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DTAs Learn A New Language: IP

NCTC Winter Educational Conference – An initial batch of IP-capable Digital Transport Adapters emerged here this week as the cable industry begins to pursue a new class of hybrid devices that provide some important future-proofing alongside a conduit to the broadband world.

These are early days, but hybrid DTAs are poised to succeed traditional QAM-only standard-definition and HD DTAs that have played a critical role in cable’s all-digital upgrades. Comcast alone has deployed more than 25 million of them. That has sped up cable’s ability to reclaim valuable analog spectrum, but the reliance on DTAs saturates the market with gobs of QAM devices, threatening to prolong IP video transitions.

Here at the show at least two suppliers – Evolution Digital and U.K.-based supplier Pace – showed or demonstrated hybrid DTAs, which use QAM for traditional broadcast video services, including basic, expanded basic and even premium services, alongside an IP component that supports an HTML5 browser and a pipe for online content and apps.

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