What the heck am I doing in the broadband engineering space? I have a degree in Communications and Spanish, not engineering. However, the cable biz has been my life for over 15 years, so suffice it to say I have half, but a not a full, clue. This year was a true earth-shaker, in my opinion, as a landslide of new technologies, new user trends, and some downright scary — and inspiring — stuff started trending upwards in the collective engineering conscience. And they all come with cool acronyms, and I love acronyms. WNTL? (What’s Not To Love?)
So without further ado, I present the Top Five for 2010:
5. OTT: Over-the–top streaming media can present new viewer habits and new challenges for the operator — particularly streaming speed over WiFi, not to mention attendant bandwidth and revenue/tiering challenges. The ops will figure out how to monetize this — with the Netflix brouhaha already being the first shot across the bow. Expect more.
4. 3DTV (from the ops side): The challenges are big, but Cox showed it could be executed beautifully with its Masters coverage in 3D last April. What’s in store in 2011? I remain convinced that until the goofy glasses issue is resolved, 3D will spin its wheels. But then again I actually thought New Coke was pretty good. And I have the Backstreet Boys Greatest Hits on CD, too.
3. CMAP: OK, I’m at the edge of my limited intelligence here, but Editorial Diva Laura Hamilton says this is a big deal. An alternative architecture that combines QAM and CMTS functionalities? Hmm … sounds tasty. Is QAM the coolest acronym ever? Oh yes, indeed it is.
2. EBIF: Making the set-top even more powerful? ‘nuff said.
1. BTR: Yup, I’m going there. With new social media applications, a new look and layout, expanded editorial mission, less clutter, and of course a new name, BTR is going to expand its lead in the market serving you, our readers. We know you’re going to like what you see! And thanks to uber-Publisher Rob Stuehrk and web kingpin Matt “Over the Top” Ott for making it all happen.
Tim Hermes is CEO at BGR, which becomes BTR in January. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.