Cablefax The Magazine - July 2013 - 10

2013 Top Ops Awards
MSO PRODUCT LAUNCH OF THE YEAR
Cox Communications
Launching any new technology can be risky, which is why
companies tend to do it so quietly. Not Cox Communications.
With several years of consumer research and two
years of collaboration with Cisco under its belt, the third
largest MSO picked the biggest consumer electronics gathering
in the world as the launch pad for its " Personal Video
Experience. " The PVE, announced in Cox's Las Vegas
market at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, integrates
a slew of new features into its Trio Program Guide
and melds it all with an immersive second-screen app and
better DVR functionality.
And rather than soft pedal with background
brieings and booth product
demos, Cox execs announced the wares
at a ballroom in The Wynn (a Cox Business
client, of course) where Cox pres Pat
Esser (pictured, right) and Cisco CEO John
Chambers (left) put it all out there for a
room full of press and VIPs, including the
mayors of Las Vegas, North Las Vegas and
Henderson, NCTA pres/CEO Michael Powell, Clark County
Commissioner Susan Brager and high-level distribution
execs at most of the major programming networks. No
pressure right? " It was a very special moment, " recalls Esser.
" It's important to us, it's important to the industry and
it's important to our technology partners who support us. "
At the event, Chambers turned to Esser at one point and
vowed " we will not let you down. I think what we've done
together is amazing, and I think it's just the start. "
Indeed, Cox hasn't even inished rolling out the entire
PVE suite yet. It launched the IP Gateway in the irst quarter,
with 2 terabytes of storage, 6 tuners and the ability to
record multiple HD shows simultaneously, but Cox won't
launch its new second-screen app until later this summer. It
will replace current app Cox TV Connect and increase from
35 to 90 the number of live streaming channels available
for in-home viewing, add access to VOD
content and enable use of the device as a
remote control. But it's really the ultimate
integration of a personalized experience
across devices that has the techies at Cox
and Cisco so excited, especially as they
put the research phase behind them and
roll out to the real world. " The battle cry was to improve our
speed to market and improve our ability to innovate, " says
Esser of Cox's management and employees. " They have
worked so hard on it the last three years, and now we're
starting to see the beneit coming out of that. "
Cox COO Jill Campbell says the companywide PVE
push has also spurred other operational beneits, such as
improved communication and collaboration across Cox
divisions. " I've been with the company 32 years, and I have
never been more excited about the process that we have
put into place in order to get products out to market very
quickly, " she says, noting that the PVE " has rejuvenated
people like I've never seen. " And that excitement will need
to sustain over even more product cycles in the future.
" Competitors are going to come out of the woodwork with
new things that we're either going to have to match or
[beat], " she says. " But I think that's tremendous if you're
a consumer. Because clearly we're in a highly competitive
market, and that makes everyone better. "
* According to Cox, the average U.S. household
has more than 5 Internet-connected
devices.
* Cox held its January PVE event at The
Wynn, which is a Cox Business client.
* Cox's IP Gateway includes a
whopping 2 terabytes of storage
for recording shows.
10
cablefaxmag.com
Perhaps Chambers said it best at the CES event when he
looked out into the room and predicted the start of a new
age for cable. " It's interesting to watch when you catch a
market transition, " he told attendees. " You'll look back two
years from now, and you'll probably say this was a tipping
point for the whole TV experience. " No matter what happens,
Cox execs know one thing for sure: Its PVE rollout
has been a long time coming. And it's inally here.
- Michael Grebb
July 2013
CableFAX: The Magazine
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Cablefax The Magazine - July 2013

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