Cablevision Kicks Voom HD To Switched Tier
Offers CableCard Customers One Year Free Use of HD Set-Top
By Todd Spangler -- Multichannel News
3/18/2008 3:26:00 PM
Cablevision Systems will soon start delivering Voom HD Networks' 15 high-definition channels using switched digital video, and as part of the change is offering subscribers with CableCard-based systems free use of an HD set-top for one year.
The operator earlier this month mailed postcards to customers who use CableCards with non-Cablevision supplied equipment - such as TiVo digital video recorders - informing them of the offer. A Cablevision customer posted a copy on user-discussion Web site dslreports.com on March 15.
Switched digital video allows operators to free up bandwidth, by delivering linear TV channels only when subscribers in a service group request them.
Currently, however, one-way cable-ready consumer electronics that use CableCards to access cable programminglike TiVo DVRscan't tune to switched digital video channels. With a Cablevision HD set-top, TiVo users would be able to receive the Voom networks and other SDV channels.
Jim Maiella, Cablevision's vice president of media relations, confirmed that the postcard was authentic, and added that the Voom channels will be moved in April and May. According to the postcard, the offer to CableCard customers expires June 30 and is limited to one HD digital cable box per household.
Cablevision had 14,462 CableCard customers as of Dec. 11, 2007, according to a National Cable & Telecommunications Association filing with the Federal Communications Commission.
The operator began offering the Voom lineup - from its Rainbow Media Holdings subsidiary - in June 2007. The 15 Voom HD channels are Animania HD, Equator HD, Family Room HD, Film Fest HD, Gallery HD, GamePlay HD, HDNews, Kung Fu HD, Monsters HD, Rave, HD, Rush HD, Treasure HD, Ultra HD, WorldCinema HD and WorldSport HD.
Cablevision currently offers 45 HD channels to its 2.6 million digital cable subscribers for no additional charge. The company claims it has the ability to offer up to 500 HD channels.
Separately, CableLabs has developed a "tuning resolver" to let TiVos and other one-way cable-ready consumer electronics access switched digital video channels. The NCTA said major cable operators plan to offer the SDV tuning resolvers to customers in the second quarter of 2008.http://www.multichannel.com/article/...?q=Cablevision