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Cable Show: News & Views

11:45 AM -- LOS ANGELES -- The Cable Show -- Thousands are gathering here for cable's big annual content and technology confab. Here's a snapshot of what's making the rounds in the early going:

News: Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) says it's expanded its video-on-demand (VoD) vault to 25,000 "choices" after adding nearly 9,000 movie titles to the mix. It'll be offering that bigger VoD lineup in newly upgraded markets that are taking on the MSO's new "Xfinity" brand, starting with its Philadelphia and Washington systems. (See Comcast VoD Choices Hits 25K.)

Views: Comcast is starting to stretch the legs of its developing content distribution network (CDN), which is expected to ramp up to more than 100,000 choices… someday.

News: itaas Inc. has ported the TVWorks LLC Enhanced TV Binary Interchange Format (EBIF) "user agent" to the Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) platform, a move that gives TVWorks, a wholly owned division of Comcast, the ability to deliver EBIF-enabled apps across its entire cable platform. (See Itaas Ports EBIF to Cisco Boxes.)

The TVWorks EBIF user agent (the software client that goes in the set-top) for Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) systems is already good to go. Comcast, which has the TVWorks EBIF software deployed on 12 million boxes (about 20 percent) of its set-top population, expects to start trials on the Cisco port sometime later this year.

Views: No surprises here. It would've been bigger news if TVWorks opted not to port EBIF to the Cisco environment.

News: Avail-TVN is throwing its weight behind 3DTV as plans get underway to launch such a service by the end of 2010, highlighted by two, new linear 3DTV channels. Avail-TVN plans to couple its linear 3DTV lineup (which will include some transactional pay-per-view content) with some on-demand fare, but has yet to announce any third-party programming partners for the effort. The company claims that the service will work with existing digital boxes but will require "minor" software updates. (See Avail-TVN to Launch 3DTV Service.)

Views: Perhaps 3DTV is the next spectrum land-grab for programmers as Avail-TVN joins ESPN and Discovery Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) as early adopters of the new eye-popping technology. (See Discovery Prez: New 3D Net Will Need 6MHz and ESPN Jumps Into the 3DTV Game .)

And oh, by the way, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) isn't about to let cable steal all the 3DTV thunder this week, revealing today that it will offer YES Network's 3DTV feeds of two New York Yankees vs. Seattle Mariners games on July 10 and 11 to FiOS TV subs in Verizon's NYC system. Verizon plans to roll out a much broader 3DTV service by the 2010 holiday season. (See Verizon Derides Cable 3DTV Efforts.)

There's plenty more on our dedicated Cable Show micro-site, but here are a few other announcements that trickled in this morning as the show gets underway in sunny LA:



— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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