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Cable Catchup

5:30 PM -- A few items to get you up to speed before I shove off for a week and a half and place you in the capable hands of the rest of the Light Reading editors...

  • Tru2way shrug. Some consumer electronics firms don't appear to be all that hot and bothered that some major MSOs didn't hit today's deadline to have all their headends ready for tru2way. Not a big surprise, since all those MSOs still intend to finish the job soon enough. (See MSOs to Miss Tru2way Date and No Penalties for Missing Tru2way Date.)

    For example, a Panasonic Corp. (NYSE: PC) exec told Multichannel News that the CE giant "would have liked for things to happen more quickly -- but we have to be realistic about the complexity of this project."

    The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) , which has historically backed a tru2way competitor called DCR+, surprisingly had little to say about the miss. The CEA "was not a party to the Sony/cable agreement, and therefore we don't have any comment on it," an organization spokesman says via email. (See Two-Way Battle Reaches FCC.)

  • Lookabaugh lands at Entropic. Tom Lookabaugh, last seen at the helm of the MSO-backed PolyCipher LLC downloadable set-top security joint venture, has joined Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) chip specialist Entropic as chief technology officer. With Lookabaugh coming on board, Entropic co-founder Dr. Itzhak Gurantz will shift into an "individual contributor role" and focus on the firm's long-term tech initiatives. (See PolyCipher Head Joins Entropic.)

    PolyCipher, readers may recall, shut down its Denver-area headquarters at the end of June. That effort is now back in the hands of CableLabs . Since that's gotten around, Entropic has become a rather popular place. Keith Bechard, another former PolyCipher exec, joined the Entropic board last month. (See MSOs Closing PolyCipher Headquarters and Ex-PolyCipher Guy Joins Entropic Board.)

  • Mobile broadband on the cheap? Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Inc. analyst Craig Moffett weighed in on Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s WiMax launch in Portland earlier this week, figuring that, based on the early pricing, the MSO "has set an opening salvo for wireless data at just $7 per month... at a time when virtually all Street models (including our own) assume prices for LTE service from Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility will remain "in the $40 per month range." (See Comcast Maxes Out in Portland.)

    Even after the first 12 months, Comcast's wireless data price will still be lower than $30, Moffett adds, noting that he still has some "serious reservations" about the Clearwire business and the quality of its spectrum. "But a low enough price can paper over a lot of problems," he suggests.

  • Refitting the pipe. Some big changes are happening up top at SinglePipe Communications Inc. , a company that provides voice and Internet apps, and counts small and mid-sized MSOs among its customers. At the very top, Jeff Carr, formerly the COO, is jumping up to CEO, replacing Matt Phillips, who's now vice chairman of corporate development.

    New to the team is Cynthia Carpenter, SinglePipe's new president and COO, and an exec who is late of Wheelhouse Strategies, Level 3 Communications Inc. (NYSE: LVLT), Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC), Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), Starz Entertainment LLC , and High Speed Access Corp. (Paul Allen's old "turn-key" cable broadband ISP). (See SinglePipe Shuffles Exec Deck.)

    They're on board as SinglePipe tries to beef up a cable roster that today includes Northland Cable Television, CMA Communications, and Marco Island Cable. (See SinglePipe Raises $5.1 M.)

  • Tuned out. Hard to believe, but The Nielsen Co. says 1.7 million homes are still unready for the digital broadcast TV transition, which, as the vast majority of Americans know, wrapped up on June 12.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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