Originally Posted by Riverside_Guy
At first I thought this to be a device to deal with the analog to digital transition, but from the above post, it's purpose seems very different. From the text, one must conclude it's a :"install for each customer" type of device. As we all should know, this IS a real issue. I wonder if this could be deployed to nodes (in my system, it's fiber to a node, then conversion to cooper; each node accommodates about 500 customers and obviously this is all about urban areas as my node is 1/2 block away). Anyway, they are also talking 08 deployment, so nothing to get too excited about. By that time, we may have fully deployed SDV.
HOWEVER, a 8600 series SA box I find VERY curious. No such thing on their site, so it's probably a misprint and should be 8300. Sloppy stuff like that also gives pause as to everything else in the article...
Re "Jeff Huppertz led the development of Scientific-Atlanta's popular 8600 series of digital cable boxes":http://www.sciatl.com/customers/Source/88d250.pdf
The 8600 series for which Jeff Huppertz reportedly led the development (past tense), was deployed in early 1990's, as described in the above spec sheet for the 8610.
An ALL DIGITAL cable system would free up maybe 70-80 analog channels.
That's twice as many as are currently used for Digital. THAT'S HUGE!!!!
And there is nothing to prevent them from retaining the current "Basic" analog tier (about 20 channels), saving the cost of a converter for budget users.
These 50-80 freed up channels could then be used for other purposes, such as two or three HD channels per carrier, On-Demand/PPV including ala carte program downloading (aka IPTV), automatic software updates to HDTV's (under test in San Diego), data broadcasting (news, sports scores, theater skeds, stock prices, et.al.), much higher speed Internet connections and (my favorite) Video Phone service.
Of course, for those homes NOT equipped with this new converter, Digital STBs (or CableCard HDTVs) would have access to these new digital channels.
Since some (or all) analog channels versions would no longer be available on the neighborhood cable feed, a Digital-to-Analog channel converter has to placed somewhere between the cable entry point and your TV's---could be the garage to feed multiple TVs.
Presumely this new converter would regenerate the analog channels (e.g. CH21-70+ or even CH2-70+), and COULD allow pass-thru of the higher digital channels.
However, it is not clear what would happen to the NEW digital channels in the CH2-70 positions if only some of your TV's had digital converters (or CableCard)....because the regenerated analog channels would replace them!!!!
They could be upconverted to higher digital channel positions (hmmm, may need better house wiring)....or they could use a Switched Digital Video (SDV) technique (making them incompatible with one-way CableCard)....or maybe they are deployed to individual TV's in "mixed" homes.....and condo/apts.
PS: DOCSIS 3.0 doesn't magically push more bits per second. Channel Bonding can be used to LOGICALLY combine three 6 MHz QAM-256 channels (36 Mbps each) into a single 3 x 36 = 106 Mbps data stream. However, there is no net increase in data rate. Two to three HD channels can currently be carried in each QAM channel. With Channel Bonding, several more HD channels can be carried across the three channels due to increased efficiency in the Statistical Mutiplexer. Two or three HD channels is just too small a load to ensure that data bits can be "stolen" from channels with low activity in order to adequately cover bursty data rate requirements on other channels.