“Innovative” is probably not the word you use to describe your cable company. But Reuters reports that major players such as Comcast (CMCSA) and Time Warner Cable (TWC) are trying to change all that by opening up a new research center in Silicon Valley. The research center will be headed up by CableLabs, “a nonprofit research and development consortium established by the industry,” and will “work on projects with startups and established firms; hire engineers; and engage leading universities such as Stanford in experimenting on new tech.” Charter Communications cofounder Jerald Kent told Reuters that the entire industry needs to “get re-energized” to figure out how to compete with Web-based video for viewers and how to improve its own technology to keep up with initiatives such as Google (GOOG) Fiber.