11:00 AM --
Our annual Leading Lights awards are shedding some love on cable in two categories: Best Services/Applications and Best Products. Here's a quick rundown of our Leading Lights finalists in the Services and Apps category and why they made the cut:
ClearAccess Inc. 's ClearVision Management System is keying on cable's expected broad deployment of Docsis 3.0 gateways and its anticipated adoption of TR-069 to manage those devices. ClearAccess is leading the TR-069 charge into cable with a cloud-based service that lets MSOs manage and have visibility into all their TR-069-enabled devices from a capex-saving central location. (See Cable Winks, Giggles at TR-069 and Docsis 3.0 Enters the Gateway Era .)
Cox Communications Inc. 's Advanced TV Plus Package is out to prove that tru2way ain't dead. In fact, tru2way is the box software and headend baseline of the MSO's new super-sized video package, centerpieced by a fancy new guide, a whole-home DVR package, more HDTV, and a gob of interactive applications. Tru2way won't make much of a dent in the retail box and TV market, but Cox is showing that the technology may indeed have plenty of potential as a common, cable-delivered advanced video app and service platform. (See Cox Plus Sizes TV With Tru2way IPG and Cox Guides Tru2way Forward.)
Optimum Lightpath 's Interactive Patient Care is a shining example of how cable (Optimum Lightpath is the big business services arm of Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC)) can leverage Carrier Ethernet to drive advanced, commercial-class services. This one, developed with GetWellNetwork, transforms a hospital in-room TV into a tool to help patients connect with friends and family, receive clinical information, and use as an entertainment pipeline.
Suddenlink Communications 's High Speed Internet MAX 107.0 has served as a domestic, downstream speed bar-raiser, and still has the crown as US cable's fastest residential Docsis 3.0 tier, 2Mbit/s more than the 105Mbit/s Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is beginning to tee up. Although D3 still trails from a customer adoption standpoint behind slower and less expensive tiers, services like MAX 107.0 give Suddenlink a weapon to wield against speedy fiber-to-the-home and advanced DSL services. (See Suddenlink Unleashes 107-Meg Wideband Tier.)
thePlatform Inc. 's mpx Video Management and Publishing System timed its market entry just as cable starts to push TV Everywhere strategies. In this instance, the Comcast-owned unit is offering networks a publishing service platform that gives them an automated ramp onto a broad range of over-the-top, broadband-fed devices from Roku Inc. , Boxee , TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO), and the Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPad, and a way to create all those "publishing profiles" without all the fuss.
Later today we'll post our review of the hotly contested new cable Product category, which had its fair share of deserving finalists, as well as several solid entries that were just on the cusp of breaking through.
In the meantime, if you care to vent about, or even praise, this year's selections, please have at it on the message boards.
Under fire from US broadcasters, Locast is appealing for funds to help it mount a legal defense, a move that was attempted eight years ago by Ivi Inc., an OTT-TV company that was sued out of existence.