    Seven big takeaways from The Cable Show. TiVo’s Tom Rogers isn’t sweating the X1, by the way #cable12

    Fri, May 25 2012 12:20:50
  5. 1timstreet
    I had a great time at The Cable Show in Boston. I think @NCTACable did a fantastic job and the App Hack-A-Thon was fun to watch. #Cable12

    Thu, May 24 2012 19:27:01
  6. miguelsmirnoff
    Pretty revealing Conan O’Brien’s behaviour at @TheCableShow after interview with Piers Mogran, before leaving the stage #cable12

    Thu, May 24 2012 19:11:37
  7. jarmstrongtw
    .@Adobe announces Primetime Simulcast, Adobe Media Server 5 and Adobe Access 4 #Cable12 #CableShow

    Thu, May 24 2012 19:03:19
  8. SeawellNetworks
    CED’s daily of the #cable12 show had a nice pick up of our BlackArrow partnership

    Thu, May 24 2012 16:08:06
  9. robpegoraro
    One part of my #cable12 reporting: the fascinating @NDS Surfaces demo, and why it reminded me of giant telescopes:

    Thu, May 24 2012 15:26:41
  10. MACcable
    hehe… this photo from the week of #cable12 festivities cracks me up (he’s doing a Shatner Kahn scream):

    Thu, May 24 2012 14:15:59
  11. thebauminator
    Comcast gives Wi-Fi a voice. Comcast’s Cathy Avgiris demos Voice2Go for us @ #cable12

    Thu, May 24 2012 11:01:44
  12. TangramNY
    Had a great time this week at @ICSC_RECon in #Vegas and the @CableShow in #Boston. Looking forward to seeing you all in 2013! #icsc #cable12

    Thu, May 24 2012 10:53:37
  13. lyndonJJ
    Thanks @CableShow for putting on an amazing #Cable12 show… I’m already looking forward to #Cable13

    Thu, May 24 2012 10:05:35
  14. gcalvert
    Had a great time demonstrating TWC TV at The Cable Show Imagine Park. Check it out at (We’re 48 min in) #cable12

    Thu, May 24 2012 09:44:55
  15. gregobr
    #cable12 ANALYSIS: U.S. cable industry accepts unknown future, breaks new ground

    Thu, May 24 2012 09:38:40
  16. jpoggi
    Netflix finally admits it could be cannibalizing “something” $NFLX #cable12

    Thu, May 24 2012 09:31:24
  17. BrianDietz
    #cable12 story from Boston Herald: “MIT, Wellesley teams do well at cable hackathon”

    Thu, May 24 2012 08:59:32
  18. tylka5
    “@CableShow: Thank you! See you next year? #cable12″ I’m sure you will! 😉

    Thu, May 24 2012 08:22:58
  19. sampemberton
    #Cable12 over (nice job #NCTA!) done. Already looking forward to #TVOT12 in San Francisco!

    Wed, May 23 2012 19:15:35
  20. CableShowPark
    Cable Show 2012: Stanford Team Wins ‘App Challenge’ With Bandwidth-Priority System – Multichannel News #cable12

    Wed, May 23 2012 18:20:52
  21. MarielenaSan
    Amid Kardashian and RHONJ sightings, Univision had a wildly spectacular presence at #cable12 Boston. Congrats team!

    Wed, May 23 2012 18:16:07
  22. SNLKagan
    Cox Prez calls Netflix a “frenemy” @CableShow. SNL’s Sarah Barry James reports why cable doesn’t trust $NFLX: #Cable12

    Wed, May 23 2012 17:03:46
  23. MotoMedia2Go
    Did u remember 2 lock the door & turn off the lights before you came 2 #cable12? Doesn’t matter w/ Motorola 4Home. Find out why, booth 733

    Wed, May 23 2012 16:30:32
  24. csg_i
    #cable12 So much content from The Cable Show got us writing about dynamic changes ahead. Read our thoughts at:

    Wed, May 23 2012 16:30:25
  25. mDialog
    Thanks to @NCTACable for another super year at The Cable Show. We had fun & met great folks. #cable12

    Wed, May 23 2012 15:54:14
  26. MegaZone
    That’s it for The Cable Show. I’m exhausted and my feet are sore, but it was worth it. Now I just need to write it all up. #cable12

    Wed, May 23 2012 15:36:57
  27. CableShowPark
    Here’s a shot of the Rutgers & Wellesley teams together to wrap things up. #Cable12

    Wed, May 23 2012 15:09:43
  28. SigmaSystems
    @CableShow What a show! We had a great time! #Cable12

    Wed, May 23 2012 15:03:39
  29. twxcorp
    U heard Bewkes on the state of the TV industry at #cable12 today. More on why TV’s in its Golden Age at the 2:30 mark:

    Wed, May 23 2012 14:52:03
  30. toddpr
    Another great @CableShow winding down. Cox COO Jill Campbell about to recevied prestigious Vanguard award at final lunch event #Cable12

    Wed, May 23 2012 13:59:52
  31. jimmaiella
    Getting ready to close #cable12 with the St. Patrickanguards. Been a good show.

    Wed, May 23 2012 13:26:48
  32. lmastria
    I heart #rutgers. Way to go #scarletknights #cable12. Exemplifying entrepreneurship and creativity. Made us proud.

    Wed, May 23 2012 13:20:52
  33. cgreenoh
    Team Rutgers presenting at #imagineapp #cable12 after no sleep & hacking for 2 days. Good job.

    Wed, May 23 2012 12:29:29
  34. RoviAPI
    Great demo of social TV app “Teev” by team Rutgers #imagineapp #cable12

    Wed, May 23 2012 12:29:27
  35. 3milylin
    Feeling a little nervous for our demo, but also very excited! @kran13 @vronlin @stephlee0120 #cable12

    Wed, May 23 2012 11:52:54
  36. toatech
    Yuval Brisker on stage at #cable12 – talking about Smart Collaboration

    Wed, May 23 2012 11:31:32
  37. pkafka
    Waiting for Jeff Bewkes to deliver Albanian army/flying hamburger bon mot at #cable12. Finally: “if you’re an elephant, you’re not a lion.”

    Wed, May 23 2012 10:57:31
  38. TheSaaSGuy
    Jeffrey Bewkes Time Warner: We cable should not hold back the innovation from new entrants as users are demanding it #cable12

    Wed, May 23 2012 10:57:22
  39. accuweather
    .@BernieRayno is at The Cable Show in Boston, MA giving out personal travel home forecasts. Stop by Booth 1249. #cable12

    Wed, May 23 2012 10:55:24
  40. twxcorp
    Bewkes: we don’t care what screen you watch on, it’s all going to work if the content is good, robust and there’s a good interface. #cable12

    Wed, May 23 2012 10:50:21
  41. SenaFitz
    Fox’s Chase Carey: sports will continue to be #1 if you can afford it … Importance of sports is second to none #cable12

    Wed, May 23 2012 10:43:45
  42. ErnsTweets
    TV Everywhere big theme at #cable12 this time the rhetoric is real, tablets changed things. I can remember when TVE was the buzz in ’05. #in

    Wed, May 23 2012 10:43:26
  43. kimyanattalie
    I’m one of ’em “@JBFlint: Netflix’s Ted Sarandos said Netflix brought “maybe a million viewers” to AMC for season five of Mad Men. #Cable12″

    Wed, May 23 2012 10:32:07
  44. espn_chris
    Skipper: 77% of fans say important for them to retain WatchESPN if they ever moved; 73% say app makes them feel better about cable #cable12

    Wed, May 23 2012 10:25:32
  45. itvcommerce
    Conan O says social media driving both tune-in and freer access to snippets of content. #cable12 @tswedlow #socialtv

    Wed, May 23 2012 10:08:12

Zapping and the Mothers of Innovation is a series looking at innovation at The Cable Show 2012. Written by contributor, Russell Howard.


Busy show floor at The Cable Show 2012.

While walking the floor at The Cable Show, it was abundantly clear to me that the industry is delivering on NCTA’s new advertising campaign: “Cable. It’s more than TV. It’s how we connect.

The convergence between television and the web continues to accelerate. To some extent, the innovations on display respond to behaviors that have reached critical mass, such as multi-screen viewing.

Other innovations are clearly refinements, offering an improved experience of what consumers already embrace. But some innovations are blowing the doors off with immense potential. In particular, cloud based technology could usher in a gold rush of applications like that sparked by the iPhone and iPad.

I believe all these innovations have the potential to disrupt business models or consumer behaviors. Here now, in no particular order, is a completely unscientific list of some of the innovations that caught my eye.

  • Comcast’s Dayview. There’s been lots of buzz around this virtual dashboard for your life and for good reason. This new interface provides useful and customizable info including traffic, weather schedule, house monitoring, energy use and whatever else consumers need to help run their lives. It’s also smart enough to inter-relate your personal fields and interests to alert you to potential conflicts and opportunities. Given today’s hyper existence I suspect that once people embrace this they’ll wonder how they ever got along without it.
  • ActiveVideo’s Cloud TV. There’s no question the forecast calls for “clouds,” which were everywhere you looked around The Cable Show. Cloud-based apps promise the ability to roll out new HTML apps in mere weeks. In many instances, the functionality is executed within the set-top boxes, so not all legacy set top boxes can support it. ActiveVideo says their proprietary technology alone can move the functionality to the network; eliminating the need to replace in-home legacy equipment and permitting operators to offer a consistent experience across their entire footprint. I see a parallel with the game-changing development of Internet Protocol transport, which dramatically reduced the need for interoperable next generation STBs while allowing operators to offer hundreds more networks simultaneously.
  • Cisco and the Next-Generation Hotspot initiative.This collaborative industry effort will offer consumers seamless Wi-Fi roaming, analogous to how cell services interlace seamlessly for the consumer. More than just an alternative to a 3G/4G network, it will also extend the cable experience outside of the home: allowing people to pause a movie in the living room and finish watching anywhere there is Wi-Fi. Beyond the convenience, the roaming authentication will also facilitate pinpoint location-based advertising and services as consumers move about.  Talk about engagement and potential new revenue.

    Cisco’s HotSpot demo at The Cable Show 2012

  • TiVo To-Go.   TiVo, the Kleenex of DVRs with a brand name that stands for an entire category, continues to look to differentiate itself. It says it’s the first to allow consumers to download recorded content to portable devices.  That’s a tremendous benefit, but I question the disruptive potential once copyrighted content is converted into portable files.
  • Universal Electronics’ Biscotti TV phone.   It can turn any TV with HDMI inputs into a video conferencing device, so long as there is a wireless connection. It will allow free calls anywhere around the world, but, unlike Skype, it will interface with Google Talk, Android phones, computers, tablets and soon landlines as well. And because the cable signal passes through the device, you maintain all the TV/DVR functionality during the call. That could be one sweet addition to any bundle, and it’s something DBS can’t offer.
  • SeaChange’s Infusion.   As it completes its transition to a software-only company, SeaChange is offering a very powerful suite of technologies for advertisers. One of the holy grails of interactive advertising was addressability, which targeted different households with specific messages. This ups the ante by syncing advertising between the TV and other devices being used simultaneously. But then it takes it even further, and allows addressable ads that differ from device to device, targeting the profile of the individual user. If relevance leads to engagement, then this has the potential to offer advertisers premium value.

Clearly, cable is indeed more than TV. It’s how we connect today, and how it will connect us tomorrow in ways we have yet to imagine. But which of these innovations will give rise to unanticipated disruptions? It’s hard to predict, but we can be confident each disruption will be mother to further innovations, and help fuel our industry’s evolution.


Russell Howard has more than 25 years of experience in cable and broadcast TV, serving most recently as SVP Communications Worldwide for National Geographic Channels. As VP Marketing & Communications at Team Services, he developed PPV campaigns for WWE, Universal Studios, Paramount Studios and New Line Cinema. Previously, Howard managed news promotion, public relations, and community affairs at KDKA-TV2 in Pittsburgh. Howard got his start in cable creating on-air packaging, promotions and affiliate materials for Cable Video Store, the industry’s 1st satellite delivered addressable PPV network.

Industry Panel at the Tuesday General Session. From left to right: Julia Boorstin (CNBC), Edward Burns, Rio Caraeff (VEVO), Dan Mead (Verizon Wireless) and Neil Smit (Comcast Cable).

The second day of The Cable Show 2012 gets underway with the second general session. The session got off to a start with Verizon announcing a new content discovery service as part of a discussion of content delivery and consumption.

Actor/director Ed Burns joined Rio Caraeff (VEVO), Dan Mead (Verizon Wireless), and Neil Smit (Comcast Cable) to discuss consumer consumption patterns, and new delivery methods to reach an audience.

Careff made the observation that we are in the midst of a change in consumer attitudes that may be generational – with the prior generation valuing content ownership and the newer generation valuing access. All the panelists agree that consumers are demanding more content on more platforms, and providers are innovating to address and shape that demand.

Following the discussion of video delivery, NCTA’s Michael Powell sat down with the FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski to discuss the regulatory environment, technological innovation, and life at the FCC with a full slate of commissioners.

Genachowski noted that while conference rooms are harder to come by, it has been nice to have a full complement again. The Chairman recognized cable for its commitment to connect low-income families and move the needle on connecting more of the nation to broadband.

Much of the discussion involved the idea that we have done much to encourage broadband adoption, but there is still much to do. Genachowski noted that cable, through Connect 2 Compete and other programs, is doing its part.

– Michael Turk


This was originally published on NCTA’s CableTechTalk blog and was reposted here with permission.

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