2008 CABLE SHOW: Thomson Cooks Digital-To-Analog Cable Adapter

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NEW ORLEANS—Thomson is the latest vendor to climb into the digital-to-analog cable converter ring, with a simple box the company said will cost less than $40 to replicate an existing analog lineup.

Thomson's DCI 1011 is scheduled for mass production in September, said Tom Newberry, director of North America cable set-top box product development.

The powered device doesn't include support for conditional access or any other advanced digital cable services like video-on-demand or interactive program guides.

The DCI 1011 does have an infrared port for remote control operation, and uses the SCTE 65 standard to transmit call letters for a channel from the headend.

Interest in "DTAs" has swelled in recent months, with the promise of letting a cable system eliminate the analog tier while retaining basic subs who don't want to upgrade to digital cable. Most notably, Comcast has announced that it will rely on such converters to convert 20% of its systems to all-digital operation in the fourth quarter.

Cisco Systems and Motorola are also showing DTAs at The Cable Show here, and Pace Micro Technology has been privately demonstrating a simple converter to operators.

A smaller vendor, Evolution Digital, has already landed Massillon Cable TV in Ohio as its first customer for a low-cost digital-to-analog converter.

Meanwhile, other Thomson products on the show floor include a DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem in development. The company plans to submit it for CableLabs Certification Wave 63 in August, with availability slated for the fourth quarter.

Thomson also is showing a cable gateway device, the ACG905, that integrates an embedded multimedia terminal adaptor (eMTA) and Wi-Fi router with multiline Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) phones.

 For more news on NCTA's The Cable Show '08, click here.

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