By: Ed Finegold

June is a great month to be in Chicago and The Cable Show will be in town from June 14 to 16 at McCormick Place. The Cable Show typically includes a unique mix of entertainment stars, gadget manufacturers, and complex technology suppliers. Its hands-on exhibits let you try out technology that may never make it into your house. Its educational sessions stick to key issues without getting lost in the weeds. Overall, the Cable Show's program looks both engaging and manageable. Here is Pipeline's guide to the educational sessions, exhibit hours, and fun things to do while visiting Chicago - our home town!

Tuesday, June 14: Call It a Soft Launch

First, make sure to set your watch to US Central Time. Then, note that the exhibits don't open on Tuesday until 12:30. The morning is dominated by the IPv6 Summit and the Cable ACT Forum, with the general session kicking off at 10:30. We recommend scheduling some useful morning meetings; enjoying some exhibit time while the booth staffers are still fresh; and catching the first educational session at 2:30 pm. Speakers from Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Cable Labs, and Motorola discuss new tools, including social media, for navigating through TV programming options in "What's on TV? Techniques and Technologies for Content Discovery."

One area of the exhibit hall to check out is CableNET, an area co-sponsored by CableLabs and the NCTA that gives close-up demonstrations of new cable and entertainment technologies. This year's show features content, applications, and new cable broadband capabilities.

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Major events on Tuesday include the Cable Hall of Fame celebration and the WICT Signature Luncheon; but if industry self-congratulations aren't your thing, then head on up to Wrigley Field on Chicago's North side. The hometown Cubs face the rival Milwaukee Brewers at 7:05 pm. If you have a group with you, check Groupon for deals on one of the many private clubs surrounding the park where your ticket gets you gourmet food, an open bar, and a seat that looks down into the ballpark from an adjacent rooftop. Otherwise, grab a brat and an Old Style and enjoy the "friendly confines." Don't forget to sing "root, root, root for the Cubbies" during the traditional seventh inning stretch rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame!"

Wednesday, June 15: Hard Core Tech Day

Sessions kick off at 7:30 am on Wednesday, with exhibits opening at 11 am. Our first pick, however, is "Packet Change: IP Video and Cable's Architectural Evolution." Speakers from ARRIS, Cisco and Comcast discuss the merging of public and private networks in IP video delivery and what this means to business models and cable networks.

If that's not your style, try "The Wow Factory: Technologies that Advance the Cable Vision" also at 11 am. Here, speakers from Comcast, Cox, Time Warner, Rogers, and CableLabs examine emerging delivery technologies, new forms of content and applications, and where these cable operators are looking to make their investments in the future.

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