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INTX 2015: The Tech Hot List

As a rechristened and recast Cable Show, this week’s INTX confab will still offer a variety of tech panels and sessions for the hard core engineer as well as the operations exec who’s looking to get a technology edge.

While it’s impossible to hit every session (please see Leslie Ellis and Tony Werner's preview of  what will be cooking at Imagine Park), here’s a list of sessions that will be on our don't miss list and plunge into key topics and areas that are important today, as well as a few that are expected to factor into the future shape of the broadband and TV industry.

The Broad Strokes

If you seek a multi-faceted, bigger-picture view and a CTO-level discussion on the biggest tech trends, you’d do right by putting this panel on your dance card:

You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet: Technology, Innovation & The Future Of Media

-Tuesday, May 5 at 3 p.m. ; Room W470

-On tap: Phil McKinney, CableLabs (moderator); David Dibble (Cablevision Systems); Kevin Hart (Cox Communications); Yvette Kanouff (Cisco Systems); Jeremy Legg (Turner Broadcasting System); and Tony Werner (Comcast).

Gaga for Gigabit

If you’re a cable operator and you aren’t launching gigabit (or even 2-Gig) speeds to residential customers, or have it on your docket, then you just aren’t trying hard enough.  While Google Fiber gets much (too much?) credit for putting 1-Gig on the map and accelerating the deployment of those speeds, it’s clear that gigabit is now a priority for ISPs of all shapes and sizes, whether that’s delivered via fiber-to-the-premises or emerging DOCSIS 3.1 technologies. Pick your poison – all options will be covered this week.

Don’t miss:

Getting The Gig: Realizing the Potential of DOCSIS 3.1

-Wednesday, May 6 at 11:30 a.m.; Room W474

-On tap: Ralph Brown, CableLabs (moderator); Ayham Al-Banna, Mike Emmendorfer, and Carol Ansley, Arris; Scott Helms, Zcorum; Maxwell Huang; Cisco; and Niki Pantelias, Broadcom

Dude, You’re Getting a Gig: The Perils & Promise of Ultra-Fast Access Networks

-Wednesday, May 6 at 4:30 p.m.; Room W474

-On tap: Kevin Leddy, Time Warner Cable (moderator); Philip Nutsugah, Cox; Eric Small, AT&T; and JR Walden, Mediacom Communications.

The Network: Going Soft…and Remote

A hot topic across the telecom sector is the shift from single-purpose hardware to off-the-shelf gear that can be managed and optimized by software – represented by the move toward software-defined networking (SDN) and networks-function virtualization (NFV). With the potential operational benefits they can provide, cable is keying on this trend as it pursues next-gen access architectures such as the “virtual” Converged Cable Access Platform.  While still an arena best suited for the engineering crew, it will play a big role in the future of how cable builds its networks of the future. Tied in, cable’s also looking at access network architectures that are less centralized and monolithic, and instead move some key functionality deeper into the network and closer to the subscriber edge.

Don’t miss:

Software Vs. Silicon: Understanding and Advancing the SDN Revolution

-Tuesday, May 5 at 11:30 a.m.; Room W474

-On tap: John Chapman, Cisco (moderator); Jeff DeMent, Arris; Brian Field and Nagesh Nandiraju, Comcast; Glen Griffith, Ericsson; and James Kim and Karthik Sundaresan, CableLabs.

Remote PHY, When and Why: Approaches for Physical Layer Migration

-Wednesday, May 6 at 8:30 a.m. ; Room W474

-On tap:  Daniel Howard, SCTE  (moderator); Alon Bernstein, Pawel Sowinski, John Chapman and Hang Jin, Cisco; and Dan Lavender and Karthik Sundaresan, CableLabs.

Whipping Up More Wireless

In the U.S., cable’s the king of wired broadband, but the future is mobile and wireless – an area that is becoming a huge focus for cable operators. While access to WiFi in public and business locations is being used primarily as a perk for cable modem subs, operators are expected to look at “WiFi-First” mobile strategies that use cellular as a fallback connection, while others, such as Cablevision Systems’ new Freewheel service, are going with WiFi-only pursuits. Liberty Global, meanwhile, has been using a mixture of WiFi, MVNO deals, and even mobile acquisitions formulate its plan. Expect the next chapter in cable’s wireless and mobile future to begin to take shape this week.

Don’t miss:

Across the Spectrum: Strategies for a Changing Wireless Marketplace

-Tuesday, May 5 at 4:30 p.m.; Room W475

-On tap: Rob Pegararo, USA Today and Yahoo! Tech (moderator); Timothy Burke, Liberty Global; Charles Cheevers, Arris; Dave Mayo, T-Mobile USA; and Tom Nagel, Comcast.

The 411 on OTT

Is over-the-top video friend or foe to the pay TV industry? It’s clearly both, as operators continue to push authenticated TV Everywhere offerings, while others develop and roll out new direct-to-consumer offerings that are causing a rift in the status quo.

Don’t miss:

Why OTT is Their Best Friend: Strategies for Online Video

-Wednesday, May 6 at 9 a.m.; Room W470

-On tap: Colin Dixon, nScreen Media (moderator); Tim Connolly, Hulu; Braxton Jarratt, Clearleap; and Roger Lynch, Sling TV.