SCTE member since 1995 Title: Vice President, Engineering, Standards & Industry Affairs, Comcast Cable Broadband Background: Kennamer, formerly with AT&T Broadband, joined Comcast in 2002 when the two companies merged. A main focus for Kennamer currently is the ongoing plug- and-play discussion between the cable and consumer electronics industries. At Comcast, he also is involved with strategic initiatives including all-digital and next generation projects. He also chairs the SCTE’s Engineering Committee. What are some of the standards initiatives the SCTE Engineering Committee and its subcommittees are working on? The Digital Program Insertion working group in the Digital Video Subcommittee is doing a lot of work leading to standards that will enable efficient targeting of ads to specific customer groups. The Interface Practices and In-Home Cabling Subcommittee is working on standardizing minicable. The Data Standards Subcommittee is working to standardize the use of DOCSIS as the transport mechanism for network monitoring protocols, and in the near future they will be working on several next-generation data solutions. The Cable Applications Platform subcommittee will continue to focus on standards such as OCAP to enable application interoperability and ultimately retail products that will deliver the full suite of cable services without the need for a separate set-top box. And the EAS subcommittee is watching closely as the FCC is looking at revising their EAS rules for cable. You have been involved in the negotiations regarding standards for plug-and-play integrated digital TV sets. How are talks regarding two-way devices going? Reaching an industry-wide agreement for two-way devices is far more complex than our original one-way plug-and-play agreement. It is not sufficient to simply add an upstream transmitter to a one-way device. The cable operator must have the ability to download software applications to the device to enable the customer to interact with the cable headend for two-way services such as VOD. The OpenCable Applications Platform (OCAP) is the key to making this happen. OCAP will allow different cable operators to download the applications necessary to deliver the services offered in any specific location. We must also ensure that new content is protected, and we must agree on appropriate testing to ensure that upstream transmitters will not create interference in the upstream plant, to mention only a few of the many issues being discussed. There is no specific deadline for completing an agreement, and both parties have agreed not to disclose the details of the negotiations. However, I can say we are meeting often, and we are committed to finding solutions to meet the objectives of both parties. I should also mention that a few specific consumer electronics companies have chosen to move ahead now in developing two-way devices compliant with the requirements of OpenCable and OCAP, as outlined in the CableLabs CHILA (CableCARD-Host Interface Licensing Agreement) and OCAP agreements. Through this process, we should see a few two-way OCAP-capable products in the 2006 timeframe. Has the extension of the ban on set-tops with integrated conditional access effectively lengthened the cable/CE negotiations? The extension has enabled the cable industry to focus key resources on next generation technologies and architectures, including the concept of software downloadable security that could eventually obsolete the current CableCARD. The cable industry is already supplying and fully supporting CableCARDS for plug-and-play devices. Requiring cable operators to use CableCARDs in leased set-top boxes would only add cost in the redesign of set-top boxes, plus the actual cost for the CableCARD, and yet this would add no value for the customer or for the consumer electronics manufacturers. There is little connection between the cable/CE negotiations and any requirement to use CableCARDs in leased set-top boxes, so the extension should not affect the ongoing negotiations. How will the ruling by the DC Circuit Court of Appeals related to "broadcast flags" impact cable? For now, at least, the court ruling eliminates any potential concerns that the FCC broadcast flag rules might have impacted cable’s ability to securely transport content within the home, even if that was not the original intent of the rules. Eliminating constraints on our future innovation is a good thing; but of course we may not have seen the end of this issue. What have the biggest shifts in digital technology been over the last five years? I am not certain that I can narrow down to a five-year period given the pace of technological development. Silicon integration, digital processing and IP technologies are changing everything around us, not in discrete shifts but continuously. Everything is going digital and IP is everywhere, and further silicon integration at lower cost is the primary driver. Wireless developments in both the cellular industry and WiFi networking have exceeded what anyone might have guessed only five years ago. Broadband access is approaching 50 percent of US households, and growing numbers of homes have multiple computers and home networks, and many of those home networks are wireless. What are the biggest near-term and long-term challenges and opportunities in the digital arena? The challenge will be to keep up in leveraging ongoing and rapid technological developments to benefit the cable industry and our customers; however, this is also the opportunity. The NGNA project at CableLabs is a good example of how the cable industry is focusing resources to ensure that we don’t miss critical opportunities.

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Playwright and filmmaker David Talbert is working with Disney Branded Television on a musical series, “Madelyn Square Gardens,” about a young woman from Mississippi who moves to New York with big Broadway

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