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Time Warner Cable Trials Pace's HD Set-top

Time Warner Cable recently completed field trials of Pace Micro Technology's DC-550 HD digital cable set-top in several locations throughout its service area. TWC deployed over 250,000 set-top boxes, used with Scientific Atlanta headends, in 17 U.S. markets.

Pace is confident that its new HD set-top will take off with the cable industry. "[The DC-500 is] probably the best tool that the U.S. cable operators have to compete against satellite," said David Novak of Pace America. "One of the main reasons [for cable's HD content push] is that they are in full front assault on the satellite industry [which] has been able to win a lot of [cable 's] high-end customers over the last few years ... Although the satellite operators can handle high definition content, they can only do so on a national basis -- they can't carry local content in high definition."

Of the many features on the DC-550 are aspect ratio and scan rate buttons, digital audio, a USB Connector that connects equipment like digital camera, keyboard or mouse, a smart card on the back, a logo insertion spot, 64 MB of SDRAM and a digital video interface. Another feature that Novak says matches cable up with satellite is an IR receive tether, in which a remote eye rests on top of the TV so the set-top box can be hidden.