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CableLabs Showgoers Pick 'Best New Idea'

8/06/2007 9:55 AM Eastern

Cable’s leading technical lights picked a video-over-cable-modem demonstration by Harmonic as the “best new idea that is most likely to succeed” from among one-dozen vendor presentations at the CableLabs Summer Conference this week in Keystone, Colo.

The CableLabs Innovation Showcase event, held Monday, featured six startups and six established vendors that presented and demonstrated new broadband technologies for an audience of about 500 cable-technology executives.

“Part of the reason we do this showcase at the conferences is that we want our members to walk away with three or four new ideas they didn’t have before,” Cable Television Laboratories CEO Dick Green said on a conference call with reporters Monday.

About 120 of the attendees voted, picking Harmonic’s demonstration of its universal edge-quadrature-amplitude-modulation system delivering MPEG-4 video over a Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification 3.0 modem with three bonded downstream channels.

Harmonic showed standard-definition video at 2 megabits per second and HD video at 8 mbps streaming to a PC. Another application showed a personalized multipanel mosaic display, with one HD and two SD videos playing back on one screen.

“What we’re trying to do is leverage that DOCSIS infrastructure and provide that efficient and cost-effective means to deliver this video,” said Tom Kennedy, Harmonic’s director of cable strategy and business development, on the call.

The other companies that presented at the conference were:

4HomeMedia, which showed a home-security monitoring application;

Adzilla Media, which demonstrated targeted online advertising;

Ambit Microsystems, a startup that developed an integrated home gateway;

Arris Group, demonstrating 120-mbps-plus DOCSIS modems;

Digeo, which showed an integrated Internet-based photo-sharing application;

Nortel, which demonstrated a Web-services application that can locate a cable subscriber over any type of device;

Oberon Media/PixelPlay, which showed an interactive game across TV, Web and mobile clients;

Pure Networks, a customer-support system that can diagnose and fix broadband-connectivity issues;

Scopus Video Networks, which showed secure video over Internet protocol and stream conditioning for targeted advertising;

Sereniti, a home-networking startup that demonstrated simplified setup and management; and

Tzero Technologies, which demonstrated high-speed wireless home-networking products running at up to 480 mbps.

Charter Communications chief technology officer Marwan Fawaz, also on the teleconference, said all 12 of the presentations were compelling.

Harmonic’s solution in particular “looked like a terrific a way … of capitalizing on the architecture of DOCSIS 3.0,” Fawaz said. “We see significant growth of video on the Internet, and this is a way to use our architecture of DOCSIS and HFC [hybrid fiber-coaxial] to provide the right video streams and speeds to subscribers” as opposed to the best-effort basis on which Internet video is delivered today.

The CableLabs technical conference is open only to member companies.

September