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post #151 of 869 Old 10-04-2007, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keenan View Post

I wonder what compression scheme they're talking about.

I would guess it's MPEG4 IPTV replacing MPEG2 SDV channels:
http://www.lightreading.com/document.asp?doc_id=132997
http://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=32796

Of course, that requires an MPEG4 equipped STB/DVR or iDCR HDTV.

FYI: DOCSIS Channel Bonding can also improve HD channel packing efficiency
by treating the capacity of three QAM-256 channels as one big pipe.
Three HD channels per QAM-256 are limited in how much capacity a STATMUX
can "steal" from only one or two channels to reallocate to the "busy" channel.
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post #152 of 869 Old 10-04-2007, 01:40 PM
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Thanks for the links.
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post #153 of 869 Old 10-28-2007, 11:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Comcast Picks Motorola for Switched Digital Video
No. 1 Cable Operator Has Been Testing Technology In Two Markets
By Todd Spangler -- Multichannel News, 10/25/2007 12:45:00 PM

Comcast has selected Motorola as a supplier for switched digital video, Motorola president and chief operating officer Greg Brown said on an earnings conference call with analysts Thursday.

A Motorola spokeswoman said no additional information on the Comcast deal was available.

Comcast has been testing switched digital video systems in two locations, Denver and New Jersey, over the past several months. The company expects to use Arris' edge quadrature amplitude modulation as part of its SDV deployments.

Switched digital video delivers linear TV channels only when a subscriber requests them, allowing operators to deliver more programming in less bandwidth assuming not every channel being switched will be viewed at any given time.

http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6494520.html
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post #154 of 869 Old 10-28-2007, 08:07 PM
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Time to kick Analog to the curb!
I hope Comcast rolls out SDV and DOCSIS 3.0 here sometime soon. More HD channels are always nice and I can only imagine how fast my internet will be, I already get 16mbps.
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post #155 of 869 Old 10-29-2007, 03:44 PM
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They can kick analog to the curb when they start handing out free STBs - digital TVs with QAM tuners do not get all of the channels that you're paying for now on analog.
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post #156 of 869 Old 01-07-2008, 06:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Moto Plants Seeds for MPEG-4
JANUARY 03, 2008

Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT - message board) kicked off the pre-Consumer Electronics Show (CES) hype Thursday by unveiling a new line of all-digital, MPEG-4-capable cable set-tops and an integrated gateway designed to pipe in both voice and data applications.

On the set-top front, Motorola unveiled the DCX series, featuring three models that can be interlinked through baked in Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) technology.

The top-of-the-line DCX3400 is a dual-tuner, hi-def digital video recorder "host" box that can serve as a "multimedia" hub for other set-tops hanging off the home's coax network.

MPEG-4 on board
Motorola likens the hybrid MPEG-2/MPEG-4 DCX3400 HD-DVR to a "multimedia" hub for other set-tops hanging off the home's coax-based network.

Other members of the new set-top family include the DCX3200, a single-tuner, high-definition set-top, and the DCX100, a single-tuner, standard-definition-only device. Although the DCX100 can access HD content stored on the DCX3400 using MoCA, it downconverts the signal to SD for display.

The new line, to become commercially available later this year, will also tune to 1 GHz and bond multiple downstream Docsis channels. While the Docsis component could pave the pay for niche, IP-based video services, the higher tuning capability will come in handy should more operators opt to upgrade to 1 GHz and use those new channels for HD and/or Docsis 3.0.

Motorola noted that the boxes will also support the OpenCable Platform, the Multi-stream CableCARD, and two-way applications such as switched digital video (SDV) and video-on-demand (VOD). The set-tops will handle HD signals up to 1080i, but will have "pass-through support" for 1080p, according to Rob Folk of Motorola's Home & Networks Mobility unit, who discussed the products Thursday during the company's pre-CES Web presentation.

Motorola has not disclosed pricing on any models in the DCX product line or any specific trials or deployments with cable operators.

Although MoCA presently is Motorola's exclusive choice for video home networking technology for the launch of the DCX line, the company is leaving its options open.

Motorola has also invested in 802.11n and done some work with HomePlug Powerline Alliance , as well, but, so far, MoCA is the most appropriate for shuttling hi-def content around the home, Folk explained.

He said software for the new set-top line is relatively agnostic regarding the types of physical connections allowed. Down the line, Motorola might consider a "complementary device" that could bridge MoCA to 802.11n, for example, and bring the PC into the networking equation.

Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), one of Motorola's largest cable customers, expects to begin "seeding" its footprint this year for multi-room DVR applications, but has yet to formally select a home networking scheme, though MoCA is considered the leading candidate.

Rapid move to MPEG-4?

The new boxes will support both legacy MPEG-2 and the more efficient MPEG-4 codec, but there are questions about how quickly MSOs will adopt the newer platform, which is billed to provide as much as a 50 percent bandwidth efficiency gain over MPEG-2.

Comcast, for example, is building out a new, improved compression scheme based on MPEG-2 rather than MPEG-4. However, plans for its "open" Residential Network Gateway (RNG) project calls for some models to support MPEG-4.

In a recent entry in Motorola's Media Experiences 2 Go blog, Corporate Vice President Geoff Roman predicted that "MPEG-2 standalone devices will have completely disappeared" by the latter part of 2009.

Meanwhile, the Digital Video Subcommittee of the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers , cable's standards body, recently approved a new standard that incorporates H.264/MPEG-4. (See MPEG-4 Here We Come! )

While that adds momentum for the advanced codec, a video engineer with a top five MSO told Cable Digital News not to expect MSOs to implement MPEG-4 very rapidly.

"It will be a slow adoption," the engineer says. "Our revenue streams are tied to the population of set-tops out there. MPEG-2-based services will be there for a long time."

Moreover, bandwidth constraints will probably prevent operators from simulcasting in MPEG-4. However, some operators may explore MPEG-4-based services that are tied to a specific box and an expanded tier of HDTV services, for example.

http://www.lightreading.com/document...42281&site=cdn
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post #157 of 869 Old 01-07-2008, 06:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Comcast Plots Multi-Room DVR
NOVEMBER 15, 2007

AUSTIN, Texas -- MoCA Technology Conference -- Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) plans to begin "seeding" its systems for multi-room digital video recording (DVR) applications in 2008, with the capability set to be offered in "select" markets by the third quarter of the year.

So says Comcast Chief Technology Officer Tony Werner, the opening keynoter here at the first ever Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) technology conference.

But despite being a founding member of MoCA, Comcast hasn't committed to using the technology developed by the alliance, which recently ratified a version of its home networking platform designed for throughput of up to 175 Mbit/s.

That lack of commitment to MoCA so far suggests that Comcast is still negotiating pricing and evaluating other schemes such as HomePNA and Ultrawideband.

The MSO is also still undecided about the eventual scale of its rollout. Werner said Comcast is still vetting the business case for a wide rollout of a home networking technology, a move that would include the cost of incorporating MoCA, or another home networking platform, into the set-top layer.

Werner wondered if, instead of investing in a technology such as MoCA, it would make more sense for Comcast to deploy "Start Over," a popular application championed in the U.S. by Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC - message board) that allows customers to restart some shows (those with copyright clearance) already in progress.

http://www.lightreading.com/document...39189&site=cdn
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post #158 of 869 Old 02-14-2008, 02:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Imagine Raises the Bandwidth Bar
JANUARY 14, 2008

LOS ANGELES -- The customer is always right.

That business axiom appeared to be in play Monday when Imagine Communications introduced a digital video processing platform designed to cram 50 percent more MPEG-2-based broadcast channels into a slice of 6 MHz cable spectrum. (See Imagine Unveils Platform.)

Imagine's ICE Broadcast System, introduced here at the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers Conference on Emerging Technologies, aims to pack three high-definition linear video networks or as many as 15 standard-definition networks into a single 6 MHz channel. Those improvements are boosted by a variable bit rate (VBR) video quality engine called the ICE-Q.

Imagine, founded in 2005, originally focused on bandwidth-conserving systems for video-on-demand (VOD) and switched digital video (SDV). "We've primary been associated with consumer-initiated streaming," says Marc Tayer, Imagine's senior vice president of marketing and business development.

But he says requests from customers caused Imagine to reprioritize to make a broadcast video solution its first available product.

It has undergone a range of tests with "major" cable operators in the last several months, the company says.

Imagine isn't saying who its customers are, but it's been long rumored that Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is front and center.

The MSO's chief technology officer, Tony Werner, alluded to such work last fall during a conference in Denver. He said Comcast planned to deploy "across the board" an "improved" compression scheme for its massive base of MPEG-2 digital set-tops. Werner did not talk about vendor partners, but did explain that Comcast was looking to improve bandwidth efficiency by 50 percent without affecting video quality. (See Comcast Ready to Reclaim Bandwidth.)

Comcast might use the Imagine system to free up room for more linear high-definition television channels and help it keep up with competitors such as DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV - message board), but the initial thrust of "Project Infinity," an initiative announced at last week's Consumer Electronics Show, centered on a much larger HD-VOD library. (See Comcast Launches 'Project Infinity'.)

Full article at:

http://www.lightreading.com/document...43076&site=cdn
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post #159 of 869 Old 02-14-2008, 02:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Comcast Spreads the Love
FEBRUARY 14, 2008

Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) will rely heavily on switched digital video (SDV) and analog reclamation initiatives to free up spectrum for gobs of high-definition television fare and the speedier Docsis 3.0 platform, executives said during today's earnings call.

As for HD, Comcast is staying true to its strategy to play up its expansion of high-def “choices,” offering some color on how many linear HDTV channels it plans to add this year.

The operator offers 25 to 30 linear HD channels in a typical system but expects to push that to 50 to 60 by year's end, Comcast COO Steve Burke said on the call. (See Comcast Adds Record 2.5M Subs in '07.)

He also reiterated that Comcast plans to offer more than 1,000 HD choices by the end of 2008, up from about 300 now -- a reflection of the Project Infinity initiative Comcast unveiled last month at the Consumer Electronics Show. (See Comcast Launches 'Project Infinity'.)
http://www.lightreading.com/document...42570&site=cdn

“We think we are more than holding our own,” Burke said of Comcast’s ability to keep up with competitive HD offerings. At last check, DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV - message board), claimed to offer more than 90 HD channels.

Comcast officials also affirmed plans to deploy the Docsis 3.0 architecture to 20 percent of its footprint by the end of the year. The base minimum configuration outlined by the CableLabs specs calls for the bonding of four downstream channels and four upstream channels. (See Comcast Closes In on 100 Mbit/s.)

“We’ll begin to offer [Docsis 3.0] to millions of our 48 million homes later this year,” Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts said.

Full article at:

http://www.lightreading.com/document...treading_gnews
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post #160 of 869 Old 03-24-2008, 07:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Not directly related to Comcast but an interesting article about how 16:9 screen information can be converted to 4:3 without any apparent distortion (and without cutting off the sides).


Aspect Ratio Conversion by "Seam Carving"


http://naob-advocacy.informz.net/nao...ive_71651.html
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post #161 of 869 Old 03-29-2008, 10:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Comcast to beef up network with new 100Gbps optics

By Eric Bangeman | Published: March 12, 2008 - 05:34PM CT

Today at the Internet Engineering Task Force meeting in Philadelphia, Comcast and Nortel announced a successful trial of a 100Gbps optical solution for its metro and long haul networks. Translated: the companies are using new Nortel gear to shuttle traffic over a 100Gbps wavelength that's also carrying live 10Gbps and 40Gbps links. That means more overhead for the traffic demands of high-def video and DOCSIS 3.0.

"Fundamentally, it's a significant technical achievement and technical milestone," John Schanz, Comcast executive VP of national engineering and technical operations, told Ars. "As we continue to expand our cross-platform video, voice and data services, we need these types of innovative technologies from vendors like Nortel to support the rapid growth of new applications and services that run over our network."

The announcement comes at an opportune time for Comcast, although the 100Gbps gear won't be deployed before the second half of 2009. The cable giant has been embroiled in controversy over its network management practices, with Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin saying that he expects to wrap up the FCC's probe in the next couple of months.

Although Schanz wasn't willing to discuss the implications of today's announcement for Comcast's traffic management practices, he did tell Ars that today's announcement is an important milestone for the company given its ambitious plans. "The key here is that this is a very important technology building block, the first of its kind," he said. "It's a monumental technical achievement that we're very proud of."

With Comcast's ambitious "Project Infinity" plan to offer over 1,000 high-definition video choices as well as its intention to get 100Mbps connections to some of its customers by year end, the company is going to need every shred of bandwidth it can get. Schanz believes that Nortel's solution will enable Comcast to easily upgrade its capacity with relatively small hardware upgrades at the end of its networks.

Should the 100Gbps gear work as advertised, it could undermine some of AT&T's recent trash talking about cable network capacity. At a forum hosted by Merrill Lynch last month, an AT&T executive derided the actual speeds the company observed during its testing of cable connections in over 100 homes. Telecom Operations Group president John Stankey said the average throughput from the unnamed cable ISP(s) was around 400kbps, far short of the advertised level. The low speeds are "because they're traversing other parts of the network that ultimately throttle or manage the throughput," Stankey said at the forum. "There are other components in the network that dictate the level of speed and performance the customer gets."

Schanz wasn't aware of Stankey's comments, but said that Comcast's end-to-end network was one any ISP should be proud of. That may be a debatable assertion at this point, but bringing the near 100Gbps gear online by the end of 2009 will definitely give Comcast's fiber backbone some serious stiffening.
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post...ps-optics.html
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post #162 of 869 Old 03-30-2008, 04:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Although Comcast has not announce a commitment for these boxes this (or something like it) is probably the next boxes cable will employ.

Motorola Delivers Enhanced Viewing Experiences and More HD Content with Next-Generation DVR Set-Tops

DCX series is Motorola's first MPEG-4 set-top for the cable industry; enabling on-demand and interactive digital cable programming in the home

HORSHAM, PA - 3 January 2008 - As the cable industry prepares to deliver increasing amounts of high definition (HD) content, Motorola, Inc. (NYSE: MOT) today announced a new generation of MPEG-4 advanced video compression set-tops that reinforce the company's leadership position in the digital video market. Showcased at booth #8545 (Central Hall) at the International Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the DCX series is packed with technology that enables cablecos to bring more content to consumers today, while bridging the gap to the integrated applications and services of tomorrow.

The DCX high-definition set-tops are loaded with features including HD video and surround sound audio capabilities, designed to deliver a superior digital cable viewing experience. TV viewers at home are able to enjoy advanced video services such as whole home DVR while the generous hard drives make it possible to time shift TV shows and store customer-created multimedia content. This stored content can then be shared with other compatible devices in the home, using the DCX as a multimedia hub.

Based on more than 20 years of technology innovation in the video industry, Motorola's DCX product line will allow consumers to enjoy the latest video services at home, said John Burke, senior vice president and general manager for Motorola's Digital Video Solutions group. The Motorola DCX series brings today's applications to life with the capacity to host new applications in the future and enables cable companies to effectively manage the transition from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4.

The DCX series fully supports the growing consumer demand for HD programming and the increasing deployment of high-bandwidth applications with HD decode capabilities and MPEG-4 advanced video compression (AVC) support. In addition, as these next generation DCX set-tops combine MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 technologies, cablecos are able to maximize their investment in technologies today while transitioning to MPEG-4.

Enhanced future-proof features for operators:

* 1 Gigahertz tuners - that enable operators to expand the number of available channels to deliver increased content for consumers
* DOCSIS® downstream channel bonding and fast IP connection to handle future services
* Support for the full range of interactive applications including SDV and VOD
* Choice of software solutions based on legacy software and OCAPTM, enabling operators to preserve investment in deployed applications while facilitating a transition to a new platform with enhanced interactive applications
* Support for MoCA, HTML, DOCSIS, MCardTM, OCAP, Dolby® Digital Plus


Enhanced features for Cable customers:

* Support for the latest audio technologies including Dolby Digital Plus (multitrack audio)
* All products available with integrated home MoCA capabilities to enable a whole home DVR experience
* MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 capable


The all-digital, MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) series includes:

* DCX3400 - dual-tuner, high-definition DVR host set-top
* DCX3200 - single-tuner, high-definition host set-top
* DCX100 - single-tuner, standard-definition (HD in /SD out) host set-top


The world leader in digital set-tops, Motorola shipped more than 65 million set- tops cumulatively through the third quarter of 2007. The DCX product line is scheduled for deployment in the third quarter of 2008.

http://www.motorola.com/mediacenter/...eLocaleId=2026
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post #163 of 869 Old 05-01-2008, 05:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Comcast Confirms Digital Dongle Project
MAY 01, 2008

Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) confirmed Thursday that it is developing an inexpensive digital-to-analog adapter that will be used to help the MSO push ahead with an all-digital strategy slated to get underway later this year. Cable Digital News was the first to reveal details about the MSO's Digital Terminal Adapter (DTA) project in February. (See Comcast Pursuing $35 Digital Dongle.)

Steve Burke, the president of Comcast's cable division, served up a few details on the forthcoming DTA device this morning during the MSO's first quarter results conference call. (See Comcast Reports Q1.)

He said the MSO expects to begin relying on the DTA by the fourth quarter of 2008, noting that it will cost less than the most inexpensive CableCARD-based set-top Comcast deploys today. Burke did not discuss specific pricing, but sources have told Cable Digital News that Comcast is shooting for a target of $35 per unit. It's also believed that Comcast is looking to order about 25 million DTAs, so, based on volumes, it's conceivable that the MSO could hit its price goal.

As described by Burke, the DTA will be a simple digital-to-analog converter box. To keep costs down, the device will be one-way, meaning it won't be able to handle video-on-demand or any channels offered via switched digital video. It also won't support Comcast's interactive program guide or premium cable programming such as HBO.

Burke suggested that the DTA would be used to support existing analog-only customers or as an inexpensive way to feed digital broadcast channels to less frequently used cable outlets, such as a third outlet in a customer's kitchen. Likewise, Comcast will continue deploying two-way digital boxes to customers that want them.

Comcast is expected to deploy DTAs aggressively in pursuit of a plan to recapture valuable analog spectrum by migrating about 20 percent of its footprint to all-digital during the back half of 2008. Although Comcast refers to this strategy as "all-digital," the MSO is expected to continue delivering a small basic analog lineup of about 30 channels. But the migration should allow it to recapture upwards of 40 analog channels, which can be reused for new high-definition channels and video-on-demand (VOD) servcies. Those freed-up channels can also be used to support Comcast's Docsis 3.0 rollouts.

http://www.lightreading.com/document...52618&site=cdn
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post #164 of 869 Old 05-01-2008, 06:04 PM
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Strategy,what strategy? More vaporware to keep the stock from stinking, when I see it ill believe it!
All this by the end of 08, and the device has not been developed, manufactured, tested, or deployed,
Not to mention any transition time that will be needed. How many years have we heard this?

Basically this is a con, no box will ever be made for $35 or even $350 to do this. What is involved is more complicated than a simple 10" x 10" box on the outside of each home. If they had fiber to home then it would be a different story.

Comast would be better off setting up 18 ATSC modulations at each headend and doing 4 to 1 compression on their 72 SD basic cable channels which could then be tuned utilizing ATSC tuners that will be in everyone's home by 2/09. (patent pending)

Either the execs are stupid or banking on the shareholders to be, or both.
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post #165 of 869 Old 05-02-2008, 04:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by satpro View Post

Basically this is a con, no box will ever be made for $35 or even $350 to do this.

Want to bet?

'Better Living Through Modern, Expensive, Electronic Devices'

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post #166 of 869 Old 05-02-2008, 05:33 AM
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Well, in the end basic is basic.. doesn't matter what you call it really... they are just gettting that bandwidth back. and replacing the basic channels with a digital signal..

Oh, and to muck the issue up a bit more, we now have switched digital video.
Basically the box asks for the channel and the bits are sent to that box directly
on demand.. This can save bandwidth as well, but has to be carefully managed
and used on less popular channels, because if you get "too much on demand
usage" you can actually use more bandwidth with switched digital video for a
specific channel than actually broadcasting it to everyone.

John
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post #167 of 869 Old 05-02-2008, 07:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnied View Post

Well, in the end basic is basic.. doesn't matter what you call it really... they are just gettting that bandwidth back. and replacing the basic channels with a digital signal..

Oh, and to muck the issue up a bit more, we now have switched digital video.
Basically the box asks for the channel and the bits are sent to that box directly
on demand.. This can save bandwidth as well, but has to be carefully managed
and used on less popular channels, because if you get "too much on demand
usage" you can actually use more bandwidth with switched digital video for a
specific channel than actually broadcasting it to everyone.

John

With switched video the channels is sent to that node on demand. A node can be several hundred houses. If that one channel is popular the system will not have any additional overhead supplying everyone on the node. There would be problems if everyone on that node chose a different switched video channel.
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post #168 of 869 Old 05-02-2008, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by satpro View Post

Comast would be better off setting up 18 ATSC modulations at each headend and doing 4 to 1 compression on their 72 SD basic cable channels which could then be tuned utilizing ATSC tuners that will be in everyone's home by 2/09.

Oh sorry, that won't work since cable has been busy running adds telling everyone not to worry about the 2/9 transition and dont worry about getting the CECB boxes they are entitled to. So much for that plan or a backup plan for anyone on cable whenever it goes out.
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post #169 of 869 Old 05-03-2008, 10:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by satpro View Post

Basically this is a con, no box will ever be made for $35 or even $350 to do this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

Want to bet?

Ken, mysterious, as usual.
Can you tell us a bit more?
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post #170 of 869 Old 05-06-2008, 06:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Comcast's 30-to-1 Odds
MAY 05, 2008

The Bauminator recently reported on Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s planned digital terminal adapter (DTA) deployment. (See Comcast Confirms Digital Dongle Project.)

The devices are a key ingredient in the MSO's plan to migrate 20 percent of the homes in its footprint to all-digital television service by the end of 2008. In parallel, Comcast also revealed plans to deploy super-fast Docsis 3.0 Internet service to up to 20 percent of its homes this year. (See Comcast Enters the Wideband Era and Controlling Doc$is 3.0 .) Now, guess what percentage of Comcast's homes will be marketed for Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ - message board)'s FiOS service by the end of the decade? That would be 20 percent, of course. Might we be looking at the core of Comcast's FiOS-fighting strategy here?

Verizon's FiOS is generally viewed as a veritable horseman of the cable apocalypse. In the end, however, it may turn out to be more of a corpulent, flatulent bovine than a swift, powerful war steed (pardon the over-the-top barnyard allusions).

As explained by Comcast COO and cable division president Steve Burke back in February, the MSO's all-digital maneuvers are expected to free up 40 analog channels. (See Comcast Spreads the Love .) For bandwidth watchers, that equals 1.6 Gbit/s -- a massive amount of downstream capacity that can be used for high-definition television (HDTV), video on demand (VOD), and broadband Internet applications.

And how much will Comcast have to pay to unearth one and a half Gigs on its network? According to my back-of-the-napkin math, it could be as little as $29 per home passed. Compare that to the more than $1,000 per home passed Verizon is spending to deploy FiOS.

Here's how we get to the $29 figure for Comcast. The MSO currently serves 49.9 million homes. Of those, 49.5 percent subscribe to basic cable TV service, and of that group, 65 percent take digital service. So, a 20 percent slice of Comcast's footprint covers just under 10 million homes. Applying the above video penetration rates yields a total of 4.9 million cable TV subscribers. Of this universe, 65 percent already take digital service.

For argument's sake, however, we'll assume that 40 percent of these digital subscribers still have at least one TV connected to analog service and will need a DTA. The number of analog-only customers left to migrate to digital is 1.7 million. Assuming they own an average of 2.25 televisions per home, all told, we're talking about 5.1 million DTAs.

The Bauminator reported that Comcast is seeking a $35 price point for DTAs. Let's assume however, that the MSO actually pays an average loaded cost of $55 per DTA, including any installation and digital headend charges. The cost for Comcast to access 1.6 Gbit/s for 10 million homes? A paltry $285 million, or $28.58 per home passed.


Table 1: Comcast All-Digital Transition Costs

Homes passed (HP) 49,902,000
Basic subs 24,691,000
Digital cable subs 16,015,000
% of HP going all-digital (AD) 20%
All-digital homes passed (ADHP) 9,980,400
Basic subs in ADHP 4,938,200
Digital cable subs in ADHP 3,203,000
Analog subs in ADHP 1,735,200
Average TVs per home 2.25
DTAs needed 5,185,400
Weighted DTA cost per sub $55
All-digital cost $285,197,000
Avg. cost per home passed $28.58

Source: Cable Digital News analysis

Do you think one of these competitors might enjoy a significant economic advantage? If the more the more than 30-to-1 cost advantage enjoyed by Comcast didn't convince you, perhaps the news that Verizon is already starting to raise FiOS service prices will seal the deal. (See Verizon to Raise Prices, Cut Jobs.).

Also, consider Comcast's continued momentum in residential telephone and broadband Internet services. In the first quarter, Comcast added 639,000 telephone and 492,000 Internet customers, beating Wall Street's expectations. (See High-Speed Internet Drives Comcast's Q1.) For its part, Verizon lost 726,000 residential lines and only added 263,000 FiOS TV and 262,000 FiOS Internet customers. In the wake of the hemorrhaging, Verizon said it would shed 10,000 jobs. Comcast, on the other hand, has added 15,000 jobs over the past 15 months to keep up with new service demand.

Increasingly, in this horse race, Comcast is looking like the thoroughbred.

Michael Harris, Chief Analyst, Cable Digital News

http://www.lightreading.com/document.asp?doc_id=152873
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post #171 of 869 Old 05-06-2008, 06:28 PM
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Would Comcast have done ANY of this if it wasn't for competition?

DirecTV made Comcast squeeze in HDTV.

Fios is making Comcast increase bandwidth, overall.

If it wasn't for competition I'd still have 4 HD channels, analog channels below 99, 80% of sound in the right stereo channel, and the left & right stereo channels on the wrong sides.

Oh, don't forget doubling of the volume for Comcast local commercials on cable channels.

Plus, imagine the price increases without competition. They already increased the Twin Cities twice in a year.

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post #172 of 869 Old 05-07-2008, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by PaulGo View Post

Comcast's 30-to-1 Odds
Table 1: Comcast All-Digital Transition Costs

Homes passed (HP) 49,902,000
Basic subs 24,691,000
Digital cable subs 16,015,000
% of HP going all-digital (AD) 20%
All-digital homes passed (ADHP) 9,980,400
Basic subs in ADHP 4,938,200
Digital cable subs in ADHP 3,203,000
Analog subs in ADHP 1,735,200
Average TVs per home 2.25
DTAs needed 5,185,400
Weighted DTA cost per sub $55
All-digital cost $285,197,000
Avg. cost per home passed $28.58

I don't quite understand where they are getting the 5,185,400 DTA's needed. There's only 1,735,200 analog subs, plus 3,203,000 Digital subs who may have 1.5 additional TV's (avg) who are on analog only. That's 4938200 DTA's, not 5185400. The DTA should be one per house correct, hence the super low cost per home passed figure.

I take it the box has an input and an output. The all digital cable system comes into a splitter, where one leg goes to a splitter matrix with all of your digital set tops, DVR's, cable modem/eMTA, etc. The other leg goes to this DTA, which then generates up to a 77 channel NTSC analog output at around +15 dBmV. The output of the DTA can be fed into a splitter network that runs to all of the analog only TV's. Or in the case of a basic subscriber, that first splitter wouldn't be necessary, as they most likely don't need to split off before insertion of the analog for digital or data services.
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I think the difference is additional televisions in analog-only homes.
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post #174 of 869 Old 05-07-2008, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by cypherstream View Post

I don't quite understand where they are getting the 5,185,400 DTA's needed. There's only 1,735,200 analog subs, plus 3,203,000 Digital subs who may have 1.5 additional TV's (avg) who are on analog only. That's 4938200 DTA's, not 5185400. The DTA should be one per house correct, hence the super low cost per home passed figure.

I take it the box has an input and an output. The all digital cable system comes into a splitter, where one leg goes to a splitter matrix with all of your digital set tops, DVR's, cable modem/eMTA, etc. The other leg goes to this DTA, which then generates up to a 77 channel NTSC analog output at around +15 dBmV. The output of the DTA can be fed into a splitter network that runs to all of the analog only TV's. Or in the case of a basic subscriber, that first splitter wouldn't be necessary, as they most likely don't need to split off before insertion of the analog for digital or data services.

i believe the author figures one per analog tv.

and thinking about it- he's probably right.

if you did it at the entrance to the house (which is certianly possible)- you would "expand" a few digital channels back into tens of analog channels- those tens of analog channels would interfere with the digital stuff that had taken their place on the way to the house. So unless the home is ALL analog- and intends to stay all analog forever you would want one per tv.


example- they take analog channels 1 to 40 and recreate them digitally on digital channel's 1,2,3,4. Then they would reuse channels 5 to 40 for digital content. You couldn't then just take the digtial 1,2,3,4 and put them on the line in the house as analog 1-40 becasue then you would have to wipe digital channels 5-50 off the line- and they might have another 300 analog or 100 HD or even phone or boradband in that place.

(made up channel numbers and all to keep it simple- the logic about reusing the channel slices is the important part there)
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post #175 of 869 Old 05-07-2008, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelk View Post

i believe the author figures one per analog tv.

and thinking about it- he's probably right.

if you did it at the entrance to the house (which is certianly possible)- you would "expand" a few digital channels back into tens of analog channels- those tens of analog channels would interfere with the digital stuff that had taken their place on the way to the house. So unless the home is ALL analog- and intends to stay all analog forever you would want one per tv.


example- they take analog channels 1 to 40 and recreate them digitally on digital channel's 1,2,3,4. Then they would reuse channels 5 to 40 for digital content. You couldn't then just take the digtial 1,2,3,4 and put them on the line in the house as analog 1-40 becasue then you would have to wipe digital channels 5-50 off the line- and they might have another 300 analog or 100 HD or even phone or boradband in that place.

(made up channel numbers and all to keep it simple- the logic about reusing the channel slices is the important part there)

Acually this is why I said you would split the CATV when it first enters the house. One leg would go to a splitter matrix which would connect all of your "ALL DIGITAL" set tops and modems, etc..
The other leg would go to this dongle. The dongle's output would be 54-550 MHz analog signals, which would be split to ONLY outlets containing analog TV's.

I originally had in mind this type of device.... a home gateway or have you... similar to a Fios ONT, but instead of fiber optic in, it's coax in... and the dual coax out shows that one leg is basically the all digital untouched pass-through, while the other leg is 54-550 MHz analog NTSC sent ONLY to analog TV's.
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post #176 of 869 Old 05-07-2008, 04:47 PM - Thread Starter
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In most locations it would not work since a house or apartment is not wired for this type of split. The devuce looks like it should go in back of an existing analog set.
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post #177 of 869 Old 05-08-2008, 07:19 AM
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In most locations it would not work since a house or apartment is not wired for this type of split. The devuce looks like it should go in back of an existing analog set.

Well if everything is home run to one spot, a whole house solution shouldn't be a problem, as long as the output levels are decent enough to be split multiple ways. Now it's those real old antiquated loop through systems with dc taps that wouldn't work. That would have to be completely reworked to handle both analog and digital... but it wouldn't be a problem if the apartment was ALL analog, OR ALL digital.

Having a box per TV sounds useless. People don't want a box per TV, they don't care if its as small as a DCT-700.... sometimes you just have no where to put a box for an under kitchen counter LCD TV, or Small Garage TV, etc... Yet alone finding another power outlet for the thing. A whole house solution seems better, as you only have to purchase and install ONE, and keep it either outside at the demarc, in a basement, garage, or utility closet.

Can't wait to see what they come up with though. I know our 750 MHz system only has 3 open QAM channels from 2-118. I'm not sure how far they will push past 750 MHz... I know some have no issues pushing to channel 120... but the point is were nearing the ceiling for bandwidth. If they could give the analog the axe, that would fix the problem.
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post #178 of 869 Old 05-08-2008, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cypherstream View Post

Well if everything is home run to one spot, a whole house solution shouldn't be a problem, as long as the output levels are decent enough to be split multiple ways. Now it's those real old antiquated loop through systems with dc taps that wouldn't work. That would have to be completely reworked to handle both analog and digital... but it wouldn't be a problem if the apartment was ALL analog, OR ALL digital.

Having a box per TV sounds useless. People don't want a box per TV, they don't care if its as small as a DCT-700.... sometimes you just have no where to put a box for an under kitchen counter LCD TV, or Small Garage TV, etc... Yet alone finding another power outlet for the thing. A whole house solution seems better, as you only have to purchase and install ONE, and keep it either outside at the demarc, in a basement, garage, or utility closet.

Can't wait to see what they come up with though. I know our 750 MHz system only has 3 open QAM channels from 2-118. I'm not sure how far they will push past 750 MHz... I know some have no issues pushing to channel 120... but the point is were nearing the ceiling for bandwidth. If they could give the analog the axe, that would fix the problem.

I’ve seen earlier mentions of things to be a “gateway device” but besides the people posting here what percentage of average Joe houses do you think use home runs instead of plain old daisy chains with splitters? So I’m not seeing how you could put back the first 40 channels in analog on the entire house without a problem in many houses.

Comcast wants/needs to be simple- they don’t want to be rewiring the whole house just to go all digital. It’s just like DBS is moving towards single wire systems that can handle splitters instead of home runs to a multi switch. A large portion of places are already wired that way. It’s probably cheaper for them to just put boxes everywhere for free rather than rewire a good portion of the houses.

Of course it’s best to be able to do a whole house- but if it involves rewiring half the houses then it’s better to go to each tv.

But like you say it will be interesting to see how they do it- there certainly is something of a downside if it’s per tv.

Maybe they plan to deploy it alongside 1,000mhz boxes. So they could use it on 750mhz systems? You could have it jack the whole 750mhz up 250mhz and then put the analog back underneath it….. One converter per house at the demarc and 1ghz digital boxes inside?

Maybe for all analog houses you would make it whole house but for people that have a split they try to talk you into a digital box for the spare sets and if you don’t go for it they give you a unit for each tv that needs analog only?

Someplace they called the thing a “dongle” maybe they have it figured out to be small enough to just fit in line on the coax- so it’s like a wall wart at the cable outlet or on the back of the tv- as far as finding it an AC outlet- make it like all the various cable boxes where there is an AC outlet on it (wouldn’t need to be switched lime many of those are).
There’s got to be some wild stuff going on to decode 40 digital channels and then modulate them into 40 ntsc channels- I’d guess it would need to be big and would run pretty hot but who knows maybe they have some crazy deck of cards sized thingie in a lab….
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post #179 of 869 Old 05-08-2008, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelk View Post

I've seen earlier mentions of things to be a gateway device but besides the people posting here what percentage of average Joe houses do you think use home runs instead of plain old daisy chains with splitters? So I'm not seeing how you could put back the first 40 channels in analog on the entire house without a problem in many houses.

Comcast wants/needs to be simple- they don't want to be rewiring the whole house just to go all digital. It's just like DBS is moving towards single wire systems that can handle splitters instead of home runs to a multi switch. A large portion of places are already wired that way. It's probably cheaper for them to just put boxes everywhere for free rather than rewire a good portion of the houses.

Of course it's best to be able to do a whole house- but if it involves rewiring half the houses then it's better to go to each tv.

But like you say it will be interesting to see how they do it- there certainly is something of a downside if it's per tv.

Maybe they plan to deploy it alongside 1,000mhz boxes. So they could use it on 750mhz systems? You could have it jack the whole 750mhz up 250mhz and then put the analog back underneath it.. One converter per house at the demarc and 1ghz digital boxes inside?

Maybe for all analog houses you would make it whole house but for people that have a split they try to talk you into a digital box for the spare sets and if you don't go for it they give you a unit for each tv that needs analog only?

Someplace they called the thing a dongle maybe they have it figured out to be small enough to just fit in line on the coax- so it's like a wall wart at the cable outlet or on the back of the tv- as far as finding it an AC outlet- make it like all the various cable boxes where there is an AC outlet on it (wouldn't need to be switched lime many of those are).
There's got to be some wild stuff going on to decode 40 digital channels and then modulate them into 40 ntsc channels- I'd guess it would need to be big and would run pretty hot but who knows maybe they have some crazy deck of cards sized thingie in a lab.

Well I guess the local area policies vary by system... but every house, both Comcast and Service Electric Cablevision, that I've been too in this remote area all have home runs. Either the splitters outside in a grey box, or it's in a basement or garage, crawlspace, attic, or right next to the electrical panel (wherever that may be). Even when I lived in an apartment, the splitters were outside in a grey catv box, and off of that 3 way inside came a line that entered under a window in bedroom 1, a seperate 'home run' line that ran to bedroom 2, and a third 'home run' line that ran to the living room.

It does seem like a major task to pull in 40-70 digital channels and remodulate them as NTSC. That's why I think that it would need to be in an Fios sized ONT style box either outside at demarc by the electric meter, or inside. But hey, you never know.... computers used to take up entire rooms, and yet now I have a handheld PDA thats more powerful than anything anyone's imagined back in the 60s,70s,80s,and even 90s. Even if its the size of a cigarette box (which would be simply AMAZING), one per TV still sucks if you have some kind of embedded LCD TV in a kitchen counter, fridge, bathroom wall in front of a jacuzzi, etc... I guess it could be installed further down the line from that sort of embedded system as long as theres some kind of access.

Though you prove an interesting point that they are calling this device a 'dongle'. A dongle is normally a really small adapter of some sort, so maybe it would only be the size of a plug in transformer wall wart, or cigarette box. The frequency shifting off of a 1 GHz system however would require a plant upgrade to 1 GHz, and that costs way more than $30-$70 per home passed (not to mention it takes a lot of time). I do wonder however, if some sort of wideband spectrum overlay can be inserted on top of the pre-existing bandwidth, and this device simply tunes it and downconverts it to 54-550 MHz or so. I'm not sure what technology would be cheapest... no solution sounds cheap, but maybe they made some sort of microprocessor breakthrough. All I know is that I can't wait to see what comes out of the lab and into the real world.
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post #180 of 869 Old 05-08-2008, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cypherstream View Post

It does seem like a major task to pull in 40-70 digital channels and remodulate them as NTSC. That's why I think that it would need to be in an Fios sized ONT

Fios does not remodulate, because they have fiber to the premises they do a conversion from optical to electrical, this is a thousand times cheaper and simpler to do than what comcast is TALKING about, They have coax to the premise and thus need to demodulate, demux, decode each qam channel, convert it to analog and then modulate each channel onto its own ntsc analog carrier freq. A completely impractical task that has never been done before and never will be done for even $3500. Basically they are proposing to fit an entire row of equipment racks at the headend into this magic little box all for $35 dollars. Good luck with that comcast! If it works satellite and ota wont be far behind. But it won't!
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