Denver’s Tech Feast: A Guide

10/24/2009 2:00 AM Eastern

Big doings in Denver this week, especially for the techinterested. That’s good, because it’s been six months since the last big core dump in cable engineering and four months since that empty spot, in mid-June, when the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers’ Cable-Tec Expo used to occur.

It’s time for a feast.

If your plans give you a full week in Our Fair City, and you can attend both the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing Summit and the SCTE Expo, start on Monday at CTAM with “We Have An App for That! Bringing New Applications to Traditional Devices,” “3-D Television: Entering the Third Dimension, Ready or Not?” and “Ringing Toward the Future: Home Phone Market, Technology and Trends.”

Then, don’t miss “Cable’s Consumer Product Agenda” on Tuesday morning for the view from an A-list of cable technologists from Bright House Networks (Nomi Bergman), Comcast (Tony Werner), Time Warner Cable (Mike LaJoie) and Rogers Communications (Mike Lee).

For those planning to stay through the Cable-Tec Expo, don’t miss the 8:30 a.m. opening on Wednesday (Oct. 28). We have it on good authority that the keynote by John Schanz, executive vice president of network engineering and technical operations at Comcast, will be a multimedia abbondanza of past (SCTE celebrates 40 this year), present and future.

Plus, the Expo workshop schedule — which doesn’t repeat this year, heads-up — is right on the money of what’s on engineering minds. If you can’t go, here’s a sampling.

Advanced Advertising: If it’s your thing, but you’re not as hip as you’d like to be about SaFI (pronounced as a word that rhymes with “taffy”), check out the “Advanced Advertising: Making It a Reality” session on Thursday from 8 a.m. to 9:15 a.m.

DOCSIS 3.0 and Wideband: Lots to choose from here. Take IPv6, for instance — the new numbering system for Internet-connected devices. To do this in context, take a count, before you leave home, of all the items in your house that take an Internet connection. (Here in the geekosphere, the count is 16.)

Today’s numbering system for Internet-connected devices — IPv4 — is flatlining. IPv6 expands the number of number of IP-connectable devices to a one with 18 zeros behind it, which is roughly analogous to the number of known stars in our universe. That’s good, but the transition to IPv6 isn’t without challenges.

The SCTE workshop motherlode also hits on how to write applications for EBIF and Tru2way; how to engineer for video over IP and “TV everywhere”; how to measure the impact of IP video on capacity planning; and how to get wideband and channel bonding going in the upstream. Ah, details.

For dessert? Make your way toward Golden Gate Canyon, 30 miles west of town. It’s a quick getaway into some Rocky Mountain scenery that will assuredly blunt the stress of such a jam-packed week.

Stumped by gibberish? Visit Leslie Ellis at or

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