You know you’re just itching to hear what The Cable Show has in store this year. So even though I’ll be on site at the L.A. event in less than a week, I thought I’d preview the excitement with some educated guesses on what to expect. (Note: I am underlying the excitement here with a reasonable note of sarcasm. I do understand that not everyone is as moved by cable as I am. ;) )
Big Themes at The Cable Show 2010
1. A lot more IP everything
Last year it was all about TV/Internet convergence, but this year the conversation should get a little more sophisticated. Cable operators would rather not rely on over-the-top services, which is why they’ll start baking the benefits of IP into their existing television delivery systems. Expect a lot of discussion about The IP Home and migrating to IP networks. In fact, it’s already begun. Check out Jeff Baumgartner’s piece on Time Warner Cable testing an IPTV deployment with Microsoft Mediaroom. And for context, Dave covered the ongoing Microsoft Mediaroom activities back at CES.
The 3DTV hype will continue, but I doubt we’ll see much new at The Cable Show. Comcast made its big splash with the live broadcast of The Masters, and I expect we won’t see much progress in a month’s time.
3. TV Everywhere… but not like you think
TV on computers is great, but cable operators want to port the experience to any screen a consumer might have. Unfortunately, that gets complicated fast, especially on legacy network systems. The discussion starts this year, but it will go on for some time.
4. A lot of Cloud talk
Since it’s proven popular everywhere else, Cloud jargon has started to infiltrate the cable industry. We’ve seen minimal impact so far – beyond limited Network DVR trials and cable-based online video services – but that’s going to change. And it will start with a lot of industry conversation.
WiMAX is one wireless play for the cable operators, but interest in Wi-Fi services has also grown. Given recent announcements, expect more folks to get on board with Wi-Fi strategies. We should hear more next week.