Intellon Corp expects a big jump in demand for its chips following word that Comcast is trialing its HomePlug powerline networking technology. Intellon pres Ron Glibbery tells a Comcast Interactive Capital and CableLabs session at Nationnal that orders were up 83% in the first month of ’04. The company is shipping 100K of the chips/month, up from about 10K a year ago. – Mavis Scanlon — The on-demand marketplace won’t take off until programmers, operators and advertisers work together. That was the consensus of the "Programming in an On-Demand World" panel Mon afternoon, where execs complained that there wasn’t enough cooperation. "We want to find more advertisers to work on these technologies," Time Warner Cable svp, strategy Kevin Leddy said. "We have to not quibble about the money so much…Let’s make a machine to do what we want it to do and worry about the pricing later." Session moderator, Comcast [CMCSA] evp, programming Amy Banse agreed. "I don’t think there is an economic business model that works [for on-demand programming] yet. But I’m optimistic we can find it." — If you find advanced video codecs befuddling, just keep a few things in mind. First, it’s been 10 years since MPEG-2 was issued. Coding has improved in the interim, as Tandberg Television’s dir of technology Matthew Goldman reminded those attending the digital encoding panel Monday. MPEG-4 Part 10 or Windows Media 9 or the Real Networks platform were bound to arrive. Second, "coexistence" with the new technologies is an option, explained CableLabs digital video guru Yasser Syed. (How so? For one, the transport and codex components of MPEG-2 are separable.) Finally, set-top vendors expect advanced encoding—as well as denser storage—to improve the efficiency of home networks running off advanced digital set-tops. That was one of the points that S-A pres Jim McDonald made in a press conference explaining S-A’s bet on a distributed storage future. Absent such advanced codecs in the home, operators will pay a higher network cost shuttling HD and other digital video assets to multiple boxes. — Jonathan Tombes

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