It’s not too early to start making your plans for the upcoming National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA)-sponsored Cable Show, this year in Boston. Highlighted this year are three new "playgrounds" in "Imagine Park," the interactive exhibit-floor venue. 

New to Imagine Park this year are the following innovation platforms:

>> The App Pond – A showcase for newly developed applications for tablets, smartphones and other connected devices. Designed in partnership with DIY Networks with inspiration from Boston’s own Frog Pond, The App Pond now is inviting companies to submit their apps for consideration; the deadline is April 21. Applicants should use the online submission form available here.

>> Imagine App Challenge – NCTA, in partnership with the Application Developers Alliance, is hosting a live, 48-hour student developer competition focused on building new tablet and/or smartphone applications that leverage the power of broadband, powerful consumer devices and connected communities to create new mobile and/or second screen experiences. NCTA and the Alliance want to recruit teams of students with app development experience to submit ideas for the competition. Teams with the best ideas will be invited to attend The Cable Show and will be given 48 hours during the Show to move from idea to functioning application in a live competition to take place in Imagine Park. Following the competition, students will demonstrate their applications to a panel of judges comprising representatives of cable operators, programmers, and established software companies in a special Imagine Park segment.

Students interested in participating can find complete details, including an online application, here. The deadline is April 21.

>>Start-up Alley – Imagine Park is co-located this year with CableNET 2012, produced by CableLabs in partnership with NCTA. The exhibit will feature a collection of Boston-area start-ups that are working on interesting new projects in the TV and broadband marketplace. 

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