Pace to spice up product extras; Barlik gets Cox EVP post

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> Pace, notoriously left out of the cable set-top box duopoly, is apparently thinking outside the box by using its recent 2Wire acquisition to "bolt on" services such as energy monitoring, remote physiotherapy and home networking. Story.

> Cox Communications has appointed Len Barlik as its EVP-product management and development, responsible for overseeing the strategy by which the MSO will move forward with advanced digital video, Internet, telephone and wireless services. Perhaps tellingly, Barlik comes to Cox from Sprint (NYSE: S) where he was vice president of wireless and wireline product development. News release.

> Here's a trend cable might want to watch, if for no other reason than to gauge the value of broadcast television. Mobile DTV has one chance--and the window is closing fast--to catch on with the public before the FCC shuts down the bandwidth it needs and reallocates it for other wireless services. Story.

> And speaking of that broadcast spectrum, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski used his 15 minutes of fame at CES to push his agency's demand that broadcasters turn it over because if they don't, "demand for spectrum will soon outstrip supply." Of course he did say that a year ago at CES, somewhat forcing the hand of broadcasters to get into the mobile DTV business. Story.

> In wireless news--and yes, wireless news still impacts the cable industry--Verizon Wireless will most likely reveal some sort of iPhone product at a press function tomorrow. Story.

> Chipmaker Broadcom has joined the HomePlug Powerline Alliance board of directors. The silicon giant--which many will remember got its start with cable modems--is also now a sponsor member of the home networking organization. Story.

And finally ... would it be horribly wrong or just a dreadful play on words to suggest that a proposed Penthouse 3D channel will be a bust? Seriously, Penthouse is proposing just such and, a spokesman said, "is the one studio that can rely on its broad expertise to deliver 3D in a manner unmatched by any other branded entertainment company." We don't make these things up.