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Old 08-31-2007, 08:48 PM   #301
skylab
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Early reports indicate that SDV does not save as much bandwidth as hoped. To simplify things a bit, think about the demographics in your area -- there are probably high income neighborhoods and lower income neighborhoods (rich people don't build big houses in trailer parks). Thus, hoseholds with HDTV tend to be grouped togther in the same neighborhoods. Moreover, people with HDTVs tend to watch a heck of a lot more hdtv than sd analog. If only HDTV stations are put on sdv, chances are that the people in these high income neighborhoods are watching a good number of the HD channels at the same time.

To get the bandwidth savings, the entire lineup needs to be placed on sdv. This means an all digital lineup. However, going all digital, in and of itself, makes room for 150-200 or so HD stations without the use of sdv.

So, it really makes little sense to use sdv at this point without going all digital. Nevertheless, one particular company is going full steam ahead, while most others seem to be adopting a wait and see approach.
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Old 08-31-2007, 09:16 PM   #302
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skylab
Early reports indicate that SDV does not save as much bandwidth as hoped. To simplify things a bit, think about the demographics in your area -- there are probably high income neighborhoods and lower income neighborhoods (rich people don't build big houses in trailer parks). Thus, hoseholds with HDTV tend to be grouped togther in the same neighborhoods. Moreover, people with HDTVs tend to watch a heck of a lot more hdtv than sd analog. If only HDTV stations are put on sdv, chances are that the people in these high income neighborhoods are watching a good number of the HD channels at the same time.
Having been a service tech for a cable company up until 2 years ago, I actually saw more hdtv's in poor neighborhoods than rich neighborhoods. Some of these people would pay their cable bill before they bought the kiddoes new shoes.
Also, HD channels are certainly not the only channels going sdv. Check out the Austin lineup on the first post.
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Old 09-01-2007, 06:22 AM   #303
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wbertram
Everybody who owns a TV sits down at 8:00PM and tries to tune to their favorite channel. ... SDV only "increases capacity" when relatively few people are viewing TV.
Or when the vast majority of people watch the same few channels -- which is generally the case at 8:00PM.
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Old 09-01-2007, 06:34 AM   #304
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philipl411
Maybe so, but if your pricing is correct, my bill would go down by 2/3.
I doubt you're typical. I find that I'm often very typical in the grand scheme of things. We'd purchase TNT, USA, Sci-Fi, F/X, Discovery, AMC, ABC Family, Lifetime, Food Network, CNN Headline News, TWC, MSNBC, Animal Planet, Travel Channel, and BBC America. If my pricing is correct, with a la carte I'd pay $75, instead of the current package price of $59.45 (Basic $9.55, Expanded $41.95, Digital Classic $7.95). And I'd still have to pay $19.59 for equipment and fees (cable box, plus two cable card, plus a remote), plus $4.58 in taxes, regardless of which way I pay for programming.

And without BBC America, the difference is even more pronounced: $71 a la carte; $51.50 as a package.
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Old 09-01-2007, 06:36 AM   #305
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skylab
Early reports indicate that SDV does not save as much bandwidth as hoped.
Citation, please.
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Old 09-01-2007, 10:08 AM   #306
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Originally Posted by bicker
I doubt you're typical. I find that I'm often very typical in the grand scheme of things. We'd purchase TNT, USA, Sci-Fi, F/X, Discovery, AMC, ABC Family, Lifetime, Food Network, CNN Headline News, TWC, MSNBC, Animal Planet, Travel Channel, and BBC America. If my pricing is correct, with a la carte I'd pay $75, instead of the current package price of $59.45 (Basic $9.55, Expanded $41.95, Digital Classic $7.95). And I'd still have to pay $19.59 for equipment and fees (cable box, plus two cable card, plus a remote), plus $4.58 in taxes, regardless of which way I pay for programming.

And without BBC America, the difference is even more pronounced: $71 a la carte; $51.50 as a package.
I agree with you here. As much as I would like a workeable ala carte package that actually saved money, I saw numbers a couple of year ago that really surprised me. Based on the 15 or so digital channels that are watched a lot in our house, we would pay more also. Among the channels we would choose would be ESPN 1 and 2, the NFL Network, the Discover channels, National Geographic, MTV, some of the home improvement channels, and some of the children channels.

The numbers I saw convinced me that the current pricing structure based on volume of subscribers saves money while providing more channels (many of which are never tuned in our house).

Sorry no sources or links; like I said it was a couple of years ago.
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Old 09-01-2007, 12:25 PM   #307
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Originally Posted by skylab
However, going all digital, in and of itself, makes room for 150-200 or so HD stations without the use of sdv.
There seems to be a lot of talk on here about how going all digital makes SDV unnecessary. This is very shortsighted in my opinion. Cable Companies are not going with SDV to simply provide more channels or compete with D*. There is a bigger picture. The end game with SDV is QAM sharing in which all video, VOD and HSD share the same set of QAMs. This will allows the cable companies to offer what they believe will be an unlimited number of channels and virtually an unlimited number VOD streams (HD and SD) as well as vastly higher HSD rates. In the end the investment in SDV, which is pretty minimal by cable company standards, has great yields for both the cable companies and their customers.
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Old 09-01-2007, 01:18 PM   #308
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Poor People vs HD

Quote:
Originally Posted by cableguy763
Having been a service tech for a cable company up until 2 years ago, I actually saw more hdtv's in poor neighborhoods than rich neighborhoods.
Well, it's a bit of an overstatement, but I agree it happens that some rich people have old, dinky sets and some fairly low income people have very nice TVs, indeed. When I was in the cable business - back when TVs were gas powered - I saw many brand new and moderately full featured TVs in tenements, and lots of ancient TVs in million dollar homes. One in particular was Red McCombs. He is one of the richest men in San Antonio, and when he had a problem, they usually sent me out as a matter of PR. The artwork in his foyer cost nearly as much as my entire home, yet he had a television which was at least 15 years old. About 75% of the time, it was that old TV which was the source of the problem, rather than the CATV plant. Even though he was rich enough to purchase an NBA basketball franchise (the San Antonio Spurs) outright, he would always have the set repaired rather than just buying a new one. Go figure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cableguy763
Also, HD channels are certainly not the only channels going sdv. Check out the Austin lineup on the first post.
Generally speaking, right now SD channels benefit more from SDV simply because it is mostly the more popular channels which are offered in HD. SDV has its greatest benefits for channels which are watched by a limited number of people at a given time. It's greatest benefit is for interactive events like On Demand and for low volume offerings. In conventional analog or digital CATV broadcasts it doesn't really pay to nail up the bandwidth for a channel whose viewing share is only .1%, but with SDV, the provider can put perhaps 30 or 40 channels with a .1% viewer share in a single SDV "channel". Any channel with a 1% or greater viewer allocation is probably going to be streaming on most of the nodes anyway, so SDV doesn't give as much benefit for the cost.

Another advantage of SD over HD in SDV is it's allocation profile. I was speaking with an old friend of mine from my CATV days who is now an engineering consultant for the CATV company. This is from memory, so the numbers might be a bit off, but as I recall, he said a single digital stream could handle 6 HD channels or 16 SD channels. If we divide up a stream into 48 allocation units, then an SD channel requires 3 units and an HD channel requires 8. Allocating an HD channel to a stream requires there be 8 available units on the stream. The only mixed allocation which makes full use of the entire stream is 3 HD channels and 8 SD channels. This means the most effective use of the bandwidth is either to allocate certain streams as HD-only or else allocate half of certain streams as HD. Either way, the best use of bandwidth will occur if all of the HD channels are fixed. Pre-allocating less than 100% of the HD channels results in an increasingly significant waste of bandwidth. This of course must be balanced with the waste of bandwidth associated with pre-allocating a channel which few people are watching. Unless the entire lineup is SDV, the best compromise is to limit the number of HD channels allocated to SDV streams and maximize the number of SD offerings on SDV streams, unless the SD channel in question has a very large share of the viewing audience at any given time.
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Old 09-01-2007, 01:29 PM   #309
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Sdv

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Originally Posted by CharlesH
Since SDV works at a node granularity, I would think that it would be a real winner where there are neighborhoods where most of the residents speak a particular foreign language, and many of them would like to have programming in their language. In other neighborhoods where that language is not spoken, few if any people would want those channels.
Neighborhood centric or not, this is precisely where SDV has its advantage. 'Not necessarily just in linguistic demographics, but every minority demographic. It allows the CATV company to address the desires of niche hobbyists, for example, or medical professionals, or computer geeks. They can offer the Pottery Channel, Surgeon's Weekly, and Computer Geeks Digest - all for additional profit, of course.
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Old 09-01-2007, 01:40 PM   #310
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A la carte

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Originally Posted by vstone
I vote for a middle ground, where all of the expensive channels (NFL, ESPN, etc. are ala carte. This would still allow them to provide a breadth of programming without killing off minor channels.
The idea is to require the CATV system offer a la carte programming, not that all programming must be a la carte. It would be perfectly fine for the CATV company still still offer "bundles". That way, if the consumer only wants what now constitutes basic cable plus Discovery Kid's Channel, they can get DKC without having to pay for the entire enhanced tier.

Again, I don't think most people will come off any cheaper and probably will choose to go with tiered services. Some, however, may fair very well with a la carte.
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Old 09-01-2007, 01:52 PM   #311
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They lied, flat out

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Originally Posted by pashasurf7873
'Phazing out' may have been the wrong term. they told me that they won't be issuing them after the 24th. A fellow hawaii forum member wrote to the local fcc regulator and they responded to contact the local regulatory commission or something because the fcc no longer deals with cable issues.
They just plain lied to you, flat out. By law they are required to provide CableCards, period.

I suggest you write a letter to the General Manager of the CATV system. Be extremely specific about who said what, and if possible give names and dates. Inform him or her you are writing to the FCC. If you have a personal lawyer, speak to him about the matter, and don't have him or her take any action (that will cost you money), but get the details on what it would take to file a class action lawsuit. Again, obtain specifics as to where, when, and how much it costs to file. Then as well as mentioning the FCC in your letter to the GM, also reference your lawyer by name and give details concerning the possibility of a lawsuit. Don't just issue a blank threat, but show there is some real muscle behind the threat.

I think you might be astounded at the results, and I can just about guarantee you will get much faster and more satisfying results than a thousand letters to the FCC. If not, well then go ahead with the letter to the FCC. It can't hurt.
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Old 09-01-2007, 02:06 PM   #312
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SDV is not about more channels

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Originally Posted by LoREvanescence
I really hope that this does not happen. I would much prefer to see comcast use another option they will be testing in Chicago this fall. They plan to turn off all analog cable channels except local networks and providing 1 free set top box to every house hold to compensate for the loss of analog channels to the digital teer. That sounds like a much better solution then SDV to me.
You (and lots of others) seem to be missing the main point of SDV. Yes, for the CATV provider it does offer the potential of offering an essentially unlimited number of channels. This is good for the consumer of course because it gives them a vastly greater palette from which to choose. More importantly, however, it offers INTERACTIVE SERVICES. The most obvious is Video on Demand. It also allows for things like games, opinion polls, even elections. It allows for special features exactly like those provided on current DVD offerings, including non-theatrical releases, alternate endings, and alternate Points of View. It allows for Web Browsing and online banking. It will allow for video conferencing and v-mail.
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Old 09-01-2007, 02:19 PM   #313
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Full of Crap

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Originally Posted by LoREvanescence
Also when searching comcast and sdv I found this article on satelliteguys.us which really ticks me off. They must really not like Tivo. But some of the points they bring up about tivo support would not be good if they hold any truth. Does anyone know if their points could warrent anytruth?
Very little indeed. Whoever this is hasn't a clue. There is a huge difference between M-cards and CC 2.0 specifications. CC 2.0 has not yet been deployed, period, so suggesting TiVo was in some way deficient for not deploying CC 2.0 spec devices is just so much horse$#%&. TiVo would still be waiting to deploy a box if it had waited for CC 2.0. As it was they waited well over a year for CC 2.0 to be resolved. If they had waited for CC 2.0, it might have bankrupted them. Whoever this butt-munch is needs to learn a little bit about what he is speaking before he opens his mouth and spews manure like this all over the place.
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Old 09-01-2007, 03:04 PM   #314
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No, no, *NO*

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Originally Posted by LoREvanescence
I didn't know that issue. And that is a crucial issue. What is a Tivo Box with a cable companies OS? Just another paper weight useless box with a crappy interface, lack of features and add banners.
No, no, NO!. OCAP would not allow the CATV company to replace the OS. That would be essentially impossible (for a specific box, it would be physically possible, but the OS which runs on one box will not likely run on any other box). Secondly, it is not the OS which provides the features of which you, I and millions of TiVo users are so fond, it is the TiVo application, which is a very different thing. That said, OCAP won't allow the CATV company to disrupt the UI features of the TiVo, either. OCAP is middleware. It's still a lousy idea, but like any middleware it won't have any affect on the application layer. Well, hypothetically, anyway. Occasionally there can be an unintentional interaction between a piece of middleware and an application (perhaps even one not related to the middleware) which breaks something. It's also always possible that in modifying an application so it can work with a piece of middleware the developer may accidentally break something, but that is also another matter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LoREvanescence
Why is that OCAP thing a requirement of 2-Way?
It's pork barrel. OCAP has been proposed as part of the CC 2.0 specification. The CC 2.0 specification is what covers 2-Way CableCards. If OCAP is part of the specification, then no device (TiVo or otherwise) will receive Cable Labs CableCard 2.0 certification unless it meets OCAP requirements.

The thing many people in this forum and elsewhere seem to be missing or forgetting is this is not just a TiVo issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LoREvanescence
It's not that Tivo is not in compliance its the fact, they need to be one way to have a box that differs from the cable companies.
That's not the issue with OCAP. One of the main problems with OCAP is that the CATV company will be controlling what software the user is using to provide the services and in effect monopolizing the OCAP providers / developers. At it's most sinister it has Big Brother overtones. At it's most likely it has Microsoft overtones. OCAP oponents feel the user should be able to decide which software they want to use, not some corporation. As a somewhat similar example, think of the Network Services on the TiVo. One can implement them using TiVo Desktop, or one may choose Galleon. Some day perhaps there will be a third or fourth choice. Another example is Web Browsers. Some people use Internet Exploder, while other use NetEscape, and others of us use FirelessFox, or some other offering. Any of these can be updated automatically if the user wishes, but with OCrAP, the user would be restricted to using software developed by Joe's Bait Shop and Software Emporium or Identity Theft Specialists and no recourse to preventing a bug or spyware infested copy from being installed, and no way to remove it (without hacking the TiVo).
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Old 09-01-2007, 03:29 PM   #315
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Telephones

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Originally Posted by ChrisFix
This is exactly how the public telephone system works...there are many less channels for completing calls than there are subscribers - depending on telco, and where in the network you are, they concentrate up to 5:1 (one voice channel for 5 subscribers) and it works 99.9% of the time for 100% of subscribers.
Depending on at what point in the network you are speaking, the concentration may be vastly higher than that. There are some 100 million or more lines here in San Antonio, but the Local Exchange Carrier (AT&T) does not have 20 million lines going from San Antonio to Austin, for example, nor does it have anything nearly like 20 million lines between its LSOs. The 5:1 number is a good rule of thumb for most business PBXs (other than telemarketing firms who try their best to keep every single line in their building active nearly continuously). For non-commercial lines especially, the concentration is much, much higher. Think about it. A 1:5 concentration assumes the peak useage is going to be 1 user in 5 on the phone. To reach this level, the average user must be on the phone 1/5 of the day, or at least 1/5 of peak hours. Even assuming a relatively narrow peak useage window of 5 hours, that still has the average user on the phone at least an hour every evening. Do you spen an hour every evening on the phone? I don't. I maybe spend an hour a week during peak hours on the phone, if that.

Last edited by lrhorer : 09-01-2007 at 04:47 PM.
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Old 09-01-2007, 03:41 PM   #316
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No Lost shows

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Originally Posted by wbertram
And what about my kids who are watching a children's show, and don't understand the message on the screen? "Daddy, Daddy, my show went off and won't come back! sob, sob, sob".
That won't happen. Once the user has initiated a channel download, the system won't release that bandwidth until the user changes channels. If the user does receive the banner, in general he will only need to wait until someone else in the node service area changes channels. With 500 houses on the node and the ability to deliver easily 1500 SD channels or 600 HD channels, it's just not going to happen very often to even one subscriber anywhere in the node, let alone to the same subscriber. You'll suffer network issues at the source far more often, and that affects thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of subscribers at once.

Besides that, get a life!! We're only talking about a TV program, here.
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Old 09-01-2007, 03:45 PM   #317
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrhorer
They just plain lied to you, flat out. By law they are required to provide CableCards, period.
Well wait a minute -- we don't even know what cable company is involved here. Not every cable company is required to provide CableCards.
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Old 09-01-2007, 04:25 PM   #318
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Understanding

Quote:
Originally Posted by wbertram
The only way you can guarantee 99.9% availability is if the channel pool, x, is equal to, or slightly less than, the lesser of the number of offerings, y, or the node size, z. Since y is most likely less than z, this means that x must be equal to, or slightly less than y. In other words, the size of the channel pool must be very close to the number of offerings. So what has the expense of the SDV equipment bought you?
By that logic, every home LAN needs a 100 Mbps feed into the internet, and the ISPs all need 1,000,000 Terrabit/sec feeds into the Internet backbone. The channel pool can literally be in the millions, tens of millions, or even bilions or trillions and it will not matter in the least. The maximum number of channels DELIVERED (let alone available and being paid for by subscribers) in the system is equal to the number of nodes times the number of channels per node. In a city the size of San Antonio, for example, that would be 300,000 subscribers divided by 500 subscribers per node multiplied by about 9600 SD channels or 3600 HD channels per node or a total of 57,600,000 SD channels or 2,160,000 HD channels all watched simultaneously across the city. Of course those are both ridiculous numbers, but it is the theoretical limit of SDV. (The CATV company's switches wouldn't even handle a small fraction of that.) The odds of the network seeing that level of utilization across the city is zilch. That completely answers what the "expensive" SDV gear has bought the CATV company. Oh, by the way, the SDV gear is PRECISELY the same gear needed to provide digital services. Hmm. 'Sounds like a really good investment to me.

Now back to the individual user. If we assume the node feeding your house is at the limit of 2000 subscribers and every house has 4 Televisions or DVRs and all 4 are on different HD channels in every house (8000 televisions and only 1 watching ABC, 1 watching NBC, 1 watching CBS, 1 watching HBO, 1 watching ESPN, etc???!!!! and every one of them in HD???!!!!) then over half the people in the node are going to be SOL. Do you really think this is going to happen frequently? It will require the watchers in your node to have watching habits which give CBS, ABC, NBC, PBS, HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, The Movie Channel, ESPN, CNN, WTBS, WGN, and Discovery combined a Nielsen rating of under 1%. Yeah, that's going to be a really persistent problem...

EDIT: I have been reliably informed that some of the CATV providers, at least, are running compression levels that allow no more than two HD channels per stream along wth one SD channel or 11 SD channels per stream. Even so, the odds any particular user will suffer froma congested network on a regular basis are extremely low.

Last edited by lrhorer : 09-01-2007 at 04:46 PM.
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Old 09-01-2007, 04:29 PM   #319
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Sdv

Quote:
Originally Posted by jordanz
Why don't they go to a packet-switched type of protocol (ala TCP/IP)? This SDV thing seems like a big hack to me.
It is packet switched. That is why it is called Switched Digital Video. That is also why it has to be 2-Way.
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Old 09-01-2007, 04:42 PM   #320
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Cable Company

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Originally Posted by bicker
Well wait a minute -- we don't even know what cable company is involved here. Not every cable company is required to provide CableCards.
Hmm. You may be right. Reading through the message I got the impression it was TWC in Hawaii, but re-reading, it may not be the case. Nonetheless, I can pretty much assure the OP a letter to the local GM of the CATV company will work wonders, while writing to government agencies - or even the CEO of a national corporation is liable to get nothing whatsoever done.
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Old 09-01-2007, 05:21 PM   #321
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Stop and Think

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Originally Posted by wbertram
Of course, that is exactly how the SDV system works! Everybody who owns a TV sits down at 8:00PM and tries to tune to their favorite channel. And, the system gets congested, just like the phone system gets congested on Mother's Day, or after a catastrophe like 9/11.
You need to stop and think for a minute. It doesn't matter how many people are viewing. It's how many people want to view different things at the same time. Using conventional broadcast technology, the limit is hard set by the bandwidth of the CATV plant. For most systems the usable bandwidth is going to be about 600MHz - 850MHz. Assuming all digital, this is going to be on the order of 1100 or so SD channels. With all HD content, that drops to only 300 or so channels. With that limited number, it is simply not practical to allow every subscriber to determine what gets watched or when. Forget about VOD (although TiVo pretty much makes VoD a moot issue).

Quote:
Originally Posted by wbertram
SDV only "increases capacity" when relatively few people are viewing TV.
That's completely backwards, unless you are saying it's more effective outside prime-time. Even then it isn't true if the CATV operator offers Video Re-do. This allows any user to pause or rewind live TV or start watching a "live" broadcast late without having a DVR or needing to have it tuned to the channel. This very popular feature essentially turns every broadcast program into potentially thousands of "channels", since large numbers of viewers may be watching at slightly different times. The bottom line is, SDV increases capacity the moment more video streams are downloading into terminals, CableCard TVs, or DVRs than can be handled on a single drop. That number is something like 500 or so.

Think about it. In a city of a million people or so, how difficult is it - even during prime time - even during the Superbowl - for more than 500 viewers to want to watch different channels? With SDV, even if only a single viewer wants to watch a particular program at a particular time, it's not a problem. Even if 20,000 viewers want to watch different things or at slightly different times, it's no problem. (Actually, the CATV company's servers would probably have problems delivering 20,000 simultaneous unique streams, but that's another issue.)
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Old 09-01-2007, 05:47 PM   #322
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My bill

Quote:
Originally Posted by bicker
I doubt you're typical.
I'd be shocked to find I am typical.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bicker
I find that I'm often very typical in the grand scheme of things. We'd purchase TNT, USA, Sci-Fi, F/X, Discovery, AMC, ABC Family, Lifetime, Food Network, CNN Headline News, TWC, MSNBC, Animal Planet, Travel Channel, and BBC America. If my pricing is correct, with a la carte I'd pay $75, instead of the current package price of $59.45 (Basic $9.55, Expanded $41.95, Digital Classic $7.95). And I'd still have to pay $19.59 for equipment and fees (cable box, plus two cable card, plus a remote), plus $4.58 in taxes, regardless of which way I pay for programming.

And without BBC America, the difference is even more pronounced: $71 a la carte; $51.50 as a package.
I doubt they will be able to charge $5 each for non-premium channels. After all, they only charge $10 each for movie packages, and they include 5 or 6 commercial-free movie channels. I seriously doubt they would be able to charge more than $3 or so a la carte, if that.

My CATV bill right now is $115, excluding Broadband service. Assuming we continue the $8 a month for the CableCards and $9.95 for the Digital Terminal in the back room, and assuming premium channels are $10 and non-premium are $3, I'd get HBO, Starz, 3 of the four PBS channels, UHD, HDNET, HDMovies, TCM, Animal Planet, USAHD, SCI-FI, Discovery, Discovery Science, and TNTHD. That's a total of $79.95, which leaves $35 for them to charge for basic service and still leave me breaking even. At that I suspect at least four of the channels I listed will be in basic service. They'll have a very hard time justifying $35 for basic service.
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Old 09-01-2007, 06:23 PM   #323
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Ben and/or GoHokies, here's another list of SDV channels to add to the first few posts in this thread (Cox Fairfax VA):
http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...&&#post5468367
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Old 09-01-2007, 08:40 PM   #324
skylab
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jercra
There seems to be a lot of talk on here about how going all digital makes SDV unnecessary. This is very shortsighted in my opinion. Cable Companies are not going with SDV to simply provide more channels or compete with D*. There is a bigger picture. The end game with SDV is QAM sharing in which all video, VOD and HSD share the same set of QAMs. This will allows the cable companies to offer what they believe will be an unlimited number of channels and virtually an unlimited number VOD streams (HD and SD) as well as vastly higher HSD rates. In the end the investment in SDV, which is pretty minimal by cable company standards, has great yields for both the cable companies and their customers.
1. No, they are going to sdv to make people pay to lease a cable box (and have the opportunity to peddle VOD and other garbage -- things they can't peddle to cablecard users).

2. I don't care if cable uses sdv for two-way services. Great. Go all digital and do not put one-way programming on sdv.

3. As soon as there are 300 hd channels, use sdv. Until then, all digital will work just fine.
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Old 09-02-2007, 08:01 AM   #325
bicker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrhorer
I doubt they will be able to charge $5 each for non-premium channels.
I agree. It will probably be $4. That is what my calculations were based on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lrhorer
After all, they only charge $10 each for movie packages, and they include 5 or 6 commercial-free movie channels. I seriously doubt they would be able to charge more than $3 or so a la carte, if that.
Yeah, I think you're wrong about that.

However, you do make a good point. I think for $4, we should get a number of channels:

$4 - CNN, CNN Headline News, Court TV, TBS, and TNT
$4 - Disney Channel, ABC Family, Toon Disney, and SoapNet
$4 - Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Discovery Health and maybe a couple of others
$4 - MSNBC, CNBC, and Shop NBC
$4 - AMC, USA Network, Sci-Fi, and Bravo
$4 - A&E, History Channel, Biography Channel, National Geographic

However, is that really still a la carte?
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Old 09-02-2007, 11:02 AM   #326
HiDefGator
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skylab
1. No, they are going to sdv to make people pay to lease a cable box (and have the opportunity to peddle VOD and other garbage -- things they can't peddle to cablecard users).

2. I don't care if cable uses sdv for two-way services. Great. Go all digital and do not put one-way programming on sdv.

3. As soon as there are 300 hd channels, use sdv. Until then, all digital will work just fine.
And if it were your company you could make these decisions. But it's not.
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Old 09-02-2007, 11:25 AM   #327
vstone
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The channel allotment is NOT system wide, each neighborhood has its own little cable system, with the head end telling the neighborhood controller what channels to carry and tellling the STB what freq/subchannel to tune to to get a particular channel.
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Old 09-02-2007, 03:33 PM   #328
bicker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiDefGator
And if it were your company you could make these decisions. But it's not.

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Old 09-02-2007, 04:33 PM   #329
lrhorer
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Read up, bud

Quote:
Originally Posted by skylab
1. No, they are going to sdv to make people pay to lease a cable box (and have the opportunity to peddle VOD and other garbage -- things they can't peddle to cablecard users).
That's completely false. It's true they do want to lease you a cable box, but it is completely false they won't be able to peddle the service to CableCard uses. Any device which will be CableCard 2.0 compatible will be able to get every service offered by SDV provided the manufacturer provided the host makes allowance for the service. VOD is right at the top of the list, and I seriously doubt any manufacturer would leave it out of their device's capabilities. One of the advantages of OCAP is it would pretty much guarantee the device would do so, but in my estimation this represents a silver lining to a potentially very large and dark cloud, rather than a sufficient argument to retain OCAP as part of CC 2.0

Note every single company which supplies Digital Terminals to CATV companies is converting their entire product line to CableCard devices. Some still use proprietary 2-Way systems, but they all are going to be CC 1.0 very soon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skylab
2. I don't care if cable uses sdv for two-way services. Great. Go all digital and do not put one-way programming on sdv.
The problem is many consumers want the 2-Way services on every channel. If the CATV companies only provide those services on certain channels, it will represent a very real counter-selling point for the satellite providers or competitor CATV companies where they are available.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skylab
3. As soon as there are 300 hd channels, use sdv. Until then, all digital will work just fine.
No, it won't.
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Old 09-02-2007, 10:00 PM   #330
routerman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeSchueller
Quit crying? There's a much easier solution to the problem - turn off analog! SDV is not the only way to add HD, it is just the most convenient way to continue to collect STB rental and pimp PPV to me. The sat-co's are subject to competition - thus they have consumer choice. Sat-co's also do not use public right-of-way's and public infrastructure. They are inherently private enterprises. Cable companies are granted monopoly status by gov't franchise authorities, and thus should be held to a higher standard of openness and consumer choice.

I see your point, but I respectfully disagree.
I agree that turning off analog would gain some HD channel space. I believe 2 HDs fit in the space of 1 analog. In Austin, TW has removed several analog channels (23 and 51) and put HD channels in their place. My guess is that they have to wait for contracts to expire before they drop and/or move a channel to digital. Maybe SDV is a way to offer lower viewed HD channels and the removal of analog is for the high viewed programming?

I fail to understand how SDV is the most convenient way for cable companies to continue to collect SDB fees? Wouldn't dropping analog channels be easier and also move more subscribers to STB's? The number of analog only customers has got to dwarf the Tivo S3, Tivo HD and cablecard customers. I would think that each analog channel dropped would generate more angry phone calls than all of the cable card customers combined.

It seems to me that putting lots of equipment near the customers home and maintaining this equipment has to be much more expensive than taking an analog signal and moving it to digital. In many cases, I think that many of these channels are already digital so all it might take is a swap out of equipment. My guess is that SDV is one of many ways the cable companies will be competing with satellite to provide more HD channels.
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