By the time you get this magazine, the Consumer Electronics Show, the SCTE’s Conference on Emerging Technologies and the NCTC’s Winter Educational Conference will all have come and gone.

It’s almost enough to make one stop and wonder where the year went.

Mapping technology to a 12-month cycle is, of course, an arbitrary exercise. Technical change occurs at varied tempos and usually takes multiple years, sometimes generating sub-cycles of infatuation, skepticism and confusion along the way. The IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) is a case in point.

Against such innovations stand the relatively constant, if depreciating, deployed base of technologies and the even more immutable laws of physics.

Attenuation over coaxial cable is an established function of particular variables, for instance. Timeless as such equations may be, there’s nonetheless always more to say, as witness Ron Hranac’s discussion of equalized and nonequalized signal measurements in his column this month.

It’s what happens at the intersection of novelty and existing infrastructures that especially catches our eye. Back in mid-2005, Time Warner Cable launched what it called a Broadband TV trial in San Diego. Our Associate Editor Mike Robuck wrote about it for the November 2005 issue (while addressing the larger IPTV category in general). This month, we revisit that experiment with a lessons-learned from Time Warner’s own Kenneth Gould.

What come next? For telcos, IPTV is a must-do. For cable operators, shifting television content to PCs is certainly a can-do.

When does it become an ought-to-do? In light of the three January events mentioned above, it seems safe to say that content shifting (to whatever device) will depend upon continued, strong consumer appetite for electronics, exceptional cable network-centric smarts, and last-mile economics acceptable to those negotiating for both the largest MSOs and smallest members of the NCTC. Jonathan Tombes
Editor
jtombes@accessintel.com

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