Video services

CableOne's Hi-Def DTA

10:40 AM -- Following a revised set of CableCARD rules handed down by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the fall, 2011 is shaping up to become a big year for a new type of Digital Terminal Adapter (DTA)s that can pass through HDTV signals and become a key part of an MSO's analog reclamation toolbox. (See FCC Opens the Way for More HD-DTAs.)

There are millions of one-way, standard-def DTAs in the field today, but only one US MSO, CableOne , has deployed any HD-DTAs with baked-in security, and that's in just one small system in Tennessee. (See Scoop! Cable ONE Makes HD-DTA Picks .)

For now, that deployment is limited to HD-DTAs made by Digital Multimedia Technology Co. Ltd. (DMT) that use integrated security from Nagravision SA . Here's a pic of what CableOne's putting in the field:

One-Way HD

Thanks to a new exemption that applies to all US MSOs, expect to see a wide spectrum of HD-DTA variants emerge next year from several suppliers, including Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. , EchoStar Technologies, and Pace Micro Technology , among others.

With enough volume, unit pricing on those boxes should be poised to breach cable's desired sub-$50 barrier. (See Cable ONE Seeks $50 HD Box.)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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