Enhanced HITS® Quick Take Plus™ Service From HITS and Motorola Provides Comprehensive Package for Launching HDTV and other Digital Video Services
QT+™ Represents One of the Fastest and Most Economical Solutions for Introducing HD and Other Digital Video Services on Analog Cable Systems
Denver, Colo and Horsham, PA – June 24, 2009 – Regardless of a cable system’s size, HD programming is frequently seen as necessary for future growth and, according to a joint survey conducted by HITS® and NCTC, nearly all respondents expect to offer HD programming within the next 18 months. By expanding their video services to include a broad range of HD and standard definition channels including DVR capabilities, cable operators are better positioned to generate more revenue and offer a competitive lineup of digital video services to their communities. HD can generate an average of $8.00 per household per month according to market analysis conducted by Dr. Mike Jude, Program Manager for Consumer Communications Services at Stratecast, a division of Frost & Sullivan.
To support cable system operators in launching HD service, HITS and Motorola, which jointly operate the Quick Take Plus (QT+) platform, have collaborated with the National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC) on a new QT+ launch package. The launch kit outlines the process and documentation required for a smooth, successful and speedy deployment and provides all of the forms that cable system operators will need for customizing their local HD launches. NCTC members may request the launch kit via a link from the NCTC web site as well as links available on the HITS and Motorola web sites.
QT+ represents one of the fastest and most economical ways for an analog system to launch digital services, including HD, and NCTC members are eligible to receive the QT+ pricing package, which includes hardware, programming transport and operational support.
Offering a competitive lineup of HD programming is essential to the continued success of our members’ core business,” stated Frank Hughes, senior vice president of programming for NCTC. “HITS QT+ allows our members to lower their costs for offering a competitive lineup of video services by building upon their existing headed architecture to offer HD and other revenue-generating services.”
When the CMC and our technology partners at Motorola launched the HITS platform some 13 years ago, it was in recognition that there were thousands of cable systems serving smaller markets that need an alternative to headend-based content management solutions,” stated Gary Traver, senior vice president and chief operating officer for the Comcast Media Center, which owns and operates the HITS services suite. “We remain dedicated to the unique needs of this market, by focusing our innovation on solutions that allow them to continue to expand their advanced video service offerings as cost-effectively as possible.”
Motorola continues to be committed to supporting cable systems serving smaller markets,” said Mark DePietro, vice president, strategy and business development, Broadband Home Solutions, Motorola. “There’s a demand within these markets for enhanced digital video services; the affiliates are keen to enhance their competitive positions and by offering this entry level HITS QT digital cable solution they have a low cost and effective means of doing so.”
The recent upgrades to the HITS QT+ platform include the capability to launch local HD broadcast channels along with the choice from 22 of the most-watched HD channels available via the HITS Quantum programming service, as well as digital feeds available via HITS Quantum’s SD service, which features nearly 70 widely carried basic and expanded basic channels. QT+ also allows affiliates to support digital set top boxes with advanced features, such as HD and DVR capabilities, as well as set tops and other devices that use the CableCard removable security module, which meets FCC requirements for separable security solutions.
In addition, the enhanced HITS QT+ platform now provides impulse pay-per-view (IPPV) capability, which can increase operator revenues by making it easier for cable customers to purchase movies and other pay-per-view events. The QT+ platform is also compatible with upgrades to a full-featured Motorola headend system and the NAS (National Authorization Service) management system from the CMC and Motorola. NAS supports further migration to an all- digital architecture, permitting affiliates to reclaim analog bandwidth and launch additional advanced video services supported by the NAS platform, such as video on demand and iTV applications. Digital revenues can represent as much as an additional $17.00 per month per subscriber, not including lease or rental fees for set top boxes, according to Jude’s market analysis for Stratecast / Frost & Sullivan.
The HITS QT+ service is a turnkey solution provided by CMC and Motorola that includes hardware, software, operating services, and programming. In addition to centralized headend management, HITS QT+ handles channel-mapping requirements by providing affiliates with a choice of templates for channel lineups that include programming available via HITS Quantum, while also allowing cable systems to insert channel-mapping information for locally managed channels.
Beginning with the launch of the HITS® platform in 1996, the Comcast Media Center (CMC) has provided cable system operators with cost-effective solutions for improving their competitive position and generating additional revenues through advanced video and broadband services. In addition to HITS QuickTake Plus™, the HITS suite of services includes HITS Quantum™, an all-digital portfolio consisting of over 285 linear channels, including HDTV channels using advanced MPEG-2 compression technology, an SD service that offers feeds for nearly 70 widely carried basic and expanded basic channels, and a Classic service featuring over 194 digital video and audio services; HITS On Demand, which offers VOD In a Box™, a managed video on demand service jointly offered with the ARRIS Group, and the option to receive a wider selection of HD and SD VOD content available via the CMC’s national VOD content distribution platform; HITS AxIS, a suite of services that support the development and delivery of iTV applications that use the Enhanced Television-Binary Interchange Format (ETV EBIF) platform as well as the emerging tru2way™ platform; and HITS Broadband, a carrier-class IP connectivity service.
Denver-based Comcast Media Center (CMC), a business unit of Comcast Cable, provides centralized content management and distribution solutions for cable systems, video content providers and advertisers “All From The CENTER.” More information about the CMC is available at http://www.comcastmediacenter.com.
Motorola is known around the world for innovation in communications and is focused on advancing the way the world connects. From broadband communications infrastructure, enterprise mobility and public safety solutions to high-definition video and mobile devices, Motorola is leading the next wave of innovations that enable people, enterprises and governments to be more connected and more mobile. Motorola (NYSE: MOT) had sales of US $30.1 billion in 2008. For more information, please visit www.motorola.com.
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