BY SHIRLEY BRADY Cablevision is now offering HD boxes in greater New York. Customers with HD-capable TV sets can get hi-def feeds of MSG Network, Fox Sports Net New York, HBO and Showtime. Digital subs (216,500 of them as of Dec. 31) pay a $25 upgrade fee to install the Scientific-Atlanta 4200HD box. ••• Time Warner Cable’s Austin system tapped into a visit by Easy Rider star Peter Fonda to help pitch its iControl video-on-demand service. As the celeb starter for “News 8K,” the local channel’s first annual race to raise money for the Austin Film Society, Fonda’s presence drew hordes of press, sponsorships and runners who got into the spirit by wearing leather with their Air Nikes. Those who missed live coverage of the March 8 race can catch it on VOD. ••• Time Warner’s sister division in central Florida (soon to be known as Bright House Networks) this month expands a $6.99 subscription VOD offering from HBO with premium content from Cinemax, Showtime and the Movie Channel. It is also launching a PVR product this spring. TWC Houston will offer the same VOD lineup this spring. ••• TWC Kansas City this month reached 100,000 business and residential high-speed data customers. That’s roughly a third of potential local customers — and Road Runner is gaining about 3,000 new customers a month in the market. ••• Bandwidth hogs beware. Cox Communications Northern Virginia is e-mailing HSD gluttons to remind them about the (high) speed limits to residential service: 30 GB of downloads per month with a 2 GB max (roughly 600,000 pictures, 2,000 minutes of MP3 music or four full-length movies) per day. Uploads are limited to 7.5 GB per month, 1GB per day. ••• Mediacom flips the switch on high-speed modem service as part of its digital intro in Georgia this month. ••• Cable telephony is coming to Kansas as Cox, which saw its voice business grow 58% last year, readies a residential launch in Wichita, its tenth phone market, next month. Subs will be charged a flat monthly rate of $14.36 (nonsubscribers pay $15.95 per line). Standard long-distance is 10 cents a minute. ••• Alaskan operator General Communication Inc. has launched its own cable telephony trial. About 40 staffers will test the product in the next couple of months. ••• Scripps shared details of its VOD launch on Comcast’s Philly system at a Bear Stearns conference. The company has been offering 15,000 hours of free VOD content from DIY, Food, HGTV and Fine Living to boost distribution deals. Execs noted a 9% take rate overall, adding that about 35% of the market’s 650,000 VOD-enabled homes had used it. Also: Time Warner Cable is launching Scripps VOD in 30 markets and Cox has also signed up. Scripps is exploring VOD giveaways for its proposed Spanish-language offshoots of HGTV and Food. ••• Bundling plus hit movies equals “a winning formula for maximizing cable’s ROI on VOD.” So said Greg DePrez, VP of SVOD for Starz Encore Group, at the recent Kagan VOD Summit in New York. DePrez said the cable overbuilder Atrio in Los Angeles reported a 58% increase from October to January in digital customers taking the SVOD package bundled with the Starz Super Pak; more than half of Altrio’s L.A. digital subs took Starz On Demand by the end of January. He also shared news from a trial with DirecTV: Subs watched 3.9 movies per month in December, compared to 2.6 movies in October. Also spotted at the Kagan event: ABC News director of business development Cathy Beazley, who’s helping craft its first-ever VOD offering for cable. ABC News On Demand plans to offer evergreen news footage such as a behind-the-scenes look at Diane Sawyer’s interview with Whitney Houston. ABC News Live, a 24-hour live video feed for broadband subscribers, launched last week. Are you testing, launching, expanding or just plain creatively marketing VOD, HSD, HDTV, DVR, ITV, VoIP, a new IPG or another of cable’s acronyms?

The Daily


Broadband May Hold Key to Solving Power Grid Issues

Gridmetrics , a subsidiary of CableLabs , has pilots underway with broadband providers and power companies that provide an unprecedented look into the power grid. It’s seen as a way to not only provide

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