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 ATLANTA, Aug. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- TCA Cable TV Inc. is moving up from the on-screen features of Scientific-Atlanta's 8600(TM) home communications terminal to the more interactive and digital-ready capabilities of the 8600x(TM) terminal.
 TCA has installed more than 15,000 of the 8600 terminals and has now placed an initial order for several thousand of the 8600x terminals. TCA has indicated that it currently intends to order up to 50,000 8600x terminals within the next three years.
 TCA's order comes after the MSO (multiple system operator) installed the 8600 terminal in systems in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi that have upgraded or are upgrading to 550 Mhz.
 "We have come to depend heavily on the 8600 terminal, which has proven extremely reliable and easy to use," said Mel Jenschke, vice president of engineering at TCA. "We look forward to these advantages plus S-A's new upgradeable architecture from the latest model in the 8600 line."
 With the 8600x terminal, TCA will gain an intelligent, adaptable platform for generating alternative revenue streams from the growing home entertainment and information services business.
 "Our aim is to upgrade our systems from the 8600 terminal to the more advanced 8600x terminal. This will provide us with a logical migration path to digital compression when we need it," said Fred Nichols, president of TCA. "We are excited about the added revenue possibilities the 8600x terminal will provide us in the face of re-regulation."
 The 8600x terminal expands upon the on-screen graphics and subscriber friendliness of the 8600 terminal, and adds an array of features that offer increased revenues and enhanced customer satisfaction today and tomorrow. Features for today include:
 -- Electronic program guide (EPG) will accept and display program data from virtually any EPG supplier, and promotes all video services -- basic, premium and pay-per-view (PPV). The EPG also identifies the name of the program on each channel as channels are changed. While the standard EPG provides approximately a one-day program guide, depending upon number of channels and length of program descriptions, the 8600x terminal offers expandable memory for 12-hour to 14-day options.
 -- Near movie on demand (NMOD) capabilities provide a new revenue stream for operators and effective competition against videotape rentals. The 8600x terminal's NMOD feature supports more than 100 PPV channels and has VCR-like control with pause, rewind and fast forward.
 -- Virtual channels will accommodate information services such as sports scores, news, stock prices and weather reports with no video bandwidth.
 -- Advanced messaging services for easy recall of various pre-selected categories of news, information and other stored messages. Operators can create categories of subjects for an electronic newspaper for subscribers.
 -- Easy VCR recording allows the 8600x terminal to send "record" and stop" commands to a VCR so a subscriber will never have to program the VCR.
 -- High resolution on-screen graphics or bit mapped graphics provide more information per screen for EPG and Virtual Channels. Operators can also produce cable company logos, video game figures and other artwork.
 The 8600x terminal provides future revenue streams through features including:
 -- Downloadable software to update feature sets. This minimizes technical obsolescence by allowing user interface changes such as different language screens; adding, changing or deleting features; and supporting future add-on services for longer terminal life. Customizing for each system, a logo can also be put on every screen.
 -- Genius(TM) cards allow memory and other upgrades without retrieving the terminal from a subscriber's home and provide renewable security and more processing power. The cards also allow subscribers to personalize cable service with added memory for EPG and data storage. Future cards can offer electronic
games, home shopping catalogs, spreadsheets and a variety of other services.
 "We are excited to be part of TCA's plans to move forward into the delivery of interactive, multimedia services to the home," said William Luehrs, vice president and general manager of Video Systems in Scientific-Atlanta's Broadband Communications Group.
 Based in Tyler, Texas, TCA Cable TV serves a total of nearly 500,000 subscribers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas.
 Scientific-Atlanta, Inc. is a world leader in broadband communications systems, cable television electronics, satellite-based communications networks, and instrumentation for industrial, telecommunications and government applications.
 NOTE: 8600, 8600x and Genius are trademarks of Scientific-Atlanta, Inc.
 -0- 8/2/93
 /CONTACT: Bill Brobst of Scientific-Atlanta, 404-903-6306 or, home, 404-623-4233, or Fred Nichols of TCA Cable TV, 903-585-3701/

CO: Scientific-Atlanta, Inc.; TCA Cable TV Inc. ST: Georgia, Texas IN: SU: CPR

BN-BR -- AT008 -- 8446 08/02/93 14:41 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 2, 1993

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