Cable Operators Roll Out the Upgrades

Equipment built to Docsis 1.1 standard is giving customers bandwidth on demand

4 min read

30 July 2003—John Smith is taking it easy on a Saturday afternoon in Little Rock, watching the All-Scottish Sports Web Channel via cable modem. He’s watching the channel with about 50 000 other people—far fewer than the six million it typically takes to support a commercial broadcast TV channel. While John is watching the caber toss—an event in which young men throw around young tree trunks as a test of strength—the company that sold him his six-month-old freezer calls him on his cable phone. The company’s been monitoring the appliance via John’s cable system, and it’s calling to tell him that the freezer, packed with expensive eats for a party tomorrow, is on the fritz. Would John like a technician to come out to repair it? At the same time, his son Mike is playing an interactive, real-time, high-speed video combat game involving a dozen other players across the country, using the in-house network set up and maintained by the cable operator.

John and his family are fictional, but the cable modem capabilities they are enjoying should arrive in the next couple of years, thanks to the roll out of new software and equipment for transmitting data over cable. Major cable providers are in the midst of a massive deployment of services dependent on standards known as data over cable service interface specification—Docsis. The two newest are1.1 and 2.0.

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Digging Into the New QD-OLED TVs

Formerly rival technologies have come together in Samsung displays

5 min read
Television screen displaying closeup of crystals

Sony's A95K televisions incorporate Samsung's new QD-OLED display technology.

Televisions and computer monitors with QD-OLED displays are now on store shelves. The image quality is—as expected—impressive, with amazing black levels, wide viewing angles, a broad color gamut, and high brightness. The products include:

All these products use display panels manufactured by Samsung but have their own unique display assembly, operating system, and electronics.

I took apart a 55-inch Samsung S95B to learn just how these new displays are put together (destroying it in the process). I found an extremely thin OLED backplane that generates blue light with an equally thin QD color-converting structure that completes the optical stack. I used a UV light source, a microscope, and a spectrometer to learn a lot about how these displays work.

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