From Tvpredictions.com :
Washington, D.C. (January 25, 2007) -- DIRECTV this month announced it will offer 100 national HDTV channels by year's end, leaving some to wonder if cable operators will be able to keep up.
However, Comcast revealed this week that it's testing a new technology that may let cable operators offer a much larger number of high-def networks. (Most cable operators now offer less than 20 HDTV channels due largely to bandwidth restraints.)
Called 'Switched Digital Video,' Comcast says it will likely deploy the new technology in the second half of 2007 -- when DIRECTV is expected to expand its high-def lineup.
"If a programmer comes to us and says, 'We want you to carry new HD channels' we're stuck in that bandwidth problem," Rick Riboili, Comcast's vice president of production platform engineering, said this week at an industry conference. Rioboli's remarks were reported today by Multichannel News.
But with the new technology, the cable op can easily expand high-def capacity, meaning "we don't have to plan two or three years in advance which channels we're going to be dropping to carry HD."
can deliver more channels than regular broadcasting because the signals are sent via video streams only when the viewer turns to that channel. Consequently, a cable operator is not forced to store every channel in its lineup.
Rioboli told the publication that Comcast wants to ensure that the technology is stable before deploying.
"We're done with the vendor evaluation and system design," he said. "Now we need to get to the point where we can realistically deploy and manage it."
He did not reveal where the technology is being tested.