Comcast Media Center and Motorola Maximize Support for Cable Systems Serving Smaller Markets to Go All-Digital
Solutions Allow HITS Quantum Affiliates to Build Upon Existing System Architectures for Launch of Next-Generation Digital Video Services
Comcast Media Center (CMC), a business unit of Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA ), and Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT), both responsible for jointly developing the first national platform for offering digital video services via cable systems over a decade ago, have signed a multi-year agreement to develop and support the next generation of equipment and content authorization solutions for the CMC’s HITS Quantum affiliates.
The solutions being developed by the CMC and Motorola will allow HITS Quantum affiliates with 330 MHz plant capability or greater to offer a competitive lineup of advanced services by building upon their existing infrastructure. For example, a 330 MHz system could expand its service offering to customers by converting some of its analog channels to digital, utilizing programming on the HITS platform, and then using that reclaimed bandwidth to offer hundreds of additional linear HDTV and SD channels and a library of VOD programming with over 2,000 titles also available through the HITS platform. In addition, the affiliate should be well positioned to cost-effectively add high speed data, voice services, DVR and a host of interactive TV applications, including advanced advertising and gaming.
“While the economic realities for cable systems serving smaller markets haven’t changed, the complexities for offering a competitive package of digital video services to their customers have continued to increase,” said Gary Traver, Senior Vice President & Chief Operating Officer for Comcast Media Center. “By strengthening the CMC’s relationship with Motorola, which partnered with us on the first generation of digital video services, we can offer our affiliates a cost-effective roadmap for rolling out advanced digital services that leverages a lot of their initial investments in digital equipment at the headend and in their customers’ homes.”
”By strengthening our relationship with CMC, we are demonstrating our commitment to serve the small operator community with solutions that will enable a graceful, affordable transition to all-digital networks,” said Mark Depietro, VP of Motorola’s Video Access Business. “These systems include state-of-the-art signal processing products for the delivery network as well as cost-effective, advanced Set Tops for consumers’ homes. Through these solutions, Motorola and CMC will facilitate the rollout of services such as VOD and SDV in a highly cost-effective manner"
The new agreement calls for substantial investment in the National Authorization Service (NAS), which the two companies launched in 1996. In addition to enhancements for providing further support of HITS affiliates’ migration to all-digital and their launch of advanced services such as HDTV and VOD, NAS will support the universe of emerging applications that are being developed for the tru2way™ platform. Motorola’s scalable digital headend systems and portfolio of advanced set top boxes provide HITS Quantum affiliates with modular, affordable equipment packages that are designed to build upon their current hardware configurations.
These enhancements combine with the expansion of the HITS Quantum content offerings to provide HITS affiliates with a turnkey alternative for offering advanced video services to their customers while realizing a substantial savings in cost and bandwidth. As previously announced, the CMC has consolidated over 200 channels of HD and SD digital content and its VOD service onto three satellites that may be viewed using one TVRO satellite antenna.
Representatives from the CMC and Motorola are on hand to answer questions about the new equipment packages, enhanced programming line ups and NAS services at the NCTC Winter Education Conference, which is currently underway in Phoenix, AZ.
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