S-A Unveils Low-Cost Receiver Unit


Scientific-Atlanta Inc. said it has come up with a new headend receiver that
can cut the cost of cablers' entry into the digital-transmission era.

The new 'PowerVu Program Receiver' -- which sits at the cable headend and
digests channel feeds from satellite transponders -- is the first in a planned
line of application-specific receivers.

With an integrated design and new silicon, it uses fewer components, eats
less power and can fit into a one-rack unit chassis.

It will be available in the third quarter of this year.

The PowerVu will also sport digital and Internet-protocol ports, allowing
interactive services, including ad insertion. S-A said that will help cablers to
make the conversion to digital transmission.

Analog channels each require one transponder, but with digital, multiple
channels can be beamed from the same transponder.

With transponder space costly and bandwidth at a premium, going to a digital
format using a low-cost, low-power receiver makes better economic sense,
according to David Wheeler, S-A's senior director of marketing for media

'The development team on this product has worked very closely with large
programmer customers with the goal of ensuring that we can deliver a
cost-effective satellite receiver for use in cable headends without sacrificing
the performance and operational features the PowerVu system is known for,' he
said in a release.

'The payback for the receiver investment is very acceptable, especially when
compared with the annual costs for using a single transponder to deliver only
one channel of programming,' Wheeler added.