We’re not sure what the hot new technology from CES will be, but we expect cable set-tops will get a fair amount of ink from Vegas this week. For example, Motorola and S-A will demo their HD DVR set-tops. (Verizon’s using Motorola’s set-top for its FiOS rollout.) Then there’s the set-top combo from OpenTV, Nagravision and S3 that the companies say will allow MSOs to deploy HD set-tops quicker. All of this underlines cable’s message this week: that it is uniquely positioned to handle whatever gadgets CES can throw at it. That includes on-demand and ITV applications. It also includes wireless services that MSOs plan to launch. But the main point MSOs are going to push in Vegas is that their digital subscriber base is more tech savvy than that of any of the competitors. A CTAM survey to be released this week shows a higher percentage of digital cable subs plan to buy HDTVs (16%), video-game systems (22%) and portable video players (11%) than satellite customers (8%, 13% and 5%, respectively). Meanwhile, analog subscribers are going away faster than expected. Nearly 50% of all cable subs are digital, according to an Ipsos poll.

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