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John Solit


May 1, 2015

The Internet & Television Expo (INTX)



May 1, 2015

24 hours from now, INTX kicks of INTXHACK at 1871, Chicago’s entrepreneurial hub for digital start-ups. INTXHACK is a24-hour hack-a-thon where developers will be asked to create new, innovative ways to produce, present and experience TV, movies, games and other digital entertainment.

Finalists will be chosen after the challenge and will advance to the INTXHACK Finals, which take place Wednesday, May 6 in Imagine Park, the live events stage in the INTX Marketplace, where they’ll compete for the $10,000 grand prize. Finalists will also be featured in a special INTX showcase exhibit providing access to thousands of media, entertainment and investment executives and the opportunity to present their ideas throughout the three-day event. Local start-up companies presently housed at 1871 and looking for connections to the Internet & Television industry will join them. So far, well over 100 hackers have registered for INTXHACK.

Never been to a hack-a-thon? No problem! NCTA will be present at INTXHACK, filming and documenting the event live so you can jump right into the action once the INTX show floor opens. Look out for videos, tweets, instagrams (@intxNCTA) and more action live from 1871 starting at 8 am Saturday morning all the way until finalists are declared at 8pm Sunday evening.

See you in Chicago!

INTX: The Internet & Television Expo

Everything You Need to Know About INTX 2015


April 30, 2015

With just five days before the launch of INTX, we wanted to share the important INTX 2015 links and reminders that’ll help you get the most out of The Internet & Television Expo.


The INTX Marketplace is a re-imagined show floor with new features and plenty of opportunity to experience the new services that are making headlines every day. As you make your way around the Marketplace, traditional aisles between booths have been transformed into themed boulevards and expressways that guide you to the related INTX Intersection. These five interactive and educational Intersections showcase the Internet of Things, TV Everywhere, Navigation, Streaming, and Gaming. For a complete list of booths and a map of the show floor, go to


At the epicenter of the floor is Imagine Park, the live portal that will host 11 sessions, 43 segments and 25 demonstrations on its stage. Don’t forget, Imagine Park sessions are streamed live at Unwind and plug-in at the Imagine Park Café, equipped with Wi-Fi and charging spaces.


The INTXHACK is a 24-hour developer challenge where technologists, developers and designers from across the industry will compete in an epic battle to create new, innovative ways to produce, present and experience TV, movies, games and other digital entertainment. The Hack takes place May 2-3 at tech incubator 1871, with the top six teams advancing to the live stage in Imagine Park on Wednesday, May 6. Stop by and meet the INTXHACK finalists in the Marketplace and while you’re there be sure to visit a selection of leading entrepreneurial companies from the Chicago tech community in the Start-Up Showcase.


  • Tuesday’s General Session features Comcast’s Brian Roberts, The Chernin Group’s Peter Chernin, MediaLink’s Michael Kassan, AOL’s Tim Armstrong, NCTA’s Michael Powell and Re/code’s Kara Swisher.
  • Wednesday’s General Session features FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, Charter’s Tom Rutledge, Cox’s Pat Esser, Liberty Global’s Michael Fries, Cablevision’s Jim Dolan, Time Warner Cable’s Rob Marcus, AMC’s Josh Sapan, Showtime’s Matt Blank and FX’s John Landgraf. Julia Boorstin of CNBC serves as host.
  • Thursday’s General Session features U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, A+E’s Nancy Dubuc, Vimeo’s Kerry Trainor, and Re/code’s Peter Kafka.


Sessions, now called “INTX Talks: Conversations & Perspectives,” showcase speakers from outside our industry for some edgier discussions and brand new topics. INTX Talks are made up of 30 sessions (eight of them are streamed live), 149 speakers, and 6 partner associations.


Your best source for news, announcements and last-minute updates during INTX will be @intxncta on Twitter. For other INTX news, you can follow @NCTACable and sign up for updates from platform, NCTA’s official blog. And most importantly, don’t forget to join the conversation as it happens via #intx2015 on both Twitter and Instagram. For the first time this year, look for even more videos we’re sharing via Periscope. If you’re not in Chicago, or you miss your favorite panel, you can watch these events streamed live at and catch them on-demand shortly after.


The Spring Technical Forum produced by NCTA, SCTE and CableLabs returns to INTX 2015, pulling together the very best in technology and science, like next-gen TV experiences, evolving network architectures and the potential of DOCSIS 3.1. Here you’ll hear live from authors whose work has been selected for inclusion in The Spring Technical Forum Proceedings. The Proceedings will be available online for download on the newly launched website,, as well as an archive of all technical papers from years past.

For even more, hear what NCTA President and CEO Michael Powell is most looking forward to at INTX:




April 29, 2015

Public Policy

Flexible Rules for Drone Technology Will Improve News, Sports, Entertainment

April 29, 2015

For decades, cable programmers have been delivering incredible content into our homes and onto our mobile devices, bringing their imagination to our screens. In order to enhance quality storytelling, programmers are constantly pushing the envelope in innovative video production techniques.

That’s why NCTA, along with the National Association of Broadcasters and the Radio Television Digital News Association, is encouraging the FAA to support the next technological revolution: accessible, flexible drone technology. Drones – also called Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) but we’ll stick to drones — are becoming important to news, entertainment, and sports programmers because they open up new, even yet-unimagined opportunities in news gathering and production of content.

We’ve already seen the potential of drone technology in CNN’s coverage outside Selma, Alabama for the 50th anniversary of the “Bloody Sunday” march. And drone video sent us unparalleled footage from the horrific earthquake in Nepal.

These unique perspectives deliver a close-up to the most important moments in our world and they are only possible drones.

Drone technology has the ability to revolutionize newsgathering, sports coverage, and all types of video programming production. It will enhance journalists’ ability to inform the public. It will provide more compelling sports coverage. It will improve our ability to tell stories by capturing unique and captivating images that educate and delight. And perhaps most importantly, it will allow us to create high-quality content more safely than today’s helicopter photography operations allow.

To maximize the potential of drones for video production, rules governing their use need to be flexible enough to quickly respond to advances in technology and standards. In its rulemaking to expand the commercial use of drone technology, the Federal Aviation Administration is on the right track to achieving the safe integration of drones in the national airspace. With a few important modifications to the proposed rules, the FAA can reach the right balance between safety, productivity and economic growth.

Like the FAA, we want to strike the right balance between safety and new opportunities. We agree, for instance, that limitations on drone weight, airspeed and altitude at which they can fly (to name just a few) all make sense. And we support the FAA’s proposal to create a micro drone classification and to develop separate rules for their operation in order to fully capitalize on the benefits they have to offer newsgatherers and video producers.

But we hope the FAA will refine its rules to provide some additional flexibility, for example, by allowing in certain circumstances drone operation beyond visual line of sight and over a person who is not directly participating in the operation of the drone, as well as allowing drone usage outside of daylight hours.

We also hope the FAA will acknowledge the incredibly rapid pace of drone technology, and offer opportunities for waivers from these rules, where appropriate. Rules should expressly recognize that some parties might obtain exemptions when they can demonstrate an established level of safety. And these exemptions should be offered in a streamlined and efficient manner. This will allow news, sports, and entertainment converge to take place as events happen, where they happen, and when they happen – especially when they unfold under less-than-ideal circumstances.

The FAA’s proposed drone rules are a welcome step forward that will enable commercial newsgatherers and video producers to take advantage of this groundbreaking technology to capture illuminating and informative content, thrilling sports coverage, and important local, national, and even global news.

NCTA, NAB, and RTDNA are pleased with the breadth of operations that the proposed rules would permit, and our suggestions encourage a framework to make this emerging technology even more useful for news and video production purposes.

You can read our entire statement to the FAA here.


April 27, 2015

Technology & Devices

How Spectrum Sharing Will Lead to Better Wi-Fi

April 27, 2015

Hardly 15 years old, Wi-Fi technology has become the connective tissue binding our digital lifestyles. It was developed from the scrap heap of wireless spectrum to become one of the most critical technologies of our day. In fact, Wi-Fi carries more data than any other medium – more than 12,000 petabytes per month.

The cable industry has invested heavily in Wi-Fi to extend the consumer broadband experience well beyond the home. We’ve built over 300,000 publicly accessible hotspots and worked hard to push the technical possibilities of home and outdoor broadband. But the frequencies currently used to power today’sWi-Fi have become overcrowded and need room to expand to keep pace with exploding consumer demand.

That’s why as a nation, we need to make more spectrum available for unlicensed use so that Wi-Fi can grow – and the fastest way to do that is to find new bands where Wi-Fi can share with existing technologies. By increasing the amount of spectrum that Wi-Fi can share, our spectrum supply can keep pace with the tremendous growth in Wi-Fi usage and jump-start a new generation of Wi-Fi that can reach speeds of up to a gigabit per second.

Recently, policymakers have taken positive steps forward to encourage efforts that would open up new spectrum for Wi-Fi use. U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders said they will initiate talks to yield greater spectrum sharing in the 5.9 GHz band, that was allocated over 15 years ago for vehicle communications. While this technology is important, auto manufacturers have yet developed a commercial product despite millions in government subsidies, which means that today, while there are neither auto nor Wi-Fi technologies in the band, is the perfect moment to rethink how these frequencies can be best utilized and shared and to develop a true win-win solution.

In a bipartisan joint statement, FCC Commissioners Jessica Rosenworcel and Mike O’Rielly said, “More than a decade and a half after this spectrum was set aside for vehicle and roadside systems, we agree it is time to take a modern look at the possibilities for wireless services in these airwaves, to allow a broader range of uses. We believe by taking steps right now, we can support automobile safety, increase spectrum for Wi-Fi, and grow our wireless economy.”

To move the ball downfield, we believe it is time for both autos and Wi-Fi to roll up our sleeves and do the engineering work needed to make spectrum sharing a reality. With consumer demand and bandwidth intensive applications skyrocketing, we need to work now to keep Wi-Fi growing for all. And as our technology needs expand, finding ways to maximize this inherently limited resource will be increasingly important. That’s why its time for both autos and W-Fi to agree on how to share the road . Fortunately, Wi-Fi can do just that.

INTX: The Internet & Television Expo

A TV and Internet Mashup: What You Will See at INTX 2015


April 24, 2015

Collaborators. Competitors. Frenemies.  That’s who will be featuring at the upcoming inaugural INTX: The Internet & Television Expo in Chicago May 5 – 7. They will be speaking on panels, chatting at parties, passing in hallways and most importantly, on full display in a new Marketplace setting on the INTX floor. Next week, exhibits are…

Industry News

Celebrate Earth Day by Watching TV


April 22, 2015

Happy Earth Day! People everywhere are finding ways to make cities greener, fight climate change, and support renewable energy solutions. And in the wonderful world of technology, building and upgrading devices with energy conservation in mind is just as important. The cable industry views energy efficiency as a strategic imperative that is good for our…

INTX: The Internet & Television Expo

Chief Executives and FCC Leaders Take the Stage at INTX 2015


April 20, 2015

We’re exactly two weeks from the start of INTX: The Internet & Television Expo and the speakers and sessions are almost final. Today, we’re thrilled to reveal the latest, and quite impressive, group of speakers for the Wednesday General Session and Wednesday INTX Talks. First, a panel of chief executives from leading national and international…