& cplSiteName &

Digital Transport Adapter (DTA)

Jeff Baumgartner
The Buzz Bin
Jeff Baumgartner
7/15/2009
50%
50%

Digital Transport Adapters (DTAs) are one-way devices that convert incoming digital signals into analog signals that can be viewed by older television sets. Most are simple "channel zappers" that do not support on-board electronic program guides nor can handle interactive applications such as video on demand (VoD). Their inherent one-way capabilities also prevent them from viewing channels delivered in a "switched" tier.

Some MSOs, most notably Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), are using DTAs to fuel analog reclamation strategies. In the Comcast example, the MSO is migrating channels from its analog advanced basic tier to digital format. Once that occurs, analog TVs would then require a DTA (or a regular set-top box) to view those channels. (See Comcast's $1B Bandwidth Plan and Comcast Seeds Digital Shift With Free Boxes.)

Several vendors have developed DTAs for the U.S. cable market. Pace Micro Technology , Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT), Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), and Thomson S.A. (NYSE: TMS; Euronext Paris: 18453) are all already on board as DTA suppliers to Comcast. Evolution Broadband LLC , meanwhile, has developed a DTA (using the Digital Video Broadcast, or DVB, platform) it's targeting to small- and mid-sized MSOs as a component of a broader all-digital video platform. (See Evolution Thinks Small .)

DTA

The DTA market has not developed without controversy. A July 2007 Federal Communications Commission (FCC) mandate prevents MSOs from deploying set-tops with integrated security, forcing most MSOs to deploy set-tops with the removable CableCARD. DTAs, at $35 to $50 per unit, are said to cost hundreds of dollars less than an entry-level, CableCARD-based set-top. (See Countdown to 'Seven-Oh-Seven'.)

In June 2009, Evolution obtained a three-year waiver to couple its DTAs with an integrated conditional access system from Conax AS . Since then, several parties have urged the FCC to rescind it on the notion that the waiver will hinder CableCARD adoption and undermine the development of a retail market for TVs and set-tops based on the tru2way platform.

Cisco, Moto, Thomson, and Pace are also seeking similar waivers at the FCC for DTAs that can activate a "latent" content protection scheme via a firmware upgrade.

The current DTA crop can display standard-definition video, but Evolution is working on a model that can feed through and display high-definition programming.

For more on DTAs, please see:



(4)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
jayja
50%
50%
jayja,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/5/2012 | 3:52:59 PM
re: Digital Transport Adapter (DTA)


Thanks Jeff.  OK, so this is the electronic version of the push-button mechanical tuner, hard wired (no wireless) I got with my first cable TV subscription in 1983?

Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:52:59 PM
re: Digital Transport Adapter (DTA)


DTAs could be considered a low-end set-top, capable merely of converting digital video signals to analog so analog TVs can display them.  Some DTAs have IPGs and security, others don't.

jayja
50%
50%
jayja,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/5/2012 | 3:52:59 PM
re: Digital Transport Adapter (DTA)


...what's the difference between a DTA and a Set-Top Box?

Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:52:58 PM
re: Digital Transport Adapter (DTA)


Heh, the digital version, anyway. Maybe your '80s-era cable box looked something like this.  Or this one (one can never have enough devices with faux wood).

Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
NEXT COURSE
Wednesday, September 28, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit 101
Will Barkis, Senior Technology Analyst, Orange
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
Friday, September 30, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & the Great Migration
Robert Howald, Vice President, Network Architecture, Comcast
Wednesday, October 5, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & Smart Cities
Joe Kochan, COO & Co-Founder, US Ignite
Friday, October 7, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & DOCSIS 3.1
Ty Pearman, Director, Access Architecture, Comcast
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
Introducing IoT World News

9|27|16   |   01:43   |   (0) comments


Self-driving cars, medical sensors, smart cities... and refrigerators. In order to address the huge scope of IoT, KNect365 has created a unique online community that will help businesses to understand and monetize the opportunities that live within the IoT market. We look forward to welcoming you to IoT World News -- your gateway to a better connected future.
LRTV Interviews
AT&T: Re-usable Functions Next NFV Key

9|27|16   |   06:03   |   (0) comments


The next generation of NFV has to break functions down into re-usable software chunks, making everything much more cloud-like.
LRTV Interviews
Masergy on Security: Attackers Gaining Upper Hand

9|27|16   |   5:10   |   (1) comment


At Light Reading's NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver, Ray Watson, vice president of Global Technology at Masergy, says that because of the growth in virtualization, the threat landscape is shifting in favor of the attackers. As a result, service providers need to think beyond just defending the perimeter and take a more holistic approach to security.
LRTV Interviews
Verizon Takes Next Step on Biz Virtualization Journey

9|26|16   |   4:38   |   (2) comments


At September's NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver, Light Reading sat down with Victoria Lonker, director of Product and New Business Innovation at Verizon, to chat about where the carrier is with delivering virtualized services to business customers.
LRTV Interviews
Global Services: The $40B Face-Off

9|26|16   |   05:53   |   (1) comment


More service providers than ever before are battling it out to win a slice of what is now a $40 billion global communications services pie, explains Ovum Principal Analyst David Molony.
LRTV Documentaries
MEC Congress: The Key Takeaways

9|22|16   |   03:25   |   (3) comments


Three key takeaways from the Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) Congress in Munich, Germany.
Wagner’s Ring
Time to Shut Up About 'Dumb Pipes'

9|22|16   |     |   (12) comments


Service providers can't compete with OTT players. It just isn't in their DNA. Instead, service providers need to embrace what they're good at -- providing reliable, secure connectivity.
Wagner’s Ring
Keeping Your Tech Career Going After 50

9|21|16   |     |   (13) comments


How do you keep your career moving forward when you're past the half-century mark?
LRTV Interviews
Peering Into the Digital Future

9|20|16   |   04:25   |   (0) comments


Nick Thomas, practice leader of digital media at Ovum, talks about how digital transformation in the technology, media and telecom sectors will enable the development of a new range of applications and services for enterprises and consumers and how the upcoming Digital Futures event in London will examine ...
LRTV Custom TV
Napatech Tackles NFV's Major Challenge

9|7|16   |   08:42   |   (0) comments


One of the main challenges for network operators introducing NFV is to combine performance and flexibility in a cost-effective way, but there is a solution, explains Napatech's Dan Joe Barry.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei Optical Innovation 2016

9|6|16   |     |   (0) comments


Highlights of the 2016 Huawei Optical Innovation forum.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Are You Ready for Huawei Connect 2016?

8|31|16   |     |   (0) comments


Join us for an exclusive sneak peak of Huawei Connect, an integrated conference for the global ICT ecosystem taking place in Shanghai.
Upcoming Live Events
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 1, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Keeping Your Tech Career Going After 50
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 9/21/2016
Time to Shut Up About 'Dumb Pipes'
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 9/22/2016
Verizon CFO: Eat Our (Fixed) 5G Dust!
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 9/22/2016
Eurobites: Telefónica Taps Juniper for Network Security
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 9/26/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders and UXP Systems CEO Gemini Waghmare discuss the strategic importance of digital identity for operators in the midst of transformation.
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Animals with Phones
There's Nothing Like Missing a Full Minute of Pokémon Go Click Here
Live Digital Audio

A vital part of increasing the number of women in comms is transforming the ways companies can support and empower women. While progressive company policies that support both men and women in achieving work-life balance are a step in the right direction, creating a company culture that supports those policies can at times be more challenging.

During this show, we'll talk to Lynn Comp, Senior Director of Industry and Sales Enabling (ISE) in the Network Platforms Group at Intel, about why those challenges exist and how companies can overcome them. She'll provide insight into how Intel has worked to create a culture that supports work-life balance, and provide steps and guidance for other companies wishing to do the same. We will also leave plenty of time to get your questions answered live on the air.