Comcast Technology Topic - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 1Likes
Reply
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 869 Old 05-23-2005, 06:47 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Special Member
 
PaulGo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: North Potomac, MD
Posts: 3,625
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Liked: 18
Comcast picks Calaveras to try new technology

By Vanessa Turner
Sunday, May 22, 2005 5:55 PM CDT

Calaveras County Comcast Cable customers will soon be the first group in the country to experience the cable company's new all-digital technology.

Comcast will be contacting its "expanded basic" and "digital service" customers in Wallace, San Andreas, Valley Springs and Mokelumne Hill to schedule a visit to come out and install a new box, which houses the new technology.

Basic cable customers will not be affected.

The new box is about the size of a cigar box and brings new services, which include Comcast On Demand, a video on demand service with a new children's network and improved parental controls, according to Comcast representative Susan Gonzales. Eighty percent of the content is free.

Gonzales is working on getting the word out about the trial. There are 7,100 customers in the county, of which 2,000 will be affected.

But also, Comcast digital customers in Calaveras County that are outside the trial area will be given Comcast On Demand by the end of summer.

"Every customer is getting some new service," Farrell Moseley, Comcast Central Valley manager, said.

Trial implementation is set to begin on or after July 5 and will be complete by fall 2005.

Calaveras County was selected by the company for a test run because of its demographics, according to Moseley.

"Calaveras beat out Half Moon Bay," Moseley said. "Calaveras has a good cross section of the nation. Also, there's a large interest in advanced services."

Moseley also said that Calaveras has strong leadership in its county supervisors and citizens.

Comcast laid the groundwork for carrying the new technology back in 2003 after taking over AT&T's cable operations in 2002. It upgraded the cable system to a larger bandwidth to accommodate the additional services it wanted to bring into the area.

Those services, aside from Comcast on Demand, are high definition television (HDTV) and digital video recording, which will be available for customers in the trial area for $9.95.

What this means for customers in the affected areas, is they need the new technology to continue receiving Comcast Cable, Gonzales said. There's no additional charge but customers need to convert or they will be watching "snow."

"Expanded basic" and "digital service" customers in the affected areas will receive up to three boxes for free. Beyond that, there would be a $1.99 per month charge.

Once the new technology is installed, Comcast will conduct customer surveys to rate their satisfaction. The company will then determine the best way to offer its expanded services to other customers in Calaveras.

A demonstration van will be touring Valley Springs June 2 displaying the Comcast on Demand service.
PaulGo is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 869 Old 06-27-2005, 05:19 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Special Member
 
PaulGo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: North Potomac, MD
Posts: 3,625
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Liked: 18
Has Comcast announced this type of test in any other part of the country?
PaulGo is offline  
post #3 of 869 Old 06-27-2005, 05:23 PM
AVS Special Member
 
miniz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Small Town X, HDTV Land
Posts: 2,267
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Why can't Time Warner do this!

"PLEASE HELP STOP HDTV ABUSE! FEED YOUR HDTV AN HD SIGNAL!"
miniz is offline  
post #4 of 869 Old 06-27-2005, 05:37 PM
AVS Special Member
 
inky blacks's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 2,787
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Will it be 280 lines of resolution like other Comcast "digital?"

IB
inky blacks is offline  
post #5 of 869 Old 06-28-2005, 12:59 PM
AVS Club Gold
 
Keenan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Posts: 28,196
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 298 Post(s)
Liked: 377
I'm told this is the STB being used in Calaveras County, CA. The Motorola DCT700



Data Sheet----
http://broadband.motorola.com/consum...ads/DCT700.pdf
DCT700.pdf (application/pdf Object)

User Guide----
http://broadband.motorola.com/consum...User_Guide.pdf
DCT700_User_Guide.pdf (application/pdf Object)
Keenan is online now  
post #6 of 869 Old 06-28-2005, 01:10 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Alan Gordon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Dawson, Georgia
Posts: 2,142
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulGo View Post

Comcast laid the groundwork for carrying the new technology back in 2003 after taking over AT&T's cable operations in 2002. It upgraded the cable system to a larger bandwidth to accommodate the additional services it wanted to bring into the area.

I'm sorry, I know this is a bit off-topic, but does this mean that Comcast took over AT&T's service in this county, or did Comcast take over ALL of AT&T's cable operation?!

~Alan

DirecTV SUBSCRIBER since 1995!
All comments are my own. Unless specifically stated, my views do NOT represent the views
of Alan Gordon, Alan Gordon Enterprises, Alan Gordon, Inc., or Alan Gordon Amalgamated.
Alan Gordon is offline  
post #7 of 869 Old 06-28-2005, 02:00 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Special Member
 
PaulGo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: North Potomac, MD
Posts: 3,625
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Liked: 18
Keenan - thanks for the information on the DCT700. It looks like a great device that will allow cable to reclaim the bandwidth it needs to display many more HD channels.

Allan Gordon - I believe Time Warner and Comcast divided up the AT&T service.
PaulGo is offline  
post #8 of 869 Old 06-28-2005, 03:59 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
John Mason's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 10,607
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Liked: 16
Seems to be a case of a local reporter over-hyping a fairly common cable development: duplicating analog cable channels in the digital format and adding services such as video on demand. Some call it digital simulcast, which fuzzes up the concept IMO. Time Warner in NYC did this several years ago, and other systems have also. Vaguely recall a West Coast Comcast system doing this a while back. At 8-10 channels per 6-MHz slot, normally used for one analog channel, the 'simulcast' conversion doesn't require much bandwidth, although VOD and other services do.

A really remarkable new service, switched broadcasting , which could theoretically deliver all the TV channels in the world, is apparently slated for introduction soon. -- John
John Mason is offline  
post #9 of 869 Old 06-28-2005, 05:06 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Special Member
 
PaulGo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: North Potomac, MD
Posts: 3,625
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Liked: 18
From what I read in your references to switched broadcasting is like VOD and will require two way cable communication. The new sets that are cable ready only have one way communication. You will still need a cheap box like the DCT700 to allow a switched network for everyone (also you would need a box such as this for all the analog TVs). Another plus if cable gives everyone a "free" box is they could go to a higher compression technology such as mpeg4.
PaulGo is offline  
post #10 of 869 Old 06-29-2005, 07:57 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
John Mason's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 10,607
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Liked: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulGo View Post

From what I read in your references to switched broadcasting is like VOD and will require two way cable communication. The new sets that are cable ready only have one way communication. You will still need a cheap box like the DCT700 to allow a switched network for everyone (also you would need a box such as this for all the analog TVs). Another plus if cable gives everyone a "free" box is they could go to a higher compression technology such as mpeg4.

The references on switched broadcasting (SB) point out that it can be used on smaller-capacity cable system (750-MHz etc.). Current cable delivery could continue, so those not wanting to rent a cable box for SB needn't, and analog cable, which really hogs cable bandwidth, could continue, too. Many analog subscribers use a direct set input without an analog cable box. BTW, I'd be surprised if some of the new/upcoming digital cable specifications didn't allow for two-way subscriber/head-end communications via something like a cable-card setup. Notice this small telco system is introducing all-MPEG-4 delivery. -- John
John Mason is offline  
post #11 of 869 Old 06-29-2005, 02:12 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Special Member
 
PaulGo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: North Potomac, MD
Posts: 3,625
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Liked: 18
Comcast has announced in my area that they want to go to an all digital system. I believe the primary goal of Comcast nationwide is to eventuly eliminate all analog signals and provide converters to those who have analog sets.
PaulGo is offline  
post #12 of 869 Old 07-03-2005, 07:38 PM
hjw
Advanced Member
 
hjw's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Texas
Posts: 621
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
The reason we have Comcast Cable instead of Satellite is because of the simplicity of connecting the analog cable to all of our TV's, VCR's, and the DVD/HDD Recorder in the house (we receive our HD OTA).

If Comcast eliminates analog on their cable system, we will probably leave Comcast (who seems to be constantly raising their prices), and switch to satellite. We may also leave Comcast as our internet provider, and switch to DSL since our internet reliability has been intermittent.

Bottom line: Comcast drops analog. We probably drop Comcast.
hjw is offline  
post #13 of 869 Old 07-03-2005, 11:07 PM
AVS Club Gold
 
Keenan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Posts: 28,196
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 298 Post(s)
Liked: 377
Quote:
Originally Posted by hjw View Post

The reason we have Comcast Cable instead of Satellite is because of the simplicity of connecting the analog cable to all of our TV's, VCR's, and the DVD/HDD Recorder in the house (we receive our HD OTA).

If Comcast eliminates analog on their cable system, we will probably leave Comcast (who seems to be constantly raising their prices), and switch to satellite. We may also leave Comcast as our internet provider, and switch to DSL since our internet reliability has been intermittent.

Bottom line: Comcast drops analog. We probably drop Comcast.

Comcast is not going to drop analog for a long time, it's roughly 65-70% of their subscriber base. If they do implement all-digital systems, they will most likely provide digital-to-analog converter boxes. There's an FCC mandate that all local channels are to be provided in the clear, so if that means a converter box at every navigation device, or a box that down-converts before the cable comes into your residence, then that's what they'll do.

Besides, if you go satellite, you'll need an STB at every TV, VCR, whatever, anyway since it's 100% digital already.
Keenan is online now  
post #14 of 869 Old 07-04-2005, 07:45 AM
AVS Special Member
 
jacmyoung's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 4,460
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mason View Post

Seems to be a case of a local reporter over-hyping a fairly common cable development: duplicating analog cable channels in the digital format and adding services such as video on demand. Some call it digital simulcast, which fuzzes up the concept IMO. Time Warner in NYC did this several years ago, and other systems have also. Vaguely recall a West Coast Comcast system doing this a while back. At 8-10 channels per 6-MHz slot, normally used for one analog channel, the 'simulcast' conversion doesn't require much bandwidth, although VOD and other services do.

A really remarkable new service, switched broadcasting , which could theoretically deliver all the TV channels in the world, is apparently slated for introduction soon. -- John

Based on the article, all analogs in the "Expanded Basic" tier will be shut off, which is why Comcast said without the new device, the Expanded Basic subs will be watching "snow."

That will free up a lot of bandwidth. The early poster mentioned dropping Comcast if the analogs are shut off. Apparently the basic analogs will not be shut off for a long time, and the convenience of simple VCR hookup will remain, just not for the expanded analog channels. But if you switch to DBS you don't gain any such VCR hookup convenience anyway.

As far as pricing, Comcast is trying to use VOD to justify the higher cost. I don't think it will work too well. But the fact is DBS are on pace with cable in price increase so obviously if Comcast begin to lose subs due to higher cost they can make their pricing competitive. They have already done so for many subs who are defecting from DBS, by giving them $25/month off for 16 months.

The bandwidth saved from shutting off 70 or so expanded basic analog channels will give Comcast a hugh bandwidth boost that can allow them to add many new HDs.
jacmyoung is offline  
post #15 of 869 Old 07-04-2005, 01:39 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
John Mason's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 10,607
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Liked: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacmyoung View Post

The bandwidth saved from shutting off 70 or so expanded basic analog channels will give Comcast a hugh bandwidth boost that can allow them to add many new HDs.

That's a great move by Comcast if they're dropping that much analog. It sure makes sense, and I wish NYC's Time Warner would do the same. A year or so back they dropped about 10 analogs here and added new HD/VOD etc. Minimal HD though.

Last time I checked about 70% of the analogs here were scrambled, requiring a converter. If the scrambled analog channels were dropped, that would leave ~30 available for direct set hookups and analog requirements. Several years back NYC TWC duplicated all its analog as digital. And since expanded analog basic requires a descrambling converter anyway, there's no logical reason subscribers couldn't use a digital converter instead to view channels beyond analog-only. Result: lots of freed-up bandwidth for new HD and other services. -- John
John Mason is offline  
post #16 of 869 Old 07-05-2005, 09:20 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Alan Gordon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Dawson, Georgia
Posts: 2,142
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulGo View Post

Allan Gordon - I believe Time Warner and Comcast divided up the AT&T service.

Yeah, after I asked that question, I looked up some more information regarding AT&T's service.

The reason I asked was that several years ago, some people were laying down cable across the highway from me, and they hit a water line causing us to lose our water service. Though the man in charge came and spoke to us informing us of what happened, and when they got the water back up, he came back to flush rocks out... but not all of the rocks got out and it caused some of our indoor faucets to get messed up, which was aggravating, not only because of the fact that the faucets got messed up, but because even after they were finished laying the cable, we still couldn't receive the service, even though the cable was layed just across the street.

I spoke to the guy when he was over here and found out that he was laying cable for AT&T Digital Cable, and I remember when they had an advertisement in the paper advertising their digital cable service... then next thing I knew, MediaCom was the local provider for the area. I guess Comcast and Time Warner didn't care enough about servicing the area, and so MediaCom came in...

~Alan

DirecTV SUBSCRIBER since 1995!
All comments are my own. Unless specifically stated, my views do NOT represent the views
of Alan Gordon, Alan Gordon Enterprises, Alan Gordon, Inc., or Alan Gordon Amalgamated.
Alan Gordon is offline  
post #17 of 869 Old 07-05-2005, 09:26 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Alan Gordon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Dawson, Georgia
Posts: 2,142
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacmyoung View Post

Based on the article, all analogs in the "Expanded Basic" tier will be shut off, which is why Comcast said without the new device, the Expanded Basic subs will be watching "snow."

The bandwidth saved from shutting off 70 or so expanded basic analog channels will give Comcast a hugh bandwidth boost that can allow them to add many new HDs.

I think this is impressive. Three boxes for free will get most subscribers taken care of, and $1.99 fee for any additional boxes is certainly reasonable.

I'm on satellite, but all of the cable subscribers I know doesn't want to switch to satellite because of either LIL (of which Dish Network offers some, but not all), and the $4.99 fee per box. These same people would hold off on digital cable until they had no choice, and then they'd probably switch to satellite... but with three free boxes, and $1.99 fee for each additional box, cable could easily get rid of the analog channels...

~Alan

DirecTV SUBSCRIBER since 1995!
All comments are my own. Unless specifically stated, my views do NOT represent the views
of Alan Gordon, Alan Gordon Enterprises, Alan Gordon, Inc., or Alan Gordon Amalgamated.
Alan Gordon is offline  
post #18 of 869 Old 07-05-2005, 11:42 AM
AVS Special Member
 
jacmyoung's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 4,460
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mason View Post

That's a great move by Comcast if they're dropping that much analog. It sure makes sense, and I wish NYC's Time Warner would do the same. A year or so back they dropped about 10 analogs here and added new HD/VOD etc. Minimal HD though.

Last time I checked about 70% of the analogs here were scrambled, requiring a converter. If the scrambled analog channels were dropped, that would leave ~30 available for direct set hookups and analog requirements. Several years back NYC TWC duplicated all its analog as digital. And since expanded analog basic requires a descrambling converter anyway, there's no logical reason subscribers couldn't use a digital converter instead to view channels beyond analog-only. Result: lots of freed-up bandwidth for new HD and other services. -- John

Thanks for the link on the "switched broadcasting". I hope the combination of the analog shut off and this new technology will solve the bandwidth issue for cable for a long time to come. It also means cable does not have to go MEPG4 or something similar like DBS is doing. By continue to use MPEGII our firewire recording capability will be safe.
jacmyoung is offline  
post #19 of 869 Old 07-06-2005, 08:06 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Special Member
 
PaulGo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: North Potomac, MD
Posts: 3,625
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Liked: 18
Along the lines of Comcast going to VOD instead of linear programming - from an interview with Shirley Brady Comcast's VP of video on demand programming investments. (A result of this policy will be that all the current cable ready TVs with one way cable cards will become obsolete and require a cable box).

Full interview can be found at:

http://cableworld.com/cgi/cw/show_ma...e=comcasts.htm



Brady: So in your view the smart digital network today is thinking VOD first, and not as an afterthought or as a grudging adjunct to its real dream of launching a linear channel?

Strauss: Yes. That's phenomenally expensive and the economics of launching and creating a linear channel today are more challenged than at any other time. If you believe that the future of television is going to be on demand, for a significantly lower investment you have this opportunity today to reach millions of digital subscribers on a platform that's quickly approaching a point where there's going to be more people watching on demand, and the ratings for on demand will be higher than some cable networks. So we're starting to see more of a migration where programmers are seeing on demand not as this place where you go if you can't get a linear deal, but as actually a place where you want to be. A lot of our enthusiasm about on demand, and about programming for on demand, isn't so much that there's bandwidth constraints on launching more linear channels, it's because we actually know and believe that on demand's a better viewing experience and platform, especially for new forms of content. So that's why we're putting so much effort and investment into on demand. There's nothing that ever really precludes an on-demand service from evolving into a linear channel. If you look at the bigger picture, at some point it's all just going to merge anyway. There's really nothing that will one day from a viewer's point of view they're thinking that they're watching a linear channel, but it very well might be a video-on-demand stream assigned a channel number. What's the difference? Ultimately, there's going to be that kind of merging. The opportunity now is to really embrace the on-demand platform and take advantage of it, especially now while it's still relatively young.
PaulGo is offline  
post #20 of 869 Old 07-06-2005, 09:39 AM
AVS Special Member
 
jacmyoung's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 4,460
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
While I still don't believe VOD will make Comcast more competitive (DBS can do VOD also), I was surprised how much time we spend on watching free VOD programming, and we don't even have HD VOD yet.
jacmyoung is offline  
post #21 of 869 Old 07-06-2005, 12:27 PM
AVS Club Gold
 
Keenan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Posts: 28,196
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 298 Post(s)
Liked: 377
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacmyoung View Post

While I still don't believe VOD will make Comcast more competitive (DBS can do VOD also), I was surprised how much time we spend on watching free VOD programming, and we don't even have HD VOD yet.

Well that's the wrench in this VOD machine that Comcast is creating, it cost money to view this material and I'm unconvinced that it's going to be the big thing that Comcast is banking on. Unless the cost is far lower than it is currently, IIRC, the cost for a HD-VOD movie is about $5-6, and I just don't see that flying.

I think a monthly rate would be more comfortable for most people than individual pricing per program.

But if what the Comcast rep talks about above is just a replacement for standard linear channels, at no additional cost, then it might just work. I often wonder in cable execs are really attuned to how aggravated people are with the high cost of their cable bills already...
Keenan is online now  
post #22 of 869 Old 07-08-2005, 08:25 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Special Member
 
PaulGo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: North Potomac, MD
Posts: 3,625
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Liked: 18
Time Warner Advances Simulcasting
7/7/2005 5:20:00 PM

Time Warner Cable said Thursday that its system in Raleigh, N.C., is the first to digitally simulcast its analog-channel lineup throughout its full service area.

The MSO added that it expects to complete its digital-simulcast rollout in one-half of its 31 divisions by year-end.

The digital-simulcast networks are delivered to the same channel number as the analog networks but converted into a digital format, improving their image, sound and recordability, Time Warner said.

Our simulcast project provides consumers with the best of both worlds -- 100% digital, which means crystal-clear picture and sound, as well as continued delivery of our analog service to those customers who prefer not to use a cable set-top box, Time Warner Raleigh division president Tom Adams said in a prepared statement.

The MSO's senior vice president of strategy and development, Kevin Leddy, added, We have begun to aggressively deliver the digital simulcast of our analog channels, negating any perceived advantage of satellite-delivered video service.
PaulGo is offline  
post #23 of 869 Old 07-08-2005, 08:51 AM
Member
 
liquidnw's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: New York
Posts: 96
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by hjw View Post

The reason we have Comcast Cable instead of Satellite is because of the simplicity of connecting the analog cable to all of our TV's, VCR's, and the DVD/HDD Recorder in the house (we receive our HD OTA).

If Comcast eliminates analog on their cable system, we will probably leave Comcast (who seems to be constantly raising their prices), and switch to satellite. We may also leave Comcast as our internet provider, and switch to DSL since our internet reliability has been intermittent.

Bottom line: Comcast drops analog. We probably drop Comcast.

I find it funny that people say that if there cable company drops analog and requires a cable box on every tv they will switch to SAT. Won't you still need a box for every tv? Unless you have a "magic box" on you other tv's I dont' see what the difference is if you are willing to spend the money for additional boxes satelitte. Sooner or later you going to have to put a box on all you analog tv's anywayif you want them to work for even OTA TV. In NYC we can't get anything above broadcast basic without a cablebox so I don't see what the big deal is.
liquidnw is offline  
post #24 of 869 Old 07-08-2005, 09:20 AM
AVS Special Member
 
raidbuck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Bel Air, MD
Posts: 1,638
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacmyoung View Post

While I still don't believe VOD will make Comcast more competitive (DBS can do VOD also), I was surprised how much time we spend on watching free VOD programming, and we don't even have HD VOD yet.

We also watch a great deal of free VOD. Although we have limited HD-VOD, we've never tried it as we have enough live HD without paying a per-use charge for it.

Rich N.
raidbuck is offline  
post #25 of 869 Old 07-08-2005, 09:24 AM
Senior Member
 
Craig F's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Winter Haven, FL
Posts: 413
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Um, this whole PR stunt doesn't make much sense. This box has no HiDef video outputs, so how can it provide more HD? Also it has no digital audio out. The spec sheets says it does AC3 for 5.1 DD, well you can't get it to your receiver. You only get stereo audio out, which gets surround encoded, but it's still not discrete 5.1.
Craig F is offline  
post #26 of 869 Old 07-08-2005, 09:26 AM
Member
 
Splicer1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Blanchester, Ohio
Posts: 27
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
What VOD is free???

Toshiba 51H83|Onkyo TX-DS484 5.1 A/V receiver|Pioneer DV434|Motorola 6200|Bose 501 Series V|Bose VCS-10|Infinity RS12 Servo Subwoofer|Pioneer rear
Splicer1 is offline  
post #27 of 869 Old 07-08-2005, 10:33 AM
QZ1
AVS Special Member
 
QZ1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: S.E. PA
Posts: 5,047
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by liquidnw View Post

In NYC we can't get anything above broadcast basic without a cablebox so I don't see what the big deal is.

I hear it is like that in many major cities, but not everyone lives in a major city, therefore, they are used to not having an STB.

This plan allows people the choice temporarily, anyway. So, it's no issue, yet.
QZ1 is offline  
post #28 of 869 Old 07-08-2005, 10:57 AM
AVS Special Member
 
jacmyoung's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 4,460
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig F View Post

Um, this whole PR stunt doesn't make much sense. This box has no HiDef video outputs, so how can it provide more HD? Also it has no digital audio out. The spec sheets says it does AC3 for 5.1 DD, well you can't get it to your receiver. You only get stereo audio out, which gets surround encoded, but it's still not discrete 5.1.

The point was this "new technology" frees up 70 analog channels, meaning cable can add 700 more SD digital channels, or 150 more new HD channels, much like what D* and E* plan to do by migrating to MPEG4, only at a much lower cost.

Another benefit of cable migrating to 100% digital is people will no longer complain about the snowy pictures.
jacmyoung is offline  
post #29 of 869 Old 07-23-2005, 08:39 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Special Member
 
PaulGo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: North Potomac, MD
Posts: 3,625
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Liked: 18
Comcast Gets Assertive Over Set-Tops
MSO Works With Suppliers to Drive Development of New Digital Boxes
BY MATT STUMP 7/25/2005


Led by deals with Motorola Inc. and Pace Micro Technologies plc, Comcast Corp. is taking a much greater role in set-top design and development as it uses its status as the No. 1 MSO to speed up development work with vendors.

We have a family of set-top boxes where we influence the design and feature set much more heavily than in the past, said Comcast senior vice president of digital television Mark Hess. We're now working with chip and set-top companies to lay out functional requirements, technology, software, et cetera.

In March, Comcast signed a wide-ranging deal with Motorola, valued at $1 billion, that covered both set-top co-development efforts and co-licensing agreements for MediaCipher. The latter gives Comcast greater control over the licensing and costs associated with MediaCipher conditional-access technology.
PACE LICENSE

In May, Comcast signed a three-year pact with Pace valued at $375 million to $550 million. The agreement superseded an earlier deal between the companies and covers the purchase of set-tops, including Pace's Tahoe HD digital video recorder. Comcast also gained the right to sublicense Pace's EngineWare software and specified designs for the North American cable market.

We're creating a family of products, Pace Americas president Michael Pulli said. We will put the EngineWare software across all our products.

Although there is no new deal between Comcast and S-A, its other set-top supplier, the vendor reports increased activity with Comcast on a number of fronts.

The company will double, if not triple, its Comcast business once the Adelphia Communications Corp. transaction with Time Warner Cable is complete.

We're working more closely [with Comcast] than we ever had, said S-A engineering director Burchall Cooper.

S-A has six different working groups devoted to Comcast, he said, covering set-top design, downloadable conditional access, next-generation video on demand and Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification signaling gateway development.

Hess said Comcast is working on reference designs for three levels of set-tops for all its set-top vendors.

The development includes work on an entry level device that does VOD, the Open Cable Applications Platform and has a DOCSIS digital set-top gateway modem, Hess said. The second set-top would do all the above functions, plus add HD and digital video recorder capabilities.

The third box is a media-center device. While somewhat less defined, Hess said, we need the lowest cost, highest functionality DVR box, he said.

On the low end, Hess said, We have a low-cost DCT 700 that's an OK bridge for now. But eventually we would like more processing and memory and have DOCSIS.

CHIPS UP TO TASK

The good news, Hess said, is that current chips on the market can handle most of what Comcast wants to achieve. It can typically take upwards of 12 to 18 months to design a chip from scratch, an eternity in the media business.

Although Motorola and Pace have grabbed the headlines, Hess said Comcast will grow its S-A footprint with the Adelphia deal. They are pretty good at building DVR boxes, he said. We're making sure everyone understands we want to have openness in the market.

Cooper said S-A is involved with multiple initiatives with Comcast, including the residential set-tops specifications laid out by Hess.

Downloadable conditional access is another S-A working group, Cooper said. S-A had been working on downloadable security even before the cable industry got an extension on two-way CableCard deployment from the Federal Communications Commission in February. The delay was designed to allow cable and its vendors to pursue downloadable security schemes.

We're probably the lead vendor with Comcast defining that architecture, Cooper said.

Another initiative is advanced DSG deployment, Cooper said. S-A has had its DSG interoperability verified at Comcast labs and plans to do a trial with the MSO using advanced DSG on a DVR, he said.

S-A WORK IN SYNC

Cooper said S-A's own set-top development work lines up fairly closely with what Comcast is trying to achieve. The company is working on next generation DVRs that would include advance codecs, such as H. 264 and VC-1, plus DOCSIS 2.0 and downloadable conditional access.

Pace also has been pulled closer to the Comcast orbit. We're creating a family of products, covering both standard definition and HDTV versions of set-tops, said Pace president Mike Pulli.

The Comcast deal is a three-year extension of a Pace deal signed years earlier, and covers the company's Tahoe HD DVR.

The deal also covers Pace's licensing software, EngineWare. We writing software that works across boxes and different vendor implementations for VOD, etc., Pulli said. It will ease porting of applications.

In the past, Pulli said, the biggest fear an MSO had was that it had to take whatever set-top a vendor provided. To Pulli, innovation was left in the hands of Motorola and S-A.

He points to direct-broadcast satellite provider EchoStar Communications Corp., which does its own set-top development and has been able to get to market quicker with newer products.

They control what they put in the field, he said. Comcast is getting closer to that model with the work it has undertaken, Pulli added.

TALKING TO TV MAKERS

Comcast also is reaching out to the traditional TV manufacturer crowd for set-top development or inclusion of traditional set-top capabilities in future two-way TV sets. Several companies, including Panasonic Corp. of North America, LG Electronics and Samsung Electronics have signed a two-way cable host licensing agreement with Cable Television Laboratories Inc.

Hess sees those companies developing TVs that might include a DVR or even a DVD burner, to start. Over time, integration efforts could include other devices those companies make, such as cameras and camcorders.

The new deals haven't had much effect on other MSOs, executives say. I don't think what Comcast has done impacts Cox any differently than how [Tele-Communications Inc.] used to do in the old days, said Dallas Clement, senior vice president of strategy and development at Cox Communications Inc.

Set-top design has evolved where it's a more open structure and more development environment, he said. The choices we make today aren't party of a closed ecosystem.

Cox also is large enough to hold some sway with set-top vendors. We tend to be an objective third party that hopefully brings new thinking and independent thinking to set-top design and applications, Clement said.
PaulGo is offline  
post #30 of 869 Old 07-23-2005, 10:40 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
Ken H's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Metro Detroit
Posts: 45,876
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 12
Other Comcast service areas are also transitioning to all digital.

'Better Living Through Modern, Expensive, Electronic Devices'

Ken H is offline  
Reply HDTV Technical

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off