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Shaw to deploy HD set-top boxes

Horsham, Pa., - Motorola Broadband Communications recently announced that Calgary's Shaw Communications, along with Philadelphia-based Comcast Corp., have placed orders for the Motorola's recently launched DCT5100 high definition digital set-top box.

Both operators have committed to deploy the HD decoders by the fourth quarter of this year. According to the agreements, Comcast and Shaw plan to deploy the scalable, high-definition DCT5100 across their subscriber bases.

The DCT5100 will enable the MSOs to immediately deploy HDTV services to the growing base of consumers demanding HDTV along with their existing digital packages thereby helping operators to attract and retain new customers. The box also contains the capacity to enable operators to deploy future advanced-interactive services, such home networking, streaming media, and T-commerce.

So far in Canada, Rogers Cable is the only other MSO to offer HD programming, delivering HDTV signals from CBS, Fox, NBC, ABC and PBS affiliates in Detroit via fibre owned by Cogeco Cable. DTH operators Bell ExpressVu and Star Choice also offer some HD programming in sports and movies.

All three also carry HDTV movie programming from The Movie Network (approximately 25-30 titles per month including mini-series like Band of Brothers and series like The Sopranos).

Cogeco Cable is also considering an HD launch, say industry sources. Cogeco CEO Louis Audet and new marketing and sales v-p Ron Perrotta were on hand at the recent National Cable Telecommunications Association show in New Orleans and were spotted taking a close look at the DCT5100.

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