WASHINGTON, D.C. – Cable’s latest innovations will be brought to life at The Cable Show 2012 “Imagine Park” live-events venue which will feature a college student “hackathon,” cable apps display and some of the Boston area’s hottest tech startups, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) announced today.

In a city known for its academic leadership, entrepreneurial spirit and media investment, “Imagine Park” will be an interactive venue that features over 10 hours of hosted discussions, product demonstrations, and special events at The Cable Show 2012, the U.S. cable industry’s premier national event, May 21-23 at the Boston Convention & Exposition Center.

Highlights of Imagine Park:

The Imagine App Challenge (Wednesday, May 23rd at 12:15 p.m.) – Student teams compete in a live 48-hour application developer’s challenge, or “hackathon,” to create new tablet and/or smartphone applications that leverage the power of broadband. Participating teams include:

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Pace University
  • Rutgers University
  • Stanford University
  • Wellesley College

Students are a mix of engineering and computer science majors creating apps that cover categories including second screen, social TV, healthy and green lifestyles and broadband optimization.  Teams will present functioning prototypes of their projects during a special pitch session on the Imagine Park stage on Wednesday, May 23.  A panel of judges comprising cable executives and tech companies will award first, second, and third place winners.  Additional information including team members, team bios, and app focus can be found here: 2012.thecableshow.com/ThePark/ImagineAppChallenge

The App Pond (open during exhibit floor hours) – An interactive “ecosystem” for cable’s latest and most innovative media, entertainment and lifestyle apps, The App Pond provides self-guided tours of more than 30 of cable’s most compelling apps from the following companies:

  • BrightHouse Networks
  • Comcast
  • C-SPAN
  • Discovery Communications
  • Disney and ESPN Media Networks
  • EPIX
  • FOX
  • GLDS – Great Lakes Data Systems
  • HBO
  • itaas
  • Sales Graphics Corp.
  • SeaChange International
  • Scripts Networks
  • Showtime Networks
  • The Smithsonian
  • Time Warner Cable
  • Turner Broadcasting
  • and Viacom Media Networks.    

More information on The App Pond can be found at: 2012.thecableshow.com/ThePark/AppPond

Start-Up Alley (open during exhibit floor hours) – Boston-area tech companies with smart ideas and entrepreneurial spirit present their vision for new applications and services powered by cable’s broadband networks.  In addition to their permanent placement in Imagine Park, the leaders of these innovative companies will present their latest endeavors during a special Imagine Park segment on Monday, May 21.

Live Debate Featuring Harvard vs. Columbia (Tuesday, May 22nd at 3:00 p.m.) – The Harvard and Columbia University debate teams square off in front of a live audience on the question of whether cable is doing enough to attract and retain “millennial” consumers.  A panel of prominent reactors comprising cable executives and journalists will provide their reactions and award top honors for the most skillful debaters.

Imagine Park will once again serve as a premier destination on The Cable Show Exhibit Floor.  Attendees will find comfortable seating in a park-like setting with access to food and beverage concessions at the Adobe Café, robust complimentary Wi-Fi, and compelling demonstrations both on and off stage.  All shows in Imagine Park are streamed live at www.live.thecableshow.com and will be available on demand following the show.  The full Imagine Park schedule is as follows, with further details on hosts and participants available at 2012.thecableshow.com/ThePark/Schedule

    Monday, May 21: 11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
    Panel: Putting the You in UX: Media Gets Personal

    Monday, May 21: 12:45 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
    Panel: Speed to Market: Enabling Faster Innovation Cycles

    Monday, May 21: 1:30 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.
    Panel: Evolve – Take 1: Pushing Products and Platforms to New Levels

    Monday, May 21: 4:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    Showcase: Startup Alley – Inside Boston’s Thriving Innovation District

    Tuesday, May 22: 11:15 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
    Panel: Ideas in Action: Driving Broadband Adoption in America

    Tuesday, May 22: 12:15 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
    Panel: Control Freak: Natural User Interfaces Find Their Way Home

    Tuesday, May 22: 1:15 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
    Panel: Smart Energy:  The Power of Broadband

    Tuesday, May 22: 2:15 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
    Panel: Second Screens:  Making the First Screen Interactive and Fun  

    Tuesday, May 22: 3:00 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.
    Live Debate: Harvard and Columbia Debate Teams
    Is Cable Doing Enough to Keep Millennials in the Tent?

    Wednesday, May 23: 11:15 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
    Panel: Customer Relations: Tools and Tech for Customer Convenience

    Wednesday, May 23: 12:15 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
    Competition: Imagine App Challenge: The Finals!
    Featuring teams from MIT, Stanford, Pace and Rutgers universities

    Wednesday, May 23: 1:15 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
    Panel: Evolve – Take 2: Pushing Products and Platforms to New Levels

Imagine Park is designed as a high-profile platform for introducing and demonstrating innovative new products and services, as well as facilitating discussions on issues affecting the future of media and entertainment.  Sponsorship opportunities are available.  Please contact Michael Garner at NCTA Convention Headquarters at (202) 463-7905 or via email at [email protected]

For additional questions about Imagine Park, contact NCTA at [email protected] or call NCTA's Department of Industry Affairs at (202) 222-2430.  Further information on The Cable Show 2012 is available at www.thecableshow.com. Exhibition space and sponsorship opportunities are available by contacting NCTA Convention Headquarters at (202) 463-7905 or e-mail [email protected].

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