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State of the Internet 2017 – Courtesy of Cable

If you’re like most of us, you depend on the internet on a daily basis, whether at work or home. So what is the status of the internet in the United States? As a new year began, NCTA – The Internet & Television Association published a fascinating report, “The State of Internet in America in 2017.”

As the report notes, “The cable industry has been at the forefront of America’s internet leadership, having invested over $250 billion in broadband infrastructure over the past 20 years.” Among the other data nuggets pointed out by NCTA:

  • Top home internet speeds increased from 100 Mbps to 10 Gbps in just five years.
  • American networks support 2.3 billion internet-connected devices.
  • Cable initiatives delivered low-cost internet to over 750,000 families in need.
  • $1.5 trillion was spent on internet infrastructure in the last 20 years.

For cable, it’s just the beginning: stay tuned for more investment, and more advances.

Consumer Electronics Show: Usable Technology or “Jetsons” Fantasy?

The Consumer Electronics Show celebrated its 50th anniversary this year with a record-breaking footprint of more than 2.6 million net square feet of exhibits. Cable – whether broadband or video – played a pivotal role in many of the offerings or trends seen on the exhibit floor.


Did Santa bring you Amazon’s ALEXA or Google’s Home? These voice-operated assistants are cool, but the future holds much more highly functioning robots that will eagerly await your command. As NCTA – The Internet & Television Association explained, “Robots made it very clear that they offer something we can’t quite get from our iPhones, tablets, or voice assistants, and that they are indeed the next step in the evolution of the Internet of Things.”

TV screens

No matter how you get your video – cable, streaming or over-the-top – the viewing experience all boils down to what you see on your screen. New and improved TV screens on display were curved/thinner/larger/pricier (or some combination) and offered improved color, brighter displays. A review of the trends.

Internet of Things – Home edition

Programming your home thermostat remotely via your mobile phone is so 2016. Among the multitude of products on display that will let you control your home with your smart phone:

  • The connected shower lets you preheat shower water, control water temperature and shower duration from your phone.
  • In the kitchen, this robotic “egg” looks up recipies and project step-by-step videos to help you make them.
  • A connected air freshener, which integrates with Nest thermostats, to release Febreze at the right time to take advantage of the air conditioning coming on in the room to optimally disperse the scent.
  • Get your morning started off right with this connected coffeemaker and toaster. The toaster has digital temperature adjustment settings for bread type and darkness, with an app that remembers individual user preferences. The coffeemaker can create a brewed-to-order cup of coffee on demand. The same company also is working on a mirror that displays time, weather, and status messages at its sides of the mirror and can be customized.
  • Your clothes haven’t been forgotten. Among the smart washers and dryers is this one that is a combo unit – washer and dryer are one machine. Smart technology allows the consumer to schedule operating times for when electricity costs are lower, and the dry cycle starts when the washing’s done so your clothes don’t get moldy. The unit also reoders detergent when needed.

Two Great Shows. One Night. Destination Fridays. Only on INSP!

Two Great Shows. One Night. Destination Fridays. 
Only on INSP! 

Fridays starting at 8p CT

Join INSP every Friday night all month long for an adventure across America with new episodes of their newest original show, State Plate, followed by Season Two of the award-winning original series, Handcrafted America.

State Plate: Musician and restaurateur Taylor Hicks tastes his way across the United States on a quest to assemble plates that represent each state’s most historic, famous, and tastiest foods. Learn more HERE.

Handcrafted America: Host Jill Wagner seeks out talented artisans who continue to make products the traditional way…with their own two hands. Learn more HERE.

Follow INSP on Twitter here for the latest news and information.


A New Year – Cable Connects to the Future

The start of a new year is traditionally a time to take a hopeful look at what might be achieved in the coming year. The cable industry is no different. One of the biggest trends expected in 2017 will be the growth and evolvement of consumer interaction with devices and services – the so-called “Internet of Things.” And cable will continue to play a significant role.

First, what exactly is the “Internet of Things”? The term refers to physical devices, cars, buildings or other items that are embedded with sensors, electronics or software that allow these items to collect and share data via the internet.

As a result, devices connected to your home internet have expanded beyond your smart phone or tablet. Things that only a few years ago seemed like science fiction – a thermostat that reports your energy usage, a front door unlocked with your smart phone, or a home device that performs numerous tasks in response to your voice commands – are increasingly commonplace.

In fact, initial holiday sales reports found that sales were strong for voice controlled home devices such as Amazon Echo and Google Home.

The average U.S. broadband home contains at least eight computing or mobile devices, plus two connected home devices such as smart lighting or a smart thermostat, and half of the U.S. broadband households plan to buy a smart home device in the next year, according to recent reports.

As the number and type of devices grow, consumers will come to rely on them as essential tools in the home or business.

All of these advancements are supported by cable’s broadband network, which currently is available to 93 percent of U.S. homes. More public Wi-Fi hotspots, faster broadband speeds, enhanced encryption and managed cybersecurity risks put cable at the forefront of expanding the Internet of Things.

See what it takes to deliver the Internet of Things.

What devices will the future bring?

By 2020, it’s estimated there will be 50.1 billion connected devices in use – more than a 200 percent jump from today.

Check all of the cool gadgets being introduced at CES in Las Vegas this week (January 5-8, 2017) here.

December Programming Highlights

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Christmas in the Smokies, an INSP Films Production, only on INSP! 

December 24 at 6p CT

Join INSP this holiday season for a heartwarming Christmas story starring Sarah Lancaster, Barry Corbin and Alan Powell.

Clinging to the only life she’s ever known, a headstrong woman (along with her loving parents) finds herself on the verge of losing her family’s berry farm in the heart of the Smoky Mountains, to an impending retail expansion.

Over one eventful holiday season, she tries every avenue possible to save the farm. But, when the local town leaders notify her that they will have to seize the property after the holidays, her last hope to unite the town, is to throw a Christmas concert on the farm, headlined by her former love, a ne’er-do-well country music superstar.

As the day of the concert approaches, they all must learn the value of family, faith and community—before time runs out. Learn more.

Follow INSP on Twitter here  for the latest news and information.

TBS will have 24-hours of A Christmas Story on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Astros Playback: Need a little baseball in your life? Tune in to ROOT SPORTS on Sundays in December for replays of your favorite Astros games from the 2016 season. Visit local channel listings.

Rockets: The Rockets play 17 times in the month of December and your TV home of the team is broadcasting 16 of them! Visit the full schedule.



What Will You Be Watching this Holiday Season?

Which holiday movie tops the “best” list? With so many movies to choose from, it’s hard to choose. And with so many “best of” lists to choose from, there are a lot of opinions. Here’s just a few lists you’ll find online:

Home for the Holidays With Cable

When the weather turns cold, nothing beats a mug of hot chocolate and curling up on the couch with a favorite movie. Because of the rise of cable, traditional holiday favorites, as well as made-for-TV offerings, are abundant in the weeks leading up to Christmas – in fact, the programming schedule was packed with holiday viewing fare on the day before Thanksgiving.

Holiday movies and specials are so prolific no DVR could possibly keep up. Several internet sites, including the blog, list the lineup for each day through Christmas. Offerings range from perennial favorites such as “A Charlie Brown Christmas” (which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015) or “It’s a Wonderful Life,” to “made for cable” Christmas romances, to competitions such as “The Great Christmas Light Fight” or “Christmas Cookie Challenge.”

And don’t forget marathons – TCA affiliate member Turner, for example, on channel TBS will show 24 hours of “A Christmas Story” – about a young boy’s obsession with getting a Red Ryder air rifle for Christmas – on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Cable networks say they are producing more holiday movies because they are inexpensive to produce, attract advertisers and generate strong ratings.