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NCTA: Comcast, SES Americom to Grow HD Content

HD program distributor SES Americom, the creator of the premium cable service HD-Prime, is partnering with Comcast Media Center (CMC). CMC is a business unit of the nation's largest MSO that operates an HD content production and network origination facility. The new marriage is designed to create an all-inclusive package of HD production, origination and transmission services in order to foster the development of more HD content for the entire industry. The companies announced the joint marketing agreement last weekend at the NCTA National Show in San Francisco.

The pooled resources of CMC and SES Americom would provide content to companies looking for individual HD programs, or for launching entire HD networks. SES Americom said its two C-band satellites (AMC-10 and AMC-11) could technically reach more than 80 million U.S. TV homes. The two birds operate from 135 and 131 degrees West longitude, respectively. SES Americom said both these A2100 spacecraft have been optimized for next-generation programming services, including HD channels.

Based in Denver, CMC originates nearly one hundred video services--including three full-time HD channels--and has a "live event origination pod" capable of handling three HD events simultaneously. Soon the Comcast unit will incorporate a state-of-the-art IDOC (integrated digital operations center) into its operation.