After some typical trade show mishaps in the days leading up to the show — such as an overhead water pipe break that damaged a few booths (thankfully not ours) and a huge crash during setup somewhere in the bowels of our next-door neighbor’s booth (that we swear we had nothing to do with) — by day two of The Cable Show, things were in full swing.
There was an abundance of politicians and their staffers on hand, along with celebrities signing autographs, and huge screens showing clips of the latest hit TV shows. While The Cable Show always has a strong focus on programming content, there was plenty to keep engineers interested as well.
Home automation was a major theme this year and vendors, large and small, turned out to showcase products that support these services. Home automation is a natural fit for MSOs, given the broadband access required to create a connected home. And it’s not just about security services anymore — MSOs are now offering other services too, like smart energy management services that include intelligent light bulbs and thermostat controls. Expect to see home health monitoring and home/distance learning on offer in the near future too, as the home automation field continues to grow.
On the cable transport technology front, there was plenty of talk about DOCSIS 3.1 and other emerging technologies like Ethernet PON over Coax (EPoC). These standards are not yet finalized but are already creating a lot of excitement in the industry. Cable operators hope to be able to trial products by late next year and were given a sneak peek at The Cable Show with the first early demonstration of the technology.
This year’s show also continued the cable industry’s WiFi push. Operators discussed how new WiFi services will add value to their subscribers online experience, while vendors displayed their access points and residential gateway devices that enable operator partitioning of private and public WiFi space on customer-premises equipment (CPE).
All in all, The Cable Show 2013 was another successful event for the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, and the cable industry in general, and provided invaluable insight into the latest technology trends.