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Dave’s Broadband Home

4/18/2004 8:00 PM Eastern

Some folks play the stock market. Others, like me, are hooked on real estate. So Dave’s 7,000 square-foot broadband home — housed in New Orleans’ Ernest N. Morial Center, the venue for the National Show — has swept me off my feet, sight unseen.

I can’t wait to go to this open house. As I write this in my home office, looking askance at the Medusa-like array of cords coming from my PC for gizmos like a printer, scanner, surge protector, speakers and a useless, in-home paging system, I know I’m going to pretty up that mess after visiting Dave’s digs.

Dave is Charter Communications Inc. head of corporate communications Dave Anderson. His boss, Charter president and CEO Carl Vogel, is this year’s National Show chairman.

This year’s planning committee affectionately dubbed the broadband house “Dave’s home” because it was his idea to erect a real home at the convention — one with all the whistles and bells — because the home represents cable’s principal target of opportunity.

It was designed and decorated in partnership with Scripps’ home-centered channels: Home & Garden Television, Food Network, Do It Yourself Network and Shop At Home.

Other collaborators include Cox New Orleans, Cable in the Classroom, and a host of vendors who’ll show their digital offerings and technologies.

So where to begin? Let’s start with Dave’s robotic dog, Sony’s AIBO, a canine capable of face and name recognition, and who can also do things like take photos while his owners are away.

Although it sounds like The Jetsons’ home of the future, it’s actually the home of today, thanks to the wide array of broadband applications that cable is now delivering, using a mix of wired and wireless technologies.

Dave’s broadband home gym really caught my eye, too. The kitchen — where all of the appliances talk to one another — is pretty out there, too, but right now I’m more interested in taking it off, rather than putting it on, if you know what I mean.

So back to the gym. There’s nothing new about gym gear that monitors your vital signs to see if you’re going to keel over from overexertion. But this gym has video and interactive elements that can hook you up with a personal trainer in real time, for optimum results. Way to go.

Then it’s off to the bathroom, which is more like a digital spa. The Jacuzzi tub, of course, has a plasma HDTV set molded right into it. There’s also a Philips mirror which converts into a television display, in case you need two sets going at the same time.

So convention goers, if you plan on attending any of the three general sessions, be mindful the stage is actually the deck on the back of Dave’s broadband home. Hopefully, the speakers will be more loose and candid in that relaxing setting, which is loaded with all of the usual deck paraphernalia, but also Internet and video outlets.

Dave’s broadband home is nothing short of marketing genius. So be sure to take the tour of this million-dollar investment, which will pay off in spades for the entire industry.

September