CableLabs Establishes Task Force on Deployment of Enhanced Services
Louisville, Colo., July 1, 1996—Cable Television Laboratories, Inc., (CableLabs) and its member companies have created a task force of industry experts that will work together to help cable operators deal with issues associated with enhanced services.
Many cable operators are expected to roll out enhanced services such as digital video, high-speed data modems and telephony over the next few years. The digital transmission techniques that will be used in each of these services have technical requirements and training issues associated with them that are different from analog transmission which is employed today. In addition, there are a number of two-way plant issues that the task force will address.
Unlike analog signals, which degrade predictably (typical symptoms include snowy pictures or ghost images), the error correcting capability of the digital signal results in no sign of degradation until the error corrector is overwhelmed and wrong data is delivered, resulting in a loss of picture or data. One result is that new plant test equipment is required for system technicians. Another result is that methods of operating a system will need to change.
These issues will be explored by the task force, headed by Tony Werner, vice president of engineering with TCI Communications. CableLabs staff liaison will be Doug Semon, visiting executive for network operations.
"When any telecommunications industry moves from one means of distributing information to another, there is a chance for problems to arise," said Dr. Richard R. Green, CableLabs president and CEO. "We are attempting to get ahead of the curve and work to prevent major disruptions in the cable industry when digital technology is ubiquitously deployed," he added.
The task force will be comprised of senior executives from CableLabs member companies that have an interest in digital technology.
"This task force approach served the industry well when CableLabs focused on ways to reduce cable system outages," Werner said. "I think it will work well here as well."
CableLabs is a research and development consortium of cable television system operators representing more than 85% of the cable subscribers in the United States, 75% of the subscribers in Canada, and between five and 10% of cable subscribers in Mexico. CableLabs plans and funds research and development projects that will help cable companies take advantage of future opportunities and meet future challenges in the telecommunications industry. It also transfers relevant technologies to member companies and to the industry. In addition, CableLabs acts as a clearinghouse to provide information on current and prospective technological developments that are of interest to the cable industry.
About CableLabs: Cable Television Laboratories (www.cablelabs.com) was founded in 1988 by members of the cable television industry. A non-profit research and development consortium, CableLabs delivers innovations that enable cable operators to be the providers of choice in their markets. Cable operators from around the world are members. CableLabs maintains additional web sites at www.cablenet.org and www.ebif.tv.
CableLabs® is a registered trademark of Cable Television Laboratories, Inc. Other CableLabs marks are listed at http://www.cablelabs.com/certqual/trademarks. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.