Time Warner Cable customers will have the opportunity to help decide who will be NBC‘s "Last Comic Standing" and have their votes count by using their remotes. Time Warner Cable, through its use of Navic Networks‘ interactive TV application, will allow digital cable customers in select markets to respond with their remote controls to help choose the winner of the show. The polling will appear as pop up screens generated by viewers’ set-top boxes that will be synchronized to occur at precise moments during the one-hour show. Navic Networks’ technology will compile the polling results, and they will be included in the tally for each week’s winner.  Content Still King: HD Marketing Is about What’s On Sister publication CableFAX Daily filed this report earlier this week from the CTAM Summit. When it comes to selling high-def, it’s not just about the giant plasma screen these days. "I think an inversion is happening where content matters more than the hardware," Circuit City EVP, Chief Merchandising Officer Douglas Mooretold a lunch at CTAM. "Our job is not just to talk about hardware, but the accessories, services and software that goes with it." Programmers on the panel agreed, warning cable that it should carve out an HD niche for itself. "You have a chance to take ownership of [HD] customers right now," HDNet‘s Mark Cubansaid. If a salesman is pitching DBS and cable, which sounds better—seven channels of HD or 17 channels, he asked. Rainbow President/CEO Josh Sapan, whose Voom HD channels have no cable carriage, agreed that it would be wise for cable to take a leadership position. But he acknowledged that "there probably is not the crushing urgency in this quarter’s numbers to make it happen." He urged the industry to think long term. Sapan, who keynoted the event, told the crowd that video plays the most central and sustainable role in the triple-play bundle because of its emotional appeal. Hargray Jumps on Integra5 Bandwagon CT’s Voice Report editor Jim Barthold writes that Hargray Communications is lined up to be among the first customers to deploy the Integra5 i-Inform application suite that converges real-time content to TV sets, PCs and Windows mobile phones. Integra5 introduced the platform this week. "We already have caller ID on TV, and that went over so well that when Integra5 came down and showed us some of the other i-Inform stuff, we jumped on that bandwagon, too, and we’re looking at rolling that just as soon as we can do it," said Ed Heuck, Hargray’s CTO. Primarily, Heuck said, Hargray is looking to tie its high-speed data service to the TV set … "being able to put caller ID on the PC in the home just like they have on the TV," he said. Even more advanced, Hargray, which already digitizes its Yellow Pages on its Web site, wants to move that information to the TV set "and offer, for an extra payment, to include an e-mail pointer on their ads so that when a customer sitting at the TV wants to know more about the advertiser, they can click on that e-mail pointer and it will send the company an e-mail (so) they can reply to the customer and it will show up on the TV set," Heuck said. Double-Digit Growth Forecast for Digital Set-Top Box Market In a recent report, IMS Research estimated that approximately 96 million digital set-top boxes were shipped in 2005 and forecasts that worldwide shipments of digital set-top boxes will more than double over the next five years, surpassing 200 million units shipped in 2011.

The Daily


FCC Chair Tees Up Apartment Broadband Competition Item

Cable has to contend with FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel circulating a proposal that would prevent providers from entering into exclusive revenue sharing agreements with building owners as part of changes aimed at bringing competition to MTEs.

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