August 11, 2009
By Amy Maclean
Twice a year, tech companies descend on CableLabsâ€™ Innovation Showcase to demo their wares for a group of cable operators. This weekâ€™s presentations during CableLabsâ€™ Summer Conference included 11 companies. While Prime Senseâ€™s 3D sensing chip that allows TV navigation via hand motions won the opsâ€™ vote in an informal poll for best new product idea, several other companies got a tip of the hat from ops in attendance. Hereâ€™s a rundown of the other vendors who participated:
- Aerohive Networks: Using next-generation enterprise wireless LAN architecture with intelligent access points and distributed control protocols, Aerohive eliminates the need for WLAN controllers. The system for Wi-Fi managed service offerings includes provisioning for multi-tenant management.
- Alcatel-Lucent: Operators took note of the vendorâ€™s â€ścrowd-castingâ€ť service, which allows an end user to broadcast an event, like a childâ€™s soccer game, in real-time and store the event in a network DVR for later viewing. Besides the stickiness of user-generated-content storage and the ability to increase customer base through â€śfriends and familyâ€ť communication services, there is an ability to sell interactive advertising around the crowd-casted video.
- Arris: Arris demonstrated the use of bonded DOCSIS 3.0 channels and IPv6 to provide IP video delivery of On Demand content and interactive advertising, which originates from a single server and a single On Demand/Advertising management system.
- AudioCodes: This company provides â€śHD VoIP,â€ť which allows cable ops to not only match PSTN voice quality, but surpass it. The technology uses wide-band voice compression algorithms and other fidelity improvements.
- Ceton Corp: Ceton is hoping to capitalize on the TV Everywhere movement. Its new tech brings multiple simultaneous channels of premium cable HD programming to the PC and enables it to be securely distributed to multiple TV sets in the home. It includes delivery of 6 HD channels from a single CableCARD with real-time DRM transcription.
- Elemental Technologies: Through its technology, content can be formatted for distribution faster, easier and at significantly lower cost points than has been available in the market to date. Again, this fits with the TV Everywhere concept, increasing the processing power to allow better presentations on a PC.
- FreedTV: Hereâ€™s a social networking technology for TV that targets 18-34s. Basically millions of viewers can join each other in self-organized viewing communities. Freed said its ubiquitous Virtual TV room service sits across video service providers, content providers, broadcast and cable networks, and Internet video sites providing a unifying service and community across which viewers connect. Virtual TV Rooms are also formed around video-on-demand content, DVR recorded content, and professional and user generated web video content.
- Openet: Calling its solution â€śContent Anywhere,â€ť Openet manages complex authentication, authorization and other entitlement interactions required across multiple networks and IT domains. Whatâ€™s more, the offering allows cable ops to collect subscriber info that can be used to offer a more personalized experience.
- Prime Sense: Winner of the informal best new product vote idea, the vendorâ€™s tech lets digital devices see a 3-D view of the world. In other words, that cable set-top box will know whether 3 people are sitting on the sofa watching TV and how many are adults vs children. It all happens via a chip that resides in a camera that plugs into the STB. The images look more like something from thermal imaging. The 3D-sensor works as a gestural control device (enhancing or replacing what a traditional remote control does), allowing consumers to operate their cable-box through simple hand motions from the comfort of their sofas. The tech uses a camera attached to the STB in a similar vein to IR and motion sensors used to turn on/off lights, etc, to sense when someone is in the room.
- Tandberg: Tandberg demonstrated extending VOD systems to enable multiplatform TV and how it's possible to leverage the currently deployed on-demand infrastructure to deliver video in multiple formats, protocols, and resolutions to any device.
- Verivue: This company lets ops deliver VOD, time-shifted TV and other media applications to set-tops, PCs and mobile devices. It demoâ€™d the multi-protocol capability of the MDX 9000 platform which supports video delivery for traditional VOD, broadband and wireless devices from a single universal network port. It also showed how it can support session shifting between a TV, Â and mobile device, while simultaneously supporting each deviceâ€™s protocol requirements and content format requirements.