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Old 07-30-2007, 02:57 AM   #121
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasGrillChef
I am lucky enough to be in an area that doesn't have SDV. Thank god.

I like to cause troubles for cable co's when they do things we don't like.

Since MRV isn't around yet for HD, and since VOD and certain other 2 way services still require their DVR. I have at least one TWC DVR. I regulary return it. In hopes that I will get a newer box when they have one available. They don't like me very well at the local office! LOL

Since I own an Apartment complex with 800 units. I was just wondering about the feasability in causing them issues should they start SDV in my area. I live pretty close to the complex I own.

I am highly opposed to SDV. So it might be worth my investment to cause them issues should that happen. Just a thought.

Always looking for ways to make it more difficult for them when they do things that go agains't our needs.

Thanks for your education. I do appreciate that.

TexasGrillChef
So you are against a company that is trying to bring more HD, more channels, and more choices for the MAJORITY of its customers. To put this bluntly, cablecard customers only make up about 1% of the cableco's customer base. The other 99% want the new channels and more HD. Plus the cable co's are a business, they have to compete with the 300+ channels D* is advertising. What do you expect them to do? Not offer anything new to 99% of their customer base so that the handful of cablecard customers can get SOME hd channels? Without SDV, cablecos cant offer any new HD channels unless doing something drastic like comcast did in Chicago. How this affects Chicago will be interesting because every customer will have to get a box on every outlet, kinda like D*. I like my S3 and want all of the HD channels I can get, but I understand where the cable co's are going. I want my S2DT to continue to work as a DUAL tuner and not need a box for my garage TV, so I would like for analog to stick around for awhile.
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Old 07-30-2007, 04:01 AM   #122
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Originally Posted by txagfan
So you are against a company that is trying to bring more HD, more channels, and more choices for the MAJORITY of its customers. To put this bluntly, cablecard customers only make up about 1% of the cableco's customer base. The other 99% want the new channels and more HD. Plus the cable co's are a business, they have to compete with the 300+ channels D* is advertising. What do you expect them to do? Not offer anything new to 99% of their customer base so that the handful of cablecard customers can get SOME hd channels? Without SDV, cablecos cant offer any new HD channels unless doing something drastic like comcast did in Chicago. How this affects Chicago will be interesting because every customer will have to get a box on every outlet, kinda like D*. I like my S3 and want all of the HD channels I can get, but I understand where the cable co's are going. I want my S2DT to continue to work as a DUAL tuner and not need a box for my garage TV, so I would like for analog to stick around for awhile.
You do make several good points that I haven't considered.

Since I love my HD. I don't watch or record anything that isn't broadcast in full HD. Of course there are a couple of shows I will watch that aren't (Star Trek) and a few other exceptions of course. But 99% of my viewing is in HD. I do have to admit I WANT more HD. I know it's coming. HBO/Cinemax will be broadcasting all of their Movie channels in Full HD by 2-17-09. At least that is their plan.

While maybe only 1% of their customers are on cable card. That number will be rising quickly now that even new deployment of thier STB/DVR's must now use cable card as well. So that number will be increasing quite fast over the next few years. SDV STB/DVRs can still use Cable cards.

In my area TWC is currently upgrading & in some areas have allready upgraded to Fiber. Hopefully in my area they will never go SDV.

Verizon Fios doesn't have this problem. Then again they are on fiber. So as Cable Co's upgrade to Fiber the need for SDV won't be needed.

Full digital & HD are coming. Analog TV is on it's way out. There are some parts of the country where analog cable will be discontinued in the next few years for 100% digital.

I do understand it is fully a Catch 22 situation for everyone. I do know that eventually it will all work itself out. The Switch from Analog to Digital/HD TV has been and will continue to be painfull for everyone involved.

What makes it so painfull is that new equipment is needed by everyone at all stages levels. From the content providers to the consumers. Everyone at all levels need new equipment to handle Digital / HD TV which is expensive. It is this expense that makes it so painfull to everyone & SLOW!.

So I do understand the points you made. There is no easy CHEAP easy solution that will satisfy everyones current needs. That is the sad fact.

Whatever decesions that are made about SDV someone gets screwed anyways. Just like in OTA when 2-17-09 comes around. Those without Digital &/or HD TVS will be screwed unless the spend money on a new TV set, or Converter box.

Sometimes I grasp at straws in desperation as well.

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Old 07-30-2007, 07:09 AM   #123
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Originally Posted by txagfan
How this affects Chicago will be interesting because every customer will have to get a box on every outlet, kinda like D*.
Although 95% of customers will need a STB, it isn't fair to say every customer at every outlet. Many new TVs include QAM tuners, which will be capable of watching the local broadcast channels.
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Old 07-30-2007, 10:14 AM   #124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasGrillChef
...
In my area TWC is currently upgrading & in some areas have allready upgraded to Fiber. Hopefully in my area they will never go SDV.
...
Fiber to your house or fiber to the pole? Fiber to the house is essentially FIOS. Fiber to the pole will likly go SDV. The coax to your house carries analog & digital channels + internet + out of band communications.
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Old 07-30-2007, 10:32 AM   #125
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Even with FIOS everything is carried over COAX. I just had FIOS installed Saturday and the fiber terminates at the box outside the house and only a coax cable runs inside the house.

They gave me a router that included a coax input and on the cable side everything is the same as BHN. I already had a CAT5 outside too, but they told me that they don't use it.

They also offer ~23 analog channels and don't use SDV.
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Old 07-30-2007, 10:59 AM   #126
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I stand corrected, but now I'm intrerested in how they avoid doing something like SDV. After all, the tuner is still looking forsomething in the channel 2-135 (or 180) frequencies.
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Old 07-30-2007, 11:07 AM   #127
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The key is 23 analog channels, cutting back from 75 to 23 analog channels increases the available throughput by almost 2Gbps, or ~156 HD channels.

It isn't coax that's limiting cable, it's all those analog subscribers.
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Old 07-30-2007, 11:42 AM   #128
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Then why are cable companies that are going all digital also implementing SDV? I believe Comcast in Chicago is in this category.
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Old 07-30-2007, 12:17 PM   #129
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Then why are cable companies that are going all digital also implementing SDV? I believe Comcast in Chicago is in this category.
Comcast in Chicago is definitely all digital, not sure about the SDV part.

But either way you're right, why bother with SDV if you have plenty of bandwidth.
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Old 07-30-2007, 12:34 PM   #130
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Just ran across this article when I was trying to figure out if Chicago Comcast was using SDV. It mentions all the ways a Cable co' can increase it's throughput, including SDV, cutting back on analog and upgrading from a 750Mhz to 1Ghz system.
http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6439357.html
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Old 07-30-2007, 04:24 PM   #131
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Comcast here in SoVA just moved HGTV and dropped some Spanish (music?) channels. Wouldn't be surprised if they were gearing up for more HD channels. We are an old Adelphia system, but we were just upgraded to fiber in 2002-2002.
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Old 07-30-2007, 08:12 PM   #132
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Originally Posted by txagfan
So you are against a company that is trying to bring more HD, more channels, and more choices for the MAJORITY of its customers. To put this bluntly, cablecard customers only make up about 1% of the cableco's customer base. The other 99% want the new channels and more HD.
No, I'm opposed to the cable companies (by way of their lobby) convincing the FCC to selectively "enforce" the provisions of an over 10 year old law that SHOULD allow me to purchase my own hardware, connect it to my cable TV service and get all of the same features that everyone else gets. The problem is that the cable companies don't want this to happen, which is why CC only represents the small portion of customers that it does today.

It is the cable companies that got us into this mess, and now that the problem is "too hard" to solve, they're going to have to find a way to make it work for EVERYONE, in accordance with the wishes of Congress (which, at least the last time I checked, were the ones that made the rules around here).
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Old 07-30-2007, 08:48 PM   #133
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GoHokies, I agree with a lot that you are saying. For arguments sake, let's say that the FCC goes ahead and stops cable from implementing sdv. This will effectively stop most cable companies from bringing new services to their customers. Things like more HD, more bandwidth for phone and internet. Things their customers want. All while letting the sat companies do as they wish because they got waivers for open integration. Why do they(sat co's) still have waivers and are not even worrying about open systems? You can't really use the argument that sat. is not a competitor to cable. They are. So why force cable to stop innovation and let their competitors run wild with new services? I would love to see a two-way solution emerge sometime soon, but I'm not holding my breath .
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Old 07-30-2007, 08:49 PM   #134
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I stand corrected, but now I'm intrerested in how they avoid doing something like SDV. After all, the tuner is still looking forsomething in the channel 2-135 (or 180) frequencies.
They could also be using a broader frequency band. Many cable systems are still using 750MHz - even 650MHz or 550MHz in some areas, which limits their total channel capacity. 860MHz is fairly common on more modern systems - but 1GHz is also being used now, and there is talk of going higher than that, but I don't know if any MSOs have.
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Old 07-30-2007, 09:39 PM   #135
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Originally Posted by txagfan
For arguments sake, let's say that the FCC goes ahead and stops cable from implementing sdv. This will effectively stop most cable companies from bringing new services to their customers. Things like more HD, more bandwidth for phone and internet. Things their customers want.
The cable companies want to increase the number of high margin services like PPV, and don't care how much it inconveniences the majority of low margin customers.
Walk me through how SDV is going to make Time Warner charge $25/month for their phone service instead of the $40/month they want now.
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Old 07-30-2007, 09:42 PM   #136
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I guess competition is how twc will have to lower their phone rate. How sdv plays into that I don't know.
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Old 07-31-2007, 05:18 AM   #137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txagfan
So you are against a company that is trying to bring more HD, more channels, and more choices for the MAJORITY of its customers.
You extrapolated something that no one here is saying. At least none of the posts that I have read came across that way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by txagfan
To put this bluntly, cablecard customers only make up about 1% of the cableco's customer base. The other 99% want the new channels and more HD. Plus the cable co's are a business, they have to compete with the 300+ channels D* is advertising. What do you expect them to do? Not offer anything new to 99% of their customer base so that the handful of cablecard customers can get SOME hd channels? Without SDV, cablecos cant offer any new HD channels unless doing something drastic like comcast did in Chicago. How this affects Chicago will be interesting because every customer will have to get a box on every outlet, kinda like D*. I like my S3 and want all of the HD channels I can get, but I understand where the cable co's are going. I want my S2DT to continue to work as a DUAL tuner and not need a box for my garage TV, so I would like for analog to stick around for awhile.
Even though you weren't directly addressing me, I will respond as bluntly as you did.

Why not kill off analog? It would make the network much more efficient, and free up bandwidth for more channels (SD and HD). Well, it's because subscribers, that don't want to use a digital tuner/cable company decoder, are holding back the cable companies from making their networks more efficient by switching to an all digital delivery system. Stop clogging up the network with analog "garbage" just because you want your equipment to continue to function... Oh wait. Isn't that what you said CC users were doing? To be fair, you did say that CC users are the minority, so I guess they really don't count...

I applaud Comcast in Chicago. At least they are moving forward. I don't have a problem if the cable companies make their networks more efficient with the kludge - err, solution, called SDV. What I do have a problem with is that they haven't published a standard so that CE companies can produce compatible equipment that will work with SDV.

No one ever guaranteed me that my S3 would continue to work for a specified period of time, and I am not demanding that it does. Now, on the other side of the coin are the analog cable TVs, VCRs and "TiVo like" devices that are in use. Just like with the S3, I don't recall ever getting a guarantee that my all of my TVs or S2 boxes would continue to work if the cable company changed their signal delivery scheme. I believe we all took it for granted that they would work for ever, but I never got a guarantee. Did you?

If CC technology wasn't deliberately crippled, and it was offered as an alternative to an STB, at the time you placed an order for cable service, I would bet that 99.9% of people would prefer to use a CC over an STB. It's the spotty support from the cable industry that has hampered installation of CCs. When I first inquired about CCs, the cable company told me that there was no such thing. I had to PUSH to get them.

BTW, I would suck it up, and buy a new TiVo that supported SDV/VOD if it were available. If I couldn't afford it, which is my current situation, I would be mad, deal with it, and be forced to use a cheaper alternative.

SDV/VOD is AN answer, but it's not necessarily the RIGHT answer.
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Old 07-31-2007, 05:49 AM   #138
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Again we see more claptrap about monopolies, despite the fact that courts have definitively determined that the cable companies are not monopolies. I know it makes the Angry Young Man in us feel better to say nasty things about The Man, but it does nothing other than obfuscate the discussion.
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Old 07-31-2007, 05:52 AM   #139
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Originally Posted by GoHokies!
It is the cable companies that got us into this mess, and now that the problem is "too hard" to solve, they're going to have to find a way to make it work for EVERYONE, in accordance with the wishes of Congress (which, at least the last time I checked, were the ones that made the rules around here).
Congress could pay some lip service to this, and then just allow things to work out naturally, though market forces, given the competitive environment fostered by cable versus satellite versus new technology such as IPTV. That's where I would put my money, if we were betting.
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Old 07-31-2007, 05:55 AM   #140
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The cable companies want to increase the number of high margin services like PPV, and don't care how much it inconveniences the majority of low margin customers.
The only customers that are entitled special treatment are those selecting lifeline cable. Other customers are in competition with each other for the affection of the cable and satellite companies -- whichever customers offer the companies the opportunity for the most profitability should win.
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Old 07-31-2007, 06:32 AM   #141
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The only customers that are entitled special treatment are those selecting lifeline cable. Other customers are in competition with each other for the affection of the cable and satellite companies -- whichever customers offer the companies the opportunity for the most profitability should win.
Discussing this issue with you is the same as banging my head against the wall and then sticking it in a 550 degree oven.

With that said: Let the cable companies follow the path you think is the righteous one, and most of us that have the option will end up with FIOS or AT&T's offering.

A friend of mine just had a FIOS installation this weekend. He is saving money, has faster internet with lower latency, and receives all of his channels on his CC S3. It may take 15 years, but unless the cable companies wise up, and start becoming customer centric, they will lose a lot of customers.

I was always under the impression that companies offering a product or service that another company also offered, were the ones that were at the "mercy" of the customer. Did someone change this rule, and I missed the memo? Rarely is it the case that, and I quote your words, "Other customers are in competition with each other for the affection of the cable and satellite companies." This is only the case when an alternative service is not available. Many of us have no other options, and are at the mercy of the cable company. This is why they are considered by many as monopolies. Unfortunately, for some unknown reason, you refuse to admit that.

It's time to break up the monopolies, and I can't wait until Verizon and AT&T have the infrastructure in place to do it. Someone mentioned that Time Warner was charging $40.00 per month for phone service. Are they out of their minds? In the areas that I know of where FIOS is available, the cable company charges $14.99 for unlimited phone service. Now that's competition, and what we all should be hoping to see.

For the record, I am very happy with my cable company, and I have no axe to grind with them.

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Old 07-31-2007, 06:58 AM   #142
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While we are on the subject of monopolies and cable, I would like to ask a question.

Why is it that a company has ownership of a cable running through my property and through public property (arguably, also mine)?

Sure, they paid to lay the cable, but how long does that right last? Currently it lasts forever, if that cable (whether it be coax or fiber) had a limited ownership, -- assuming they paid to lay it in the first place -- then it would be harder for companies to hold on to their monopolistic business.
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Old 07-31-2007, 08:51 AM   #143
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bicker, quoted in part
[C]ourts have definitively determined that the cable companies are not monopolies.
I find this surprising. Could you point me to a citation? (An appellate decision would be nice, though an FTC or DOJ announcement is probably more relevant in practice.)

Seriously, I have no axe to grind here. I've had both econ and law professors hold up CATV as an example of a natural monopoly and both a de jure (prior to the meaningless Boulder decision in 1982) and a de facto municipally-licensed monopoly as well. I would love to have a counterargument handy.
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Old 07-31-2007, 09:28 AM   #144
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I think my view of SDV is different from most. I think most of us understand that SDV is a great technology, but monopolistic pressures, combined with an absentee landlord FCC and Congessional indifference has resulted in a poor deal for consimers. Tivo aside, Congress has ordered the cable companies to open up their systems. The FCC has allowed the cable companies to delay and is now probably allowing them to do a technological end around by acquiesing to cable labs delays. I believe the FCC should have required the cable companies to develope open solutions meeting the intent of the 1996 legislation (as I understand it anyway).

But most of all the FCC has required all TV's to have ATSC tuners, although most TV's will NOT be used with antennas. Effectively that's a tax designed to lower the cost of tuners. I could live with that if they had they required all TVs to have cablecard tuners. While an clear QAM tuner is the technical euiqvalent to the analog "cable ready," tuner found in every US TV for the past 20 years, it will likely not result in an equivalent channel lineup. The consumer electronics industry has seized upon "Digital Cable Ready" for their cablecard TVs. This could result in a roughly equivalent channel lineup, or not, depending on how SDV is implemented.

Why do I beleive this channel lineup issue is important? Because even the educated consumers on this forum can't buy a TV for the kitchen or bedroom now with a guarantee that they won't have to have a cable box in a few years (not necessarily corresponding to Feb, 2009). If you try to discuss this with the general populace (or Congress, for that matter) their eyes will glaze over.

The CEA is taking various positions designed to put money in their pockets.

With the hundreds of models of TVs now out their, the only possible models that MAY allow me to live without a cable box are some Samsung models that were/are available and I don't even know if they will work with SDV.

Practical lesson: Two years ago My brothers & I wanted to buy out 86 year mother a new TV. I was adament about not her not having to deal with a cable box. Now my mother is a smart lady - double major in English & Math at Duke circa 1942 - worked in cryptography in communications in the Navy building during WWII. But she had never had a cable box and never used the VCR we got for her. One of my brothers said he didn't think it would be a problem. The next year he got the cable company's SA8300HD DVR. They showed how to use it. I showed his wife how to use. But every time I'm there, they are watching analog channels, even when HD is available.

Ijust think the consumer should have reasonable options to replace what he has and enough information to know what the cable companies have planned. With SDV hanging up there as a big unknown, the federal government has let its citizens down.

End of rant. We now return you to your well reasoned programming.
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Old 07-31-2007, 12:03 PM   #145
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCIFRTHS
You extrapolated something that no one here is saying. At least none of the posts that I have read came across that way.



Even though you weren't directly addressing me, I will respond as bluntly as you did.

Why not kill off analog? It would make the network much more efficient, and free up bandwidth for more channels (SD and HD). Well, it's because subscribers, that don't want to use a digital tuner/cable company decoder, are holding back the cable companies from making their networks more efficient by switching to an all digital delivery system. Stop clogging up the network with analog "garbage" just because you want your equipment to continue to function... Oh wait. Isn't that what you said CC users were doing? To be fair, you did say that CC users are the minority, so I guess they really don't count...

I applaud Comcast in Chicago. At least they are moving forward. I don't have a problem if the cable companies make their networks more efficient with the kludge - err, solution, called SDV. What I do have a problem with is that they haven't published a standard so that CE companies can produce compatible equipment that will work with SDV.

No one ever guaranteed me that my S3 would continue to work for a specified period of time, and I am not demanding that it does. Now, on the other side of the coin are the analog cable TVs, VCRs and "TiVo like" devices that are in use. Just like with the S3, I don't recall ever getting a guarantee that my all of my TVs or S2 boxes would continue to work if the cable company changed their signal delivery scheme. I believe we all took it for granted that they would work for ever, but I never got a guarantee. Did you?

If CC technology wasn't deliberately crippled, and it was offered as an alternative to an STB, at the time you placed an order for cable service, I would bet that 99.9% of people would prefer to use a CC over an STB. It's the spotty support from the cable industry that has hampered installation of CCs. When I first inquired about CCs, the cable company told me that there was no such thing. I had to PUSH to get them.

BTW, I would suck it up, and buy a new TiVo that supported SDV/VOD if it were available. If I couldn't afford it, which is my current situation, I would be mad, deal with it, and be forced to use a cheaper alternative.

SDV/VOD is AN answer, but it's not necessarily the RIGHT answer.
DCFirths, you make very good arguments. I hate to see the analog go away on one side, but would love for it to go away for all of the benefits that would come out of it. Good point. I think the cable co's are finally coming around with SOME good support for CC, at least in my area. The new stb's don't count, because all of those are staged just like any other box.
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Old 07-31-2007, 02:01 PM   #146
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CC is one extreme end, and analog is the other extreme end. Cable co can provide more bandwidth if they screw either or both of these extremes. I have both an S3 and a S2DT, so I'm impacted on both ends. CC should be the future, and analog is the past. So if I had to pick an end to lose to get more HD, I'd lose my S2DT.
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Old 07-31-2007, 02:11 PM   #147
ah30k
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,206
Quote:
Originally Posted by vman41
The cable companies want to increase the number of high margin services like PPV, and don't care how much it inconveniences the majority of low margin customers.
And your point is??? Every company that answers to share holders does this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by vman41
Walk me through how SDV is going to make Time Warner charge $25/month for their phone service instead of the $40/month they want now.
I don't recall anyone talking about lower prices. The talk is of offering more services which SDV will certainly do.
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Old 07-31-2007, 02:15 PM   #148
vstone
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Location: Martinsville, VA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCIFRTHS
...
At least they are moving forward. I don't have a problem if the cable companies make their networks more efficient with the kludge - err, solution, called SDV. ...
Actually I consider SDV quite an elegant solution. I just wish that the FCC had made cablelabs comply with the intent of the 1996 law.

In the beginning, local cable here in Martinsville had OTA stations from our SoVA market and the adjacent market in NC (or 7 stations total, including PBS). When the ABC station in NC went Fox, it was dropped. The OTA HD channels are from our market; none from NC. SDV is a technical way of weeding out extraneous stations.

It's fine for us with outr fancy electronics to complain about our brand new obsolete equipment, but the limited income folk will likely be forced to rent a cable box if all analog stations go away. The FCC doesn't seem to be allowing cable companies to have a cheap cablecardless box for those folk.
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Old 07-31-2007, 02:50 PM   #149
CharlesH
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Milpitas (San Francisco Bay Area)
Posts: 945
Quote:
Originally Posted by vstone
The FCC doesn't seem to be allowing cable companies to have a cheap cablecardless box for those folk.
They won't allow the cable company to provide a cheap clear-QAM(no cablecard) -> NTSC converter? Not that the cable companies would want to do this, since it excludes the $$ extras.
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Old 07-31-2007, 02:55 PM   #150
txMonkey
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Join Date: Jul 2007
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SDV w/ TiVoHD?

Hi.

Never having owned a TiVo, I've been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the new HD model and it's lower cost. Imagine my horror of learning about SDV while researching from the comforts of home in... Austin, TX (argh!).

I have a couple of questions that are probably pretty simple but ones which I haven't seen clear answers to:
1. The listing of SDV channels for Austin shows some w/ multiple numbers for digital and analog. If this is the case will the TivoHD be able to view those in analog mode via the CC? (The wife's addicted to E!.)

2. According to TWC-Austin's site, they are introducing 'Open Cable CableCARD' by 1Q08 which allow viewing of SDV channels. Does anyone know whether TiVoHD will be able to utilize these cards (a) out of the box?; (b) with a firmware update?; or (c) nope--outta luck?
Thanks for all the great info!

_Todd
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