He isn’t Letterman, but Tony Werner, Comcast’s executive vice president/CTO, keynoted the opening session of the SCTE Canadian Summit in Toronto yesterday with a few lists of his own, starting with “The 12 Tech Trends That Will Shape The Remainder Of The Decade.”

Trending Down Trending Up
1 The Information Web Social Entertainment
2 Channel Grids Random Access
3 Analog/MPEG 2 Fragmented MPEG 4
4 Conditional Access Digital Rights Management
5 Bound Services Just-In-Time Binding
6 Household Relationships Individual Relationships
7 Voice SMS and Tweeting
8 PC Consumption Tablet Computers
9 Software Monoliths Apps
10 Decentralized Storage Hierarchical Storage
11 Client-Based Logic Network-Based Logic
12 Embedded Development Cloud (Web)-Based Development

Werner also opined about current industry drivers, listing subscribers, devices, richer apps, growth of online time and Internet video. That will change, with future drivers including pent-up TCP demand, adaptive codecs, machine-to-machine offerings, “pixels per capita,” and the inefficient design of devices and apps.

And speaking of apps, one of Werner’s recent ventures into customer-premise equipment was equipping his house with some relatively inexpensive surveillance cameras. What happened was that his upstream “started to wane,” and he found that the cameras (which supported motion JPEG) were consuming “a ton of bandwidth when engaged.”

“There is no pressure on the (camera-manufacturing) system to ‘get better,’ because they say ‘bandwidth is free,’” Werner noted. “They would be better if they were MPEG 4.”

But what Werner really likes are tablets, saying that “now it’s easier to explain the rebranding to Xfinity.” He added that while it takes Comcast 16 months to release a new guide, it only took five months to come up with an iPad guide app, which now is in its seventh iteration.

Persistent High-Capacity Broadband Changes Everything

Looking a little farther into the future, Werner presented his second crystal-ball list, this time dealing with his views of what 2020 will look like:

Physical media will disappear (no more DVRs or Blu-ray players).
Digital assets will move to the cloud.
It’s all about digital rights (“Rather than owning the assets, we will own the digital access rights. These rights will need to mimic and replicate physical assets.”)

Other SCTE Canadian Summit News

During its awards luncheon, SeaChange was voted the winner of the SCTE Technology Challenge for its morning presentation “Expanding VoD To Serve Video To Multiple Screens;” other contenders included Alcatel-Lucent, Aurora Networks, Genband and Juniper Networks.

Receiving the “Young Canadian Engineering Professional of the Year” award was Brent Innes, senior network planner at Rogers Communications, who was nominated by Oleh Sniezko, CTO at Aurora Networks. Part of the criteria for this award is that nominees have to be younger than 35.

– Debra Baker

The Daily

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