9:45 AM -- Welcome to round two as Light Reading explains our choices for the 2012 Leading Lights finalists. (You can check out the full list of finalists here; free registration required.)
As a quick reminder, the Leading Lights winners and Light Reading Hall of Fame inductees will be revealed on Wednesday, Nov. 7 at the Manhattan Penthouse. On Monday, Craig Matsumoto lined up the finalists in the category of Best Product (Telecom). (See 2012 Leading Lights Finalists: Best Product (Telecom).)
Here are some of the reasons these seven entries made the finals in the category of Best New Product (Cable).
ActiveVideo Networks' Cloud TV H5
ActiveVideo Networks Inc. is lending cable a big helping hand as video user interfaces (UIs) continue to graduate well beyond the simple graphics and displays that one might have seen gracing an Intellivision gaming console in days of yore.
ActiveVideo's use of the video-friendly HTML5 format is helping operators introduce more intuitive interfaces that can apply a similar look and feel whether it's being used on tablets and other second-screen devices, connected TVs or via older set-top boxes. By employing a cloud-based architecture where most of the heavy lifting occurs on the network, this architecture also gives operators an opportunity to make changes and upgrades rapidly rather than having to endure weeks (or possibly months) of regression testing when those UIs are resident on the device.
Casa Systems' DS8x96 Converged Cable Access Platform Module
Deployments of Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP) are expected to begin in earnest in 2012 and beyond, and Casa Systems Inc. already has a spot at the table with the DS8x96, a module that snaps into its Docsis 3.0-qualified C10G cable modem termination system (CMTS) and also packs in QAM capacity. The density, at 96 channels per port, including 32 channels for narrowcast services and 64 for broadcast services, will help cable operators blaze a path toward an all-IP platform.
And this sort of leg-up should help a newcomer like Casa try to dislodge well-entrenched CMTS incumbents such as Cisco Systems Inc., Arris Group Inc. and Motorola Mobility and secure footholds with operators in the U.S. and abroad as major MSOs get the first wave of CCAP deployments underway.
Evolution Digital's Liberty HD uDTA Wall Plate Device
Cable operators are deploying Digital Terminal Adapter (DTA) devices by the millions as they continue to reclaim valuable analog spectrum using these digital-to-analog channel zappers. Evolution Digital LLC is taking the category into a new realm using a new wall-plate-mounted, hi-def version that's designed to run on Cisco Systems Inc.- and Motorola-based digital networks. Its work with the wall-plate design has helped the company get an important toehold at Comcast Corp., one of the industry's biggest adopters of the DTA.
In addition to giving cable a new HD option, Evolution's unique wall-plate approach should discourage customers from disconnecting them and selling them via outlets such as eBay Inc., which has become an electronic flea market for stand-alone DTA devices that happen to be the property of the cable operator. In addition to traditional homes, Evolution's wall-mounted approach could also supply the vendor with ample opportunities to score deployments in hotels and apartment buildings that require the installation of semi-permanent video devices.
Page 2: More cable product finalists