Light Reading
Charter will lean on fully functional, interactive boxes, not one-way channel-zappers, to fuel its big all-digital transition

Charter Says No to DTAs

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
2/22/2013
50%
50%

Digital transport adapters (DTAs) may offer a cheap option for cable operators that are looking to go all-digital, but the simple channel-zappers won't play a starring role in Charter Communications Inc.'s transition, company CEO Tom Rutledge said on Friday's fourth-quarter earnings call. Charter, he said, will instead power its all-digital move with fully functional, interactive set-top boxes, holding that they provide a better user interface (Charter's developing a cloud-based version) and access to popular services such as video-on-demand. DTAs, which have been central to Comcast Corp.'s all-digital strategy, cost about $30 for standard-definition models, while new HD versions are expected to sell for sub-$50. Comcast has deployed millions of DTAs to recapture analog spectrum and create more capacity for HD programming and Docsis 3.0. On the downside, DTAs saturate the market with more QAM devices, which can prolong an operator's IP video transition. Their one-way limitations also make them incapable of supporting VoD on their own, though it's technically possible to deliver on-demand programming to the devices using apps on smartphones and tablets. (See Comcast: DTAs Can Be 'Force-Tuned' and Comcast HD-DTAs Reach the FCC.) But that's not in the Charter game plan. It's pursuing a waiver at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to help it deploy a new type of box outfitted with a downloadable security system. Charter has not got the waiver, but Rutledge said the MSO is in position to begin its all-digital move without it. The plan is to move ahead in select markets that have already achieved relatively high digital video penetration rates. Until the FCC says otherwise, that means Charter will have to use pricier boxes with CableCARD security. (See Charter Bemoans CableCARD Costs , Charter Video Plan Good for Cisco, Samsung and CEA Tries to Kill Charter's Video Plan.) Charter will not be giving boxes away during the transition, so Rutledge said the operator will have to do a good job marketing its new digital video products as it prepared to roll out its box strategy en masse. "The plan is to charge for the outlets," Rutledge said. Rutledge said Charter stopped selling analog video packages in mid-2012, and anticipates completing the all-digital migration by the end of 2014. That transition and Charter's new cloud-based interfaces and video search capabilities represent two areas Charter will focus on as it looks to improve its overall operations and stem video subscriber losses. Rutledge also identified business services as a core focus, estimating that it's a $9.5 billion market opportunity for the operator. Charter generated $658 million in commercial services revenue in 2012, up 20.7 percent from 2011. Beyond tech and services, some cable operators, including Comcast and Rutledge's former company, Cablevision Systems Corp., have implemented "tracker brands" (Xfinity and Optimum) to inject some freshness into their consumer marketing. Rutledge acknowledged that some believe Charter, which emerged from bankruptcy in 2009, should do something similar. But "we have nothing to announce on that today," he said. — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
craigleddy
50%
50%
craigleddy,
User Rank: Blogger
2/25/2013 | 4:29:07 PM
re: Charter Says No to DTAs
The Charter strategy is close to the one being employed at Tom Rutledge's former company, Cablevision, which decided to distribute fully functioning digital set-tops rather than DTAs. Cablevision also is implementing downloadable security. I guess some see DTAs as just an interim step instead of going with full-function boxes, especially if you can add the downloadable security component.-á
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
LRTV Custom TV
Why SPs Should Consider Cisco's EPN

8|27|14   |   5:40   |   (0) comments


Sultan Dawood from Cisco discusses Cisco's EPN, which enables SPs to build agile and programmable networks delivering new network virtualized services using Cisco's Evolved Services Platform (ESP).
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Showcase @ Big Telecom Event 2014

8|26|14   |   2.56   |   (0) comments


SoftCOM is Huawei's framework for telecom business and network transformation. Haofei Liu, Solution Marketing Manager, Carrier Business Group, Huawei, showcases Huawei's SoftCOM architecture in this video.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei @ BTE 2014: Director of Integrated Solutions on SoftCOM & NFV Monetization

8|26|14   |   4.43   |   (0) comments


Libin Dai, Director of Integrated Solutions, Carrier Business Group, discusses Huawei's SoftCOM and NFV monetization. Huawei believes that NFV monetization should be service-driven rather than network-driven, and that operators should have network transformation, service transformation and a compatible and collaborative ecosystem in place in order to deploy NFV.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei @ BTE 2014: Director of US NFV Lab on CloudEdge & the Future of NFV

8|26|14   |   4.06   |   (0) comments


Sean Chen, Director of US NFV Lab at Huawei, discusses Huawei's new approach to NFV in open collaboration. Huawei believes that through Proof of Concept tests, it could help operators learn and communicate with the industry more effectively. Sean believes that successful implementation of NFV should have its values reaching to end users and discusses how Huawei's ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Highlights @ Big Telecom Event 2014

8|26|14   |   3.34   |   (0) comments


At the Big Telecom Event in Chicago Huawei showcases its high-level strategy, the SoftCOM architecture, which helps operators reduce the cost of ownership of their network infrastructure and generate additional revenue in the ICT service environment. Huawei showcases over 30 pilot programs from across the globe, focusing on the industry-leading commercial ...
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX – Live from the Show

8|21|14   |   5:58   |   (0) comments


An overview of VeEX Test and Measurement solutions including TX300S multi-service test set with VeExpress cloud-based management system, UX400 universal modular platform supporting 100G testing, and the redesigned RXT modular platform.
LRTV Custom TV
Transitioning CE 2.0 Networks Into the SDN & NFV Era With Telco Systems

8|19|14   |   5:19   |   (0) comments


Telco Systems' Ariel Efrati (CEO) and Moshe Shimon (VP of Product Management) discuss virtualization and how the company's new Open Metro Edge solution utilizes the SDN and NFV concepts to accelerate and orchestrate service delivery through its innovative product portfolio and software applications.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Myths: Is NFV Still Several Years Away?

8|11|14   |   1:13   |   (0) comments


Some say that NFV (network functions virtualization) is still several years away from being implemented on mobile operator networks. This isn't the case. Operators can get started on their paths to NFV now, as this short video from Skyfire shows.
LRTV Custom TV
A New Security Paradigm in SDN/NFV

7|28|14   |   02:54   |   (0) comments


Paul Shaneck, Global Director Network Solutions for Symantec, discusses the evolving virtualized network, explaining how Symantec is leading the security discussion as it relates to SDN and NFV, and helping to ensure the network is protected and compliant.
LRTV Documentaries
Sprint's Network Evolution

7|24|14   |   14:59   |   (0) comments


Sprint's Jay Bluhm gives a keynote speech at the Big Telecom Event (BTE) about Sprint's network and services evolution strategy, including Spark.
LRTV Documentaries
BTE Keynote: The Software-Defined Operator

7|24|14   |   18:43   |   (1) comment


Deutsche Telekom's Axel Clauberg explains the concept of the software-defined operator to the Big Telecom Event (BTE) crowd.
Light Reedy
Numbers Are In: LR's 2014 Salary Survey

7|24|14   |   1:25   |   (7) comments


Our fourth annual Salary Survey paints a picture of who's hiring, firing, earning, and yearning for a change in the telecom industry.
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 23, 2014, Denver, CO
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Hot Topics
Comcast Streams Back to School
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 8/21/2014
Level 3 Does Big Data Differently
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/21/2014
T-Mobile: Small Cells? We're Dense Already
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/22/2014
Utilities to Pump $11.2B Into Smart Grid – Study
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, 8/26/2014
Rogers, Shaw Take Aim at Netflix
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 8/26/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed