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James Wood, TCI Engineer, Dies at 43

Memorial services were held here last Wednesday for former Tele-Communications Inc. and AT&T Broadband executive James R. Wood, who died on Oct. 10 at age 43.

Wood, who was active in Cable Television Laboratories Inc., was vice president of digital technology at TCI, where he played a key role in introducing digital set-tops at the country's biggest cable operator. He later was vice president of advanced technologies at AT&T Broadband, TCI's successor company.

Most recently, he had partnered with his wife, Lisa Lee, in a consulting firm called Broadband Insights.

He had earned a master's degree in telecommunications engineering from the University of Colorado and a bachelor's degree in broadcasting from Colorado State University.

Wood started out as a sports broadcaster at Scripps Howard, leaving to join regional phone company U S West Inc. in the early 1990s. There, he began work on digital television.

Much of what Wood helped develop in those formative days is still being used by cable companies today, engineering colleagues said last week.

He worked on the first interactive-TV platform operating on the Motorola DCT 2000 set-top, with services that included e-mail and electronic commerce, colleagues said. And he initiated development of a systems architecture comprising hardware, operating software, and application software for Motorola's more-advanced DCT 5000 set-top.

Friends recalled him as generous and caring, and said his catchphrase, when asked how he was doing, was "Livin' a dream, baby."

Contributions, for the benefit of Wood's three daughters, can be sent to the Jim Wood Memorial Fund, c/o Ellis Family Services, P.O. Box 270334, Littleton, CO, 80127.