Best described to norteamericanos as Latin America’s answer to the NCTA cable show, the fifth annual “Jornadas de Cable” looks to be the biggest yet. (“Jornada” means “work day” but – as may be apt for Argentina’s hotly competitive cable industry can also be translated as “military expedition.”)

Officially known as ATVCCAPER 1995, after its twin organizers – Argentina’s Cable TV Assn. and the Argentine Chamber of Broadcast Equipment Suppliers, respectively – this year’s Jornadas takes place Nov. 19-22, winding up in time to let U.S. visitors return home for Thanksgiving. In fact, the holiday has prompted organizers to take the unusual step of opening on a Sunday, when ATVC’s annual programming awards take place.

This year’s event will be held at the 4,400-square-meter Costa Salguero convention hall and Punta Carrasco exhibition center, where exhibitors, speakers, workshop participants and delegates will gather from the world over.

According to show organizer Jonas Braguinski, 122 exhibitors have registered for this year’s convention, and another 20 hope to be accommodated. Last year’s Jornadas attracted 11,128 participants, up from 8,804 in 1993. Despite the current economic slowdown in Argentina, as many as 15,000 are expected this year.

ATVC prez Julio Tapia says that, during these Jornadas, Argentine cable operators will be focusing on “reconversion” of their systems: “The cable industry has to be prepared for competition with direct-to-home (DTH) services, which can offer a higher number of services. For this we must reconvert to fiber optic.” This year’s Academic Sessions, programmed by Dr. Renee Stuller de Lima of ATVC’s exec committee, will feature Argentine and foreign speakers. Each session will be simultaneously translated, and themes include: preparation for interactive systems; fiber-optic network design; digital compression of channels for subscriber delivery; and how operators can optimize the programming they offer.

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