The Cable Show: The Tech Hot List

Whether you are an in-the-trenches engineer, an app developer who lives in the proverbial “cloud,” or a programmer that’s seeking direct or overthe- top distribution or trying to figure out when 4K will be ready for primetime, this year’s Cable Show will offer technology angles that are suitable for a wide range of show-goers.

But there will be a lot to see and do, reflecting industry ambitions that extend well beyond the old triple-play. Here’s a list of seven areas of focus and some don’t-miss sessions that will be on our list this week in Los Angeles.

Tech’s Big Picture: The CTOs Speak

Whether it’s DOCSIS 3.1, TV Everywhere, the evolution of the hybrid fiber/coax network, or cable’s ongoing IP video transition, the place to get a condensed, high-level view of all of those and more will be the show’s annual roundtable with chief technology o cers and other top tech execs from a handful of the nation’s major cable operators.

The place and time to get a view of what’s being done now and what’s on the industry’s technology horizon will be Tuesday, April 29, in Room 408B, starting at 3:30 p.m.

There, Leslie Ellis, the president of Ellis Edits and a Multichannel News contributor, will head up a wide-ranging discussion with Kevin Hart, Cox Communications; Yvette Kanouff, Cablevision Systems; Mike LaJoie, Time Warner Cable; Balan Nair, Liberty Global; and Tony Werner, Comcast.

Interfacing the Future

Thanks to the rise of cloudbased infrastructures and the proliferation of Internet protocol-connected devices, the interactive program guide is rapidly shifting away from a clunky, grid-based, set-top-locked world to a more agile one that features intuitive and feature rich navigation systems, recommendation engines, and voicebased search capabilities.

While many of these new UIs are finding homes in new IP-capable leased set-tops and gateways, others are being crafted to fit inside broadband-fed retail devices, including smart TVs, Roku and Apple TV boxes, gaming consoles, tablets, and smartphones. But few cable operators are travelling the same path.

Don’t miss: “Up Periscope: Breakthroughs in Content Navigation & Customer Experience”

Tuesday, April 29 from 2:00 p.m. to 3 p.m.; Room 403A

Featured speakers: Alix Cottrell, Time Warner Cable; Dane Dickie, Cox; Rich DiGeronimo, Charter Communications; Tom Loretan, Comcast; and Mark Mihalevich, Suddenlink.

Whipping Up More Wireless

Cable’s journey into wireless and mobile services, whether it was the failed Pivot partnership with Sprint or the ambitious but troubled dance with WiMAX and Clearwire, has been full of turbulent moments. But it’s been a smoother ride since on the wings of WiFi, as operators continue to deploy quasi-public hotspots by the hundreds of thousands in and out of the home, and push ahead on cross-MSO roaming deals that bring more value to high-speed Internet subscribers.

But how can the industry improve the quality of those connections and pursue new ways to use this rapidly expanding wireless broadband architecture? Will socalled “WiFi first” strategies that fallback on cellular signals help MSOs carve out new mobile voice services and revenue streams?

Don’t miss: “Hundreds of Thousands of Hotspots & Counting: Cable WiFi Storms the Nation”

Tuesday, April 29 at 3:30 p.m.; Room 408A

Featured speakers: Robert Cerbone, Time Warner Cable; Leo Cloutier, Bright House Networks; Bradley Feldman, Cablevision; and Tom Nagel, Comcast.

“To the Hotspot & Beyond: Advanced Ideas for Cable Wireless Networks”

Wednesday, April 30 at 4 p.m.; Room 403B

Featured moderator and speakers: Yvette Kanouff, Cablevision; Eli Baruch, Arris; Bernie McKibben, CableLabs; and Dave Urban, Comcast.

TV Everywhere: Ready for Primetime? 

Although authenticated, multiscreen TV Everywhere services extend access to a subset of subscription video services in and out of the home, the model remains a cost center and its lack of content uniformity and support for a broader range of devices and platforms has been a source of consumer confusion and frustration. While bright spots, such as cable’s multiscreen coverage of the Sochi Winter Olympics earlier this year, offer evidence that usage is on the rise and the technical barriers to adoption are being lowered, the original vision of TV Everywhere remains short of its intended goals. Expect this year’s show to provide a progress report and an indication of the improvements that are in store for the rest of 2014.

Don’t miss: “Now Playing on Any Screen: What’s Now & What’s Next in TV Everywhere”

Wednesday, April 30 at 11:30 a.m.; Room 408A

Featured speakers: Mike Angus, Time Warner Cable; Tamara Franklin, Scripps Networks Interactive; Ron Lamprecht, NBCUniversal; Jeremy Legg, Turner Broadcasting System; and Matt Strauss, Comcast.

“The Road to Everywhere: Making TVE an Industry- Wide Success”

Thursday, May 1, 11:30 a.m.; Room 408A

Featured moderator and speakers: Angie Britt, CTAM; Vito Forlenza, Comcast; Mark Gathen, Cox; David McNaughton, Mediacom Communications; Tracy Powell, A+E Networks; and Greg Weinstein; Univision.

Ultra HD: Beyond The Hype

4K/Ultra HD was all the rage at this year’s International CES and a front-and-center topic earlier this month at the NAB show, but it remains a nascent, hype-filled format that’s yearning for more content and consumer adoption of 4K-capable TVs, as well as an end-to-end technology ecosystem. With most 4K video to be delivered over-the-top in the early phases, it’s also poised to be a bandwidth demon when adoption eventually picks up.

Don’t miss: “The Big, Big Picture: Technology Implications of Ultra HD”

Wednesday, April 30, 1 p.m., Room 403B

Featured moderator and speakers: Chuck Pagano, ESPN; Indra Laksono, ViXS Systems; Wade Wan, Broadcom; and Steven Weinstein, Deluxe Entertainment Services Group.

“Putting Advertising on Target”

Following the successful introduction of dynamic advertising insertion, the next big target is addressable and targeted advertising, a category that promises to drive up viewer engagement and ad dollars. But are what’s here now and what’s on the horizon an evolution or a revolution to the admarketing game?

Don’t miss: “Targeting Television’s Future: Addressable Advertising Strategies & Solutions”

April 30 at 2:30 p.m; Room 411

Featured moderator and speakers: Sean Cunningham, Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau; Billy Farina, Cox Media; Joan Gillman, Time Warner Cable; Ben Tatta, Cablevision Systems; and Charlie Thurston, Comcast Spotlight.

Down With OTT

Broad adoption of broadband coupled with ever-increasing data speeds has created a pipeline for a new breed of programmers that, like the original mix of cable digital networks, can offer targeted niche programming, but, unlike that former group, can reach audiences without distribution deals with the traditional gatekeepers. But can OTT programmers establish a sustainable business model, and what role, if any, can cable operators play in it?

Don’t miss: “Born to Stream: The Economics and Ideals of Internet- Originated Television”

Tuesday, April 29 at 2 p.m.; Room 411

Featured moderator and speakers: Amy Banse, Comcast Ventures; Stephanie Horbaczewski, StyleHaul; Ashley Kaplan, Fullscreen; and Joe Perez, Tastemade.