Cable Nets Go Digital with S-A Gear


A trio of cable programmers is doing the digital dance, forging deals for
Scientific-Atlanta Inc. gear in the past week to either extend or convert their
systems for digital transmission.

S-A has announced deals with Turner Broadcasting System Inc., A&E
Television Networks and The Outdoor Channel for its new "PowerVu" digital

The system -- along with the "PowerVu Program Receiver" -- provides encoding,
uplink and delivery of digital video. It supports a slew of digital-video and
audio standards, as well as digital ad-insertion capabilities.

Outdoor will use the PowerVu system as it ends 10 years of analog
transmission and switches to digital distribution later this year. It will rely
solely on the PowerVu system for its primary and West feeds to cable

"Along with the performance and content protection that everyone needs in an
analog-to-digital transition, Scientific-Atlanta has shown us how to begin
delivering two digital feeds alongside our analog feed on one transponder, so
we're already benefiting from boosted performance over our existing bandwidth as
we make the transition," Outdoor CEO Andy Dale said in a release.

Similarly, A&E will bring its PowerVu gear online this fall, converting
its West Coast feeds for The History Channel and A&E Network to digital.

The conversion will begin in August and is scheduled to be complete Sept. 30.
On Oct. 1, A&E's West Coast analog feed will go dark, followed by History's
feed by the end of the year.

Turner, meanwhile will put its PowerVu gear in its Atlanta facility, with
plans to extend its digital-cable networks nationwide in 2004.