Originally posted by mdg
Anyone have anymore info about Qwest and HDTV?
I have Qwest cable. I am pleased with their service and the fact that they offer affordable "business class" internet service that gives me a static IP with inbound and outbound traffic without any hassles or issues.
I also know the story behind Qwest's cable offering...
In the early 90's, when the techno-rage was offering "interactive TV", USWest (now Qwest) wired up half the city with fiber optic with the plans of test marketing interactive TV services. Well, of course that all fell through, because of obvious technical problems, lack of standards, etc. So, rather than throw the many millions of dollars out the window, they decided to offer regular cable TV service and compete with Cox. This was well before Cox had a digital offering. USWest TeleChoice offered more channels at a much lower rate. Then, in late 1996, the began to offer broadband internet service through a proprietary backend with cable modems built by LANCity.
At any rate, HDTV via Qwest really is probably not possible without major equipment changes at the head end as well as the neighborhood hubs. TeleChoice has always offered cable service without the need for boxes because they just send an analog signal to your house from the neighborhood hub. Channel descrambling is not done in home but rather at their CO and the neighborhood hubs (every 10 homes has a fiber hub of sorts).
Obviously, Qwest has the bandwidth for HDTV. If I recall, each home has close to 500 megabits of network capacity. Of course, you couldn't have too many HD channels, but then... how do you tackle the issue of not having to provide a cable box? You could encode everything as 8VSB and run that to each home that wanted it, but I am sure that that sort of thing would require new hardware in the hubs to deal with and to modulate the new signal.
In short form: Qwest will never offer HDTV via their cable system because it's not design to make money, it's designed to keep Qwest's partial fiber deployment from being written off as a loss. Qwest makes enough money from the system to justify its existence and that's pretty much it.