National Show to Showcase High Definition Television

Cable and Consumer Electronics Leadership in Digital Transition
Will Be Featured on NCTA Exhibition Floor

Cable ′03 Floor Will Serve as Hub of All Show Activities

Washington, D.C. –
Building on the recently announced “plug-and-play” digital TV transition agreements among cable operators and consumer electronics manufacturers, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) said today that The National Show, NCTA’s 52nd Annual Convention & International Exposition, will showcase the latest in high-definition television (HDTV) with a centerpiece convention floor exhibit.

Jointly produced by NCTA and Cable Television Laboratories, Inc., (CableLabs®), “HD Pavilion” will feature the latest in high-definition television sets and programming as well as demonstrations of HD equipment such as integrated set-top boxes, Point of Deployment (POD) modules, and other high definition digital television (DTV) products.

The National Show is scheduled for June 8 – 11, 2003, at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL. The theme for this year’s show is “Leading the Digital Revolution.”

“The HD Pavilion will be central to this year’s mission of The National Show, which will showcase cable’s efforts to create and deliver HDTV and digital television services to American consumers,” said Robert Sachs, President & CEO, NCTA. “In addition to the latest technology, we’ll highlight the rapidly increasing amount of HD programming created by cable programming services.”

“The HD Pavilion will be an exciting platform to demonstrate our progress in rolling out HDTV,” said Dr. Richard R. Green, CableLabs President and CEO. “We intend to use the opportunity to focus attention on the present and future of digital television and its potential to touch the lives of consumers.”

As of the end of 2002, packages of HDTV channels were being offered by at least one cable system in 91 Designated Market Areas around the country, including 62 of the top 100 markets. Approximately 37 million television households, or about one in three of all U. S. television households, were being passed by cable systems offering HDTV packages.

In the area of content, the amount of high definition programming is increasing. Major portions of primetime and daytime schedules on HBO and Showtime are being transmitted in HD. Discovery HD Theater, launched last summer, is a 24-hour HD network featuring all categories of Discovery’s most popular programming. Comcast SportsNet and Madison Square Garden also are providing some programming in HD, and ESPN has announced plans to launch an all-HD sports channel at the end of March. Bravo and Cinemax meanwhile have announced plans to launch HD networks before the end of the year, and iNDEMAND will begin offering some movies in HD this spring. Broadcast networks – including CBS, ABC, NBC, and PBS – are creating HD product as well, transmitting many of their primetime programs, special sports events, and some late night programs in HD.

At the National Show, the HD Pavilion will be centrally located on the exhibition floor and encompass 8,000 square feet of space. Leading television and equipment manufacturers, cable operators and programming services will display new products and programming. In addition, themed educational environments within the exhibit will help attendees better understand the vast array of digital video formats, display devices, and connectors – all of which directly affect the consumer experience.

Cable multiple system operators and consumer electronics manufacturers recently reached agreement on technical and regulatory issues, clearing the way for a new generation of unidirectional television sets that can display HDTV without the need for a set-top converter box. The industries also have commenced discussions on the provision of interactive services without the need for a set-top box.

More National Show News

NCTA is working to replicate in Chicago the innovative floor design of last year’s convention in New Orleans. All general sessions, educational sessions and special events will take place on the Show floor – ensuring maximum foot traffic by delegates in exhibition areas. With more than 50 sessions being planned over the course of The National Show, exhibitors will benefit from being at the constant hub of activity.

In addition, the Show’s “Executive Suites” will return. Developed originally for Cable 2002, these suites feature reception space, furnished conference rooms, fully functional 12-seat screening rooms and customized signage. The suites were offered as a fixed cost alternative to traditional exhibit booths, and proved popular with last year’s exhibitors.

For the first time, an interactive floor plan is featured at the official web site of The National Show, www.thenationalshow.com. As exhibitors sign up for the show, their location will be inserted into the floor plan and will allow attendees to better plan their time at the show. NCTA is offering exhibitors a hot-link from the floor plan and accompanying list of exhibitors to a company’s website.

Additional, up-to-the-minute information for The National Show, including convention schedule and registration materials, is available via the official web site (www.thenationalshow.com); or from the NCTA’s Department of Industry Affairs (202/775-3669).

NCTA is the principal trade association of the cable television industry in the United States. NCTA represents cable operators serving more than 90 percent of the nation's cable television households and more than 200 cable program networks, as well as equipment suppliers and providers of other services to the cable industry.

Founded in 1988 by members of the cable television industry, Cable Television Laboratories is a non-profit research and development consortium that is dedicated to pursuing new cable telecommunications technologies and to helping its cable operator members integrate those advancements into their business objectives. Cable operators from around the world are members. CableLabs maintains web sites at www.cablelabs.com; www.packetcable.com; www.cablemodem.com; www.cablenet.org; and www.opencable.com.

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