With eyes set firmly on the European cable market, Scientific-Atlanta Inc.
has unveiled the 'Explorer 4000DVB' cable set-top, promising that it will foster
a blend of two-way video, voice and data services.
S-A also snared its first 'Explorer 4000' customer -- British MSO Telewest
Communications plc, which will buy the boxes under a two-year contract.
The number of set-tops Telewest ordered was not disclosed. Telewest's other
set-top box source is Pace Micro Technology plc.
S-A's latest model supports the European 'Phase Alternate Line' video
standard. The United States uses the National Television Standards Committee
Scheduled for availability this fall, the Explorer 4000 also features an
integrated cable modem that complies with Data Over Cable Service Interface
Specification and EuroDOCSIS standards.
S-A said cable operators may also opt for a modem that adheres to Digital
Audio/Video Interoperability Council and Digital Video Broadcasting-Return
Channel via Satellite standards.
Furthering S-A's latest specs, the box also houses a 20-megabyte hard drive
-- with an option as high as 84 MB -- and dual 64/256 QAM (quadrature amplitude
modulation) tuners, as well as smart-card, universal-serial-bus and Ethernet
On the software front, the Explorer 4000 comes with PowerTV Inc.'s operating
system and 'PowerKEY' conditional-access system, although operators can choose
another conditional-access provider, S-A said.