Editorial–Will CAT-iq (and HD voice) be the untold story of CES 2011?

Las Vegas – With NETGEAR incorporating CAT-iq support into its telco service provider offerngs and Cavium Networks teaming with DSP group to show off a CAT-iq reference design, forward progress continues on moving seamless HD voice into customer CPE. Will we have lots of HD voice gear wrapped up as presents for the fall 2011 holiday season? Or will (*sigh*) it end up like PLT, an interesting but unloved technology languishing for years in adaption hell?

Seriously, I like shiny new gizmos like the next guy, but every time I hear “3DTV” I want to throw up! Everyone pushing different technologies, different competing standards and you don’t even want to get me started on implementing a KISS-solution.  It’s got early-early-early adopter written all over it.

Meanwhile, HD voice and CAT-iq suffer from the “it’s not flashy enough” and ”you appreciate it when you hear it” problems.

But there’s hope on the horizon.  NETGEAR has put CAT-iq into its service provider offerings for telcos and CableLabs did its’ big multi-vender interop in December, so there should be some momentum.  I’m trying to get some more information to place odds on when the cable companies go big on HD voice.  The Cable Show in June would seeeem to be the ideal window, but I’m not ready to put some money on the date yet.

– Doug Mohney

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