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Headend in the Sky (HITS) is a satellite multiplex service that provides cable channels to cable television operations.

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 formerly owned by the old AT&T, but became part of Comcast in 2002 as part of the AT&T Broadband purchase. The HITS headquarters, formerly known as the National Digital Television Center, is now called the Comcast Media Center.

As of 2009, HITS offers 6 standard-definition multiplexes on SES Americom's AMC-4, 12 standard-definition multiplexes and 8 HD multiplexes on AMC-18, and 2 standard-definition multiplexes on AMC-10. As of 2007, HITS delivers more than 170 digitally compressed video and audio television programming signals to more than 3000 cable operation sites across the US; more than 16 million viewers receive digital cable programming from HITS.

Services

HITS now offers two 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.

On January 30, 2007, HITS introduced HITS Quantum, which 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.[1]


The Indian Government on Novermber 12, 2009 approved guidelines for Headend In The Sky (HITS) broadcasting service. The approval comes several months after the information and broadcasting (I&B) ministry had first sent the HITS policy draft to the Cabinet. HITS players have been allowed a foreign direct investment (FDI) of up to 74%, on par with the telecom sector. They can operate on either C band or Ku Band (till now reserved for direct-to-home).

YOU Broadband & Cable India Pvt Ltd, a Citigroup owned broadband player and MSO will soon announce its plans regarding HITS

References

  1. ^ Moss, Linda (2008-02-11 [sic]). ""Comcast Bulks Up: Media Center Adds Bandwidth On SES Americom"". Multichannel News. http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6530767.html. Retrieved 2008-02-10.  

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