Cable Ready TV Sets - An Operator's Viewpoint (1982)

By Gerald L. Bahr, Cox Cable Communications, Inc.

The television set manufacturers appear to be creating a new generation of television technology, the cable-ready television. As this technology spreads throughout the industry, the question of its value to the consumer and its impact on the cable industry grow. There appears to be three distinct approaches; the 105-channel set (35 VHF - 70 UHF), the 2-channel set, and the tunerless baseband monitor. This new concept amplifies the need for cooperation by all concerned. The critical areas of agreement include channel designation, frequency format adaptability, retrofit modularity, and probably most important, descrambling and addressability compatibility.

Any of the three approaches the television set vendors have taken, the 105-channel set, the 2- channel set, and the tunerless baseband monitor, can be successful if the set manufacturers and the cable industry will coordinate the effort. If these issues are satisfactorily resolved, cable-ready TV sets can provide new business opportunities for both industries and enhanced value to the consumer. Only through a cooperative effort can tile apparent morass of conflict be avoided.

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