Expo Preview: Sessions and Panels

Mile High Tech The SCTE's Cable-Tec Expo is right around the corner. The industry confab will convene in Denver from Sept. 22-25. Headed that way? Here's a brief guide of some of the highlights to help you navigate the general programming, including some of the new formats featured this year:

Monday will start with a pre-conference DOCSIS 3.1 and Wireless Symposium. The morning sessions will delve into the world of WiFi. Representatives from CableLabs and companies including ZCorum and Xirrus will discuss WiFi standards and infrastructure components as well as how operators can improve the WiFi experience. Talk of DOCSIS 3.1 will take over in the afternoon, with Cisco's (NASDAQ:CSCO) John Chapman and Brad Volpe of the Volpe Firm looking at bandwidth strategies, operational integration challenges and maintenance.

The competition at Expo is keeping up with the times. Where the International Cable-Tec Games used to be the only showdown in town, the SCTE recently added the IP Challenge to the agenda. On Monday evening, returning champion Kenneth Corbett, Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR), will square off with eight finalists in a so-called blended Jeopardy match. They will answer questions and participate in router and CMTS configuration as well as other hands-on activities.

Rob Lloyd, president of development and sales for Cisco, will headline Tuesday's general session about the evolution of the customer experience and the role of the cloud in the emerging model. The session also will include a panel discussion moderated by Tony Werner, who in addition to being EVP and CTO of Comcast (NSADAQ:CMCSA), has served as chairman of the 2014 Cable-Tec Expo Program Committee.

Also on Tuesday, the Annual Awards Luncheon will take place from 12:15 to 1:30, with the Exhibit Hall opening at the conclusion of the event. The aforementioned Cable-Tec Games will be Tuesday evening.

Wednesday opens up with a general session keynote conversation between Werner and Mike Fries, president and CEO of Liberty Global (NASDAQ:LBTYA), and includes several spotlighted sessions. At 9:30, Michael (Doc) Norton, global director of engineering culture for Groupon, will lead a panel discussion introducing the topic of Development Operations. SCTE describes DevOps as a methodology, associated with online giants, that works to build deployability, scalability, and time to market into product service and design.

At 10:45, a second panel, including representatives from Comcast, Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) and Liberty Global, will talk about how the RDK model can be used to infuse DevOps into cable.

Alternatively, Expo attendees can go to an SCTE Standards Session at 11 a.m. on Wednesday for an overview of DOCSIS 3.1, High-Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC), Adaptive Transport Streaming, and MPEG-Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (MPEG-DASH).

After lunch, at 1 p.m., Energy2020 will provide an overview of initiatives in facilities, plant, operations and technology that stand to affect the energy landscape.  Panelists include representatives from Suddenlink, Comcast, the SCTE and Time Warner Cable.

The SCTE's Network Operations Subcommittee Working Group 1 will round out Wednesday's lineup of special sessions by providing an update of the year's activities. They will discuss "homebrew" methods for finding UHF leakage, what equipment is available for detecting UHF and VHF signal leakage, the effect leaking QAM signals are having on LTE signals, and best practices for operators related to LTE interference and UHF leakage.

Stay Tuned: Next week, BTR will provide an overview of the Expo technical workshops.

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