Hughes Aircraft Company, a diversified high technology company, is aggressively marketing data transmission capability to cable television system franchise holders. In a series of full page ads in trade journals Hughes is advising "How to find gold your cable can't reach." The ads go on to explain that most cable systems can be turned into modern telecommunications systems by installing a Hughes AML device at a data source and adding interfaces and modems.
Despite the fact that many cable companies have bid data transmission capability, most are choosing to defer its installation because there is a widely held perception in the industry that data transmission is currently far less profitable than video and audio entertainment.
Nevertheless, many cable companies are keenly interested in data transmission. American Express' participation in the Warner Amex cable venture is believed to be motivated by a desire to deliver interactive financial services from its Shearson Loeb Rhoades subsidiary via two-way cable. This can more effectively be done by transmitting digitized data rather than analog images.