Headend in the Sky
At a traditional cable television headend, multitudes of satellite dishes and antennas are used to grab cable stations from dozens of communication satellites. In contrast, HITS combines cable stations into multiplex signals on just a few satellites; cable television companies can then pull in hundreds of channels at the local headend with relatively little equipment; the HITS feed effectively replaces the more complex traditional headend operations.
HITS was founded in 1994 and its namesake product is commonly recognized as the pioneer of digital television in the United States. HITS was launched by TCI before their later 1999 purchase by the old AT&T, then merged with the smaller Comcast in 2002 as part their purchase of AT&T Broadband (formerly TCI). The HITS headquarters in Centennial, Colorado, formerly known as the National Digital Television Center, is now called the Comcast Media Center.
As of 2010, HITS offers 6 standard-definition multiplexes on SES Americom's SES-1, 12 standard-definition multiplexes and 8 HD multiplexes on AMC-18, 1 standard-definition multiplex on AMC-10, and 1 standard definition multiplex on Intelsat's Galaxy 17. As of 2010, HITS delivers more than 280 digitally compressed video and audio television programming signals to more than 2000 cable operation sites across the US.
HITS offers the following services:
- HITS Quantum, which expands the legacy HITS channel lineup for digital systems, packaging in additional HDTV channels and introducing several advanced services such as video on demand and other interactive applications.
- HITS Quick Take+, which provides an even lower-cost but still digital service for small cable systems.
- VOD In a Box, which provides a low-cost, remote, access to a video on demand library operated by Comcast.
- HITS AxIS, which provides a solution to launching EBIF and/or tru2way based applications on set-top boxes.
- HITS Broadband, which provides hardware solutions for starting broadband operations.
On January 30, 2007, HITS introduced HITS Quantum, which was launched later in the year. HITS also announced the shutdown of its older HITS2Home service which allowed small cable companies to provide customers with digital service through satellite dishes at each home because they needed to move their signals off of the Ku satellite band to the C satellite band because too many cable operators were complaining about rain fade and providing the HITS2Home customers with the larger dishes for C band was impractical.
As of January 1, 2011 HITS2Home service became available to home users via two third party vendors. The home user is responsible for obtaining and maintaining their own C Band satellite dish and Motorola DSR-410 satellite receiver.
- About Comcast Media Center
- Moss, Linda (2008-02-11 [sic]). "Comcast Bulks Up: Media Center Adds Bandwidth On SES Americom". Multichannel News. Retrieved 2008-02-10. Check date values in:
- Comcast Media Center — official website