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post #451 of 838
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by keenan View Post

Yes, but with Comcast, up until now anyway, not charging extra for HD and DIRECTV heading toward dropping their HD charge altogether(currently 2 years of no charge), I can't see where Comcast would start to enforce the charge, not with their direct competitor dropping theirs.

What you say is logical -but what does logic have to do with dealing with Comcast. This week alone I spent over an hour with them trying to straighten out my bill for incorrect hardware charges. Some of the CSRs while well meaning seem to make up fact to justify what is on the bill instead of knowing the correct information.

Their has to be a reason for the change in billing and calling it an HD additional outlet service. Time will tell as to what is the reason. Maybe they just want to say they give you one HD box free!
post #452 of 838
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulGo View Post

What you say is logical -but what does logic have to do with dealing with Comcast. This week alone I spent over an hour with the trying to straighten out my bill for incorrect hardware charges. Some of the CSRs while well meaning seem to make up fact to justify what is on the bill instead of knowing the correct information.

Their has to be a reason for the change in billing and calling it an HD additional outlet service. Time will tell as to what is the reason. Maybe they just want to say they give you one HD box free!

You're quite right, logic doesn't play a huge role when it comes to Comcast, I guess we'll have to just wait and see and then storm the local office with hammers if they do start charging it.
post #453 of 838
For what it's worth:
Cox Phoenix charges $3 for what they call Digital Access for the first set and $2 for the second set. My first set has a cable card which costs $2 which hasn't changed since I got the service in 2007. I got a second set a year later which didn't have a CC. I used that set's tuner to view the clear QAM SD and HD and analog SD channels with no additional charge. Last fall I got an HD STB so I could view the expanded HD channels on the second set. A $2 Digital access charge was added plus the $8.50 for the STB. The Digital Access is not an HD charge as it is required with their SD STB's as well. I assume $2 would be added for each additional STB but I don't know that. Since Cox Phoenix still has NTSC Starter and Expanded channels they do not use DTAs.
post #454 of 838
I pay nothing for cable cards (2 Tivos & 1 TV)

Digital Cable 10/08 - 11/07 80.40
Includes:
Digital Pref w/ On Demand
Digital Additional Outlet 10/08 - 11/07 9.25
Cablecard 10/08 - 11/07 0.00
3 @$0.00 each
Total XFINITY TV $89.65
post #455 of 838
Quote:
Originally Posted by a68oliver View Post
Keep in mind that a cablecard is NOT an HD device. It is a decryption device. It is necessary to decrypt SD digital programs as well as HD programs.

It would be possible to subscribe to digital cable without subscribing to HD services. It doesn't seem appropriate to charge an HD Technology Fee for siimply having a cablecard.
Yes, but in light of the fact every CableCARD host device ever made for consumer purchase is HD capable makes your point moot.
post #456 of 838
Quote:
Originally Posted by mchief99 View Post

I pay nothing for cable cards (2 Tivos & 1 TV)

Digital Cable 10/08 - 11/07 80.40
Includes:
Digital Pref w/ On Demand
Digital Additional Outlet 10/08 - 11/07 9.25
Cablecard 10/08 - 11/07 0.00
3 @$0.00 each
Total XFINITY TV $89.65

But you are paying for an extra outlet, and the card is included in that. This is another part that varies by system - some pay for extra outlets for CCs, some don't.
post #457 of 838
Thread Starter 
Comcast 'RNG' Set-Tops Have IPTV Potential
November 5, 2010 | Jeff Baumgartner

DENVER -- Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) appears to be seeding a future IPTV strategy with the ongoing introduction of a new breed of digital set-top boxes that can be become IP video-capable via the addition of new software and firmware.

Several industry sources have mentioned this capability to Light Reading Cable in conversations in recent weeks, but Comcast EVP and CTO Tony Werner confirmed it Thursday when he spoke here at the WICT Rocky Mountain "Tech It Out" event at The Cable Center .

Responding to a question on that topic, he said those Comcast-specified boxes, which go under the Residential Network Gateway (RNG) umbrella -- are indeed IP-cable, noting they come equipped with a Docsis modem and an IP address.

He said Comcast has already deployed a bunch of them running in "native" mode, but "we can flip them" to support IP video.

Werner didn't go into when Comcast might start that process or how the MSO might take take advantage of those IP capabilities, but a person who's familiar with the project said the "biggest value of the [RNG] box is that it's architected for IP using a change in the software control [layer]. It can be best described as a computing network box that also works as a set-top."

Comcast is already deploying HD-only and HD-DVR RNG models that support both MPEG-2 and MPEG-4, and use CableCARD-based security. It's understood that the operator is also working on a more advanced "gateway" model based on Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) silicon that can share content with other devices. Early on, Comcast had specified a standard-def RNG box, but since then has been using simple Digital Terminal Adapter (DTA) devices to help fulfill its SD box needs. (See Intel Goes Inside Cable... Again, Intel Snares TI's Cable Modem Business , and Will Intel Go Inside Cable Multimedia Gateways? )

An MSO spokeswoman recently confirmed that Comcast is "broadly deploying RNG-class boxes," sourcing set-tops from Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT), Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), and Pace plc that can be upgraded to support tru2way. RNG boxes "from at least one other OEM are current in field trials," the official said.

Full article at:

http://www.lightreading.com/document...eklynewsletter
post #458 of 838
Thread Starter 
3D Coming Faster Than Expected

The consumer-electronics industry is pushing 3D faster than any previous technology, according to Rick Dean, chair of the 3D@Home Consortium, at the recent 3D@Home Workshop in San Jose, Calif. Considering the fact that we are only two years into this, it is phenomenal that we already have something getting into the home and there is a content workflow coming and a commitment to make it happen on both the theatrical side and home side, he added.

But many details still need to be worked out to create a consistent 3D infrastructure. One of the biggest questions facing the industry is how to provide enough underlying consistency so that it works seamlessly across broadcasters, cable operators, set-top boxes and TVs. Chris Chinook, founder and president of Insight Media, said there are challenging technical problems in getting equipment from different vendors to work together.

For example, there are multiple options for compressing and packaging 3D content. A 3D video requires more data than does a traditional 2D video, yet operators want to leverage the traditional video-distribution infrastructure. Both Blu-ray disc players and Internet distribution can support higher data rates relatively easily, but cable providers and terrestrial broadcasters are wondering how to squeeze the additional bits into existing HD channels.

To help address these challenges, vendors have developed a variety of 2D-video, frame-compatible approaches. Each approach uses an algorithm to extract specific parts of the image and repack this data into a traditional video image format. The three main approaches being explored today filter out alternate rows, columns or checkerboard-like blocks to reduce the size of the image.

Once reduced, these two images are packaged together. The most common configurations are to pack one image above the other or to arrange them side by side, because these dual images can be compressed more efficiently using MPEG than other patterns. These same packing arrangements are also applied to images extracted via a checkerboard pattern, which can be a problem for the 3D decoder because the same side-by-side arrangement is used for checkerboard or column filtered video. Chinook explained, If the device sees two images side by side, there is no way to know how it was packed.

Vendors are starting to incorporate a variety of types of metadata into 3D data formats, which could help set-tops to identify the type of stream automatically and to fine-tune the content for the specific TV. This metadata also could be used for adjusting the subtitles to the appropriate depth in the current video. But there are at least three different metadata approaches, so a device vendor would have to license the technology for all three in order to support seamless interoperability today, Chinook added.

Although more work needs to be done on the specifications, broadcasters have committed to making a solid step into 3D. ESPN rolled out a 3D sports channel on the Comcast, ATT, Verizon and DirecTV networks, and it plans to show 85 3D events in its first year. DirecTV also has launched a 3D channel, and the Discovery channel is working with IMAX and Sony to roll out a 3D channel in 2011.

Most of these are trial based activities. Everything is not best-suited for 3D, and we are going to find that out, Chinook concluded. We are going to go through an experimental phase, trying out a lot of content, until we figure out what works.

http://www.cable360.net/ct/news/ctre...ted_43977.html
post #459 of 838
Thread Starter 
Comcast 'RNG' Set-Tops Have IPTV Potential

November 5, 2010 | Jeff Baumgartner

DENVER -- Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) appears to be seeding a future IPTV strategy with the ongoing introduction of a new breed of digital set-top boxes that can be become IP video-capable via the addition of new software and firmware.

Several industry sources have mentioned this capability to Light Reading Cable in conversations in recent weeks, but Comcast EVP and CTO Tony Werner confirmed it Thursday when he spoke here at the WICT Rocky Mountain "Tech It Out" event at The Cable Center .

Responding to a question on that topic, he said those Comcast-specified boxes, which go under the Residential Network Gateway (RNG) umbrella -- are indeed IP-cable, noting they come equipped with a Docsis modem and an IP address.

He said Comcast has already deployed a bunch of them running in "native" mode, but "we can flip them" to support IP video.

Full article at:

http://www.lightreading.com/document...&site=lr_cable
post #460 of 838
Thread Starter 
New Guide for Scientific Atlanta Cable Boxes
Posted by Ted Hodgins, Sr. Director, Video Product Development - Navigation, in Media & Entertainment

You may not think about the On-Screen Program Guide every day (the interface that connects you, via your remote control, to all the channels and On Demand programming you enjoy) and that's ok because I do (along with a team of people here at Comcast).

When you do share your opinions and ideas - through direct feedback, blog posts, forums and research - my colleagues and I gather all that information and work it into our planning and design of upgrades and new Guides.

We heard loud and clear from customers that live in what we call Scientific Atlanta/Cisco (or SA) markets (that's you, if your Guide looks like the one pictured here) that you want your Guide to have more shortcuts, load On Demand faster, and have a user-friendly interface.

We listened and starting this year, customers in those SA markets are going to get a new and improved on-screen experience. The Guide will be launched on a rolling basis, market by market, throughout the year. We've been testing the Guide with some of our employees (often our toughest customers!) who live in Connecticut, and the verdict is in: they love the new Guide.

So, what's new? For starters, check out the color-coded TV grid, a new On Demand menu that loads faster, more detailed program information, an improved search feature and a convenient menu of shortcuts (we call it the Quick Menu).

Some other new features include:

* expanded parental control options
* multiple favorites lists
* additional channel grids
* a message center
* local weather available anytime, right in the Guide

Customers who will be getting this new Guide will see TV commercials and will get a booklet in the mail explaining all the new features.

http://blog.comcast.com/2010/05/new-....html#comments
post #461 of 838
Thread Starter 
Comcast tests OTT delivery
Brad Dick December 17th, 2010
Comcast may claim the company is not concerned about Âcord cutting, but its actions say otherwise. Coming off a loss of more than one-quarter million subscribers in Q3 2010, you can bet Comcast is looking at OTT.

The ÂWallstreet Journal reported on Monday that Comcast was testing an Internet-enabled STB with a small set of subscribers in Augusta, GA. The set-top box, known as ÂSpectrum by users and ÂXcalibur by Comcast personnel, provides some Web-like functionality. A Comcast spokeswoman told the ÂJournal, ÂWe are testing many technological approaches to understand how best to meet consumer interest, and this small trial is one of those experiments.Â

Comcast isnÂ't the only company trying to entice viewers to purchase its products by delivering Internet to the television set. DIRECTV, Verizon, Sony, Samsung, Panasonic, LG, Vizio and others have their own proprietary solutions permitting viewers some access to the Internet via the living room TV set. Some set manufacturers provide their own hosted Web portal, others simply allow access to popular social websites and a few widgets.

So far, some far smaller companies are leading the challenge in delivering content to home screens via OTT. Those include hardware companies like Roku and Boxee, and software providers including Hulu, ivi TV, Filmon, Play On and Netflix. Microsoft and Sony can deliver Internet to the television screen via their respective gaming platforms the Xbox and the PlayStation 3.

Two facets of the Comcast test are interesting. First, itÂ's not unexpected that a major MSO would experiment with a Web-enabled STB. After all, the entire television consumer industry is claiming that Google TV or some version of the technology is going to liberate millions of viewers and enable Ã* la carte viewing. Were that to happen, it would represent a major disruption in the marketplace, especially for MSOs and satellite companies. It would be smart business to toy with the competing technology now, looking for advantage.

A second, and a more legalistic, view is that Comcast might have wanted to keep this particular story quiet as the FCC considers its merger with NBCU. All the mergerÂ's opposition needs are a few more Âsee, I told you soÂÂ examples of Comcast trying to block out the competition. This story probably wasnÂ't meant to be told, just yet.

Broadcasters need to keep a wary eye out for OTT delivery. According to a new report from The Diffusion Group, revenue from the delivery of Internet video to the TV will grow nearly sixfold over the next five years, from just less than $1 billion in 2009 to $5.7 billion in 2014.

http://blog.broadcastengineering.com...-ott-delivery/
post #462 of 838
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulGo View Post

Comcast tests OTT delivery

[...]

http://blog.broadcastengineering.com...-ott-delivery/

OTT?

Nowhere do they define that. Nothing I could think of made sense. A couple Google searches and I finally found a reference. "Over The Top". WTF? What's that supposed to mean?
post #463 of 838
Internet delivery rather via QAM, etc.

Jim
post #464 of 838
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dswallow View Post

OTT?

Nowhere do they define that. Nothing I could think of made sense. A couple Google searches and I finally found a reference. "Over The Top". WTF? What's that supposed to mean?

The Wallstreet Journal reported on Monday that Comcast was testing an Internet-enabled STB with a small set of subscribers in Augusta, GA. The set-top box, known as Spectrum by users and Xcalibur by Comcast personnel, provides some Web-like functionality.
post #465 of 838
Thread Starter 
Comcast Now Has 150 HD Channels In Philly
By Swanni

Washington, D.C. (December 16, 2010) -- Comcast has added 50 new High-Definition channels in Philadelphia, making it the first Comcast market to offer 150 HD channels.

The new channels include BBC America HD, DIY HD, Ovation HD, PBS Kids Sprout HD and Smithsonian HD.

The channel expansion is part of Comcast's Xfinity promotion and the cable operator says it will dramatically boost the HD lineup in more cities in 2011.

We hear daily from customers who have benefited from our Xfinity suite of services, said Amy Smith, a Comcast senior vice president in Philadelphia. The addition of new HD and international channels on Xfinity TV has played a major role in improving the Comcast experience for our customers and we intend to continue boosting their level of value and options.

While DIRECTV and Dish Network claim to offer more than 150 HD channels, both satellite services include a large number of VOD channels which show the same movie 24 hours a day. Consequently, in Philadelphia, Comcast now offers more basic and premium movie HD channels than either satcaster.

The Comcast 150 HD channels in Philadelphia are listed below:
HD Pay-Per-View
WPVI Live Well HD
WFMZ HD (IND)
WLVT HD (PBS)
WUVP (UNIVISION HD)
WPPX HD (ION)
WNJS (NJN-HD)
HD ON DEMAND
KYW HD (CBS)
HSN HD
WTXF HD (FOX)
WPVI HD (ABC)
WPHL HD (My17)
QVC HD
WCAU HD (NBC)
WPSG HD (CW)
WHYY HD (PBS)
The Weather Channel HD
CNN Headline News HD
CNN HD
MSNBC HD
CNBC HD
Fox News Channel HD
Fox Business HD
Universal HD
USA HD
FX HD
TNT HD
TBS HD
Spike HD
Comedy Central HD
SyFy HD
Hallmark HD
A&E HD
Bravo HD
E! HD
Style HD
Lifetime HD
WE HD
TLC HD
HGTV HD
Food Network HD
Travel Channel HD
truTV HD
Comcast SportsNet HD
Versus HD
Golf Channel HD
ESPN HD
ESPN2 HD
ESPNews HD
ESPNU HD
CBS College Sports HD
Big Ten Network HD
The Comcast Network HD
Speed HD
NHL Network HD
MLB Network HD
NFL Network HD
NFL RedZone HD
Tennis Channel HD
NBA TV HD
TV One HD
BET HD
G4 HD
Animal Planet HD
Discovery Channel HD
HD Theater
National Geographic HD
Science Channel HD
Planet Green HD
bio. HD
History Channel HD
History International HD
Disney XD HD
Cartoon Network HD
Nickelodoen HD
Disney Channel HD
ABC Family HD
Palladia HD
CMT HD
MTV HD
Fuse HD
VH1 HD
GMC HD
AMC HD
Turner Classic Movies HD
Encore HD
MGM HD
IFC HD
Hallmark Movie Channel HD
Lifetime Movie Network HD
Investigation Discovery HD
HBO HD
HBO2 HD
HBO Zone HD
HBO Latino HD
Cinemax HD
Showtime HD
Starz HD
BBC AMERICA HD
CRIME & INVESTIGATION HD
NAT GEO WILD HD
SMITHSONIAN HD
COOKING CHANNEL HC
DIY HD
JEWELRY HD
GAME SHOW NETWORK HD
OVATION HD
GALAVISION HD
SPROUT HD
HUB HD
MAV TV HD
OUTDOOR CHANNEL HD
SPORTSMAN HD
WORLD FISHING NETWORK HD
INDIPLEX HD
HBO WEST HD
HBO2 WEST HD
HBO SIGNATURE HD
HBO SIGNATURE WEST HD
HBO FAMILY HD
HBO FAMILY WEST HD
HBO COMEDY HD
HBO COMEDY WEST HD
HBO ZONE WEST HD
HBO LATINO WEST HD
CINEMAX WEST HD
MOREMAX HD
MOREMAX WEST HD
ACTIONMAX HD
ACTIONMAX WEST HD
THRILLERMAX HD
THRILLERMAX WEST HD
WMAX HD
5STARMAX HD
OUTERMAX HD
@MAX HD
SHOWTIME TOO HD
SHOWTIME BEYOND HD
SHOWTIME BEYOND WEST HD
SHOWTIME SHOWCASE HD
SHOWTIME SHOWCASE WEST HD
SHOWTIME EXTREME HD
SHOWTIME EXTREME WEST HD
TMC HD
TMC XTRA HD
STARZ WEST HD
STARZ EDGE HD
STARZ IN BLACK HD
STARZ KIDS & FAMILY HD
STARZ CINEMA HD
STARZ COMEDY HD

http://www.tvpredictions.com/comcast121610.htm
post #466 of 838
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulGo View Post

The Wallstreet Journal reported on Monday that Comcast was testing an Internet-enabled STB with a small set of subscribers in Augusta, GA. The set-top box, known as Spectrum by users and Xcalibur by Comcast personnel, provides some Web-like functionality.

I certainly followed the article by context in that sense. That still doesn't explain what OTT is supposed to be indicative of. How "Over The Top" equates to anything to do with Internet-enablement, or IP delivery, or anything described int that article. Is there some meaning to "Over The Top" or "OTT" that I'm missing?
post #467 of 838
Thread Starter 
Is OTT Cable's Trojan Horse?

by Jack William Bell

The lead-up to the TelcoTV 2010 conference has seen a spate of OTT announcements, including Amino, Entone, Skitter, and Latens. But, unless you are a Telco executive you might be asking What is an OTT?

OTT stands for Over The Top': a device intended to act as a single point of convergence for web video, IPTV, and classic cable. Back in 2007 David L. Smith described OTT as:
http://www.imediaconnection.com/content/15893.asp

The classic definition of OTT is the distribution of voice, video and data services without going through the MSOs or telcos. In this case, we are talking about a television set (usually a flat-panel) that is connected to the public internet as well as a private content distribution network (CDN) like a cable, satellite or telephone company. With OTT, there is another connection besides the CDN. It is through your computer to the internet and rides on top of the existing infrastructure. This means that you can program your TV to receive either the normal CDN, an internet site like YouTube or a GUI Widget that is a guide and search service as your default screen.

Seems like something open and consumer-enabling, doesn't it? However, today, OTT may represent both more and less than that description!

The original vendors of OTT products were consumer-facing companies, such as Sony, LG, Pioneer, Samsung and others. Compare that to the list of recent product announcements above and note that every single one of those companies is B2B with the Telcos and cable operators. They are not consumer-facing in the slightest.

What does this mean? TekNerve thinks OTT, as provided by Big Cable, is an arrow in the cable operator's quiver designed for the upcoming war over the Digital Living Room. This form of OTT is intended to cement their hold on the consumer by acting as a controlling node, even in those installations that also include a modern IPTV set-top box or television in the mix.

Cable companies can easily make these OTT boxes into a kind of Trojan Horse, designed to edge out IPTV competition, with consumers welcoming them into their living rooms because they need them to access new cable features and programming their old cable box cannot provide. The open question is: will these OTT boxes also have APIs and third-party apps?

This seems unlikely. To date the cable operators have shown little interest in opening up their ecosystem to third parties, instead jealously holding themselves separate and only allowing vendors and selected partners to add features to their equipment.

Given the direction open IPTV is taking, this seems like a losing proposition for the cable operators. In the long run consumers will flock to the devices that give them the apps they want, which means to the devices that make it easiest for third parties to create useful apps. We may have cable OTT boxes in our living rooms, but they won't really be Over The Top'. Instead they will be just another video source.

http://www.teknerve.com/2010/11/is-o...-trojan-horse/
post #468 of 838
Quote:
Originally Posted by liquidnw View Post
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.
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.
They are just intoducing this in my area, we could recive our local hd station with our expanded basic service. And 480i sd on all of the cable stations. Now with the same service we can get up to 480p on all stations and it looks horible on an hdtv. However the boxes make the pictures on sdtv sets look sharper by eliminating some the snowy immage.
post #469 of 838
Thread Starter 
CES 2011: Samsung Puts MSOs in the Picture
January 7, 2011 | Jeff Baumgartner

LAS VEGAS -- 2011 International CES -- Cable's new tru2way-free approach to the retail market took another positive turn Thursday with word that Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) will begin to stream linear channels and video-on-demand titles later this year to Samsung Corp. Smart TVs and the company's new tablet computer, the Galaxy Tab.

The partnerships will give each MSO a branded "badge" or "button" on those devices and essentially offer all of their subscription cable TV services without the need for a separate set-top box. Comcast will, of course, promote its offering under its new "Xfinity" label. (See Comcast's 'Xfinity' Brand to Take Over the House .)

Boo-Keun Yoon, president of Samsung's visual display business, revealed the partnership here during his Thursday afternoon keynote address, and was joined on stage by Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts, and TWC Chairman and CEO Glenn Britt.

Comcast and TWC developed the interfaces they're employing on the Galaxy Tab and on Samsung TVs (which house the the company's Smart TV application environment).

And they'll support a DVR option. Samsung's TVs and tablets don't build in a DVR, but they will be capable of ingesting content that is stored on an MSO-supplied HD-DVR that's hanging off the home network and connected to another TV.

The hookup with Samsung represents the cable sector's latest attempt to cozy up to the retail side of the consumer electronics industry after its earlier tru2way and CableCARD efforts failed to get the desired results.

Among other, similar moves this week, TW Cable has forged a deal with Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE) for certain Bravia models, and Comcast has teed up plans to offer on-demand and linear channels to Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPads and a range of Android-powered tablets later this year. The Galaxy Tab is the first announced Android tablet that Comcast intends to support. (See Comcast to Stream TV to iPads, Android Tablets and CES 2011: TW Cable, Sony Make IPTV Connection.)

How are they doing it?
The MSOs and Samsung, which also supplies TW Cable and other US cable operators with traditional digital set-top boxes, have not revealed many details regarding the technical aspects of the TV and tablet arrangement.

However, it's understood that the setup will use Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) (for device discovery) if the customer wants to view content stored on a DVR via the home network, and use DTCP-IP to keep that content protected as it travels around the home network. (See CableLabs Okays DTCP-IP.)

The MSOs involved in this deal happen to use Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) for their multi-room DVR deployments, so it's likely they will supply those customers with free MoCA-to-Ethernet bridges to set up the IP communications link between Samsung TVs and the DVRs.

The setup for the delivery of live, linear channels to the Samsung devices isn't so clear. It's believed that those channels will be delivered over IP using a "session-based" approach that acts like a traditional conditional access system, since that content is not being stored anywhere. However, it's possible that the MSOs could add a digital rights management (DRM) component later on.

Also, that live content will arrive to the Samsung TV in IP format through a Docsis cable modem. The operators aren't labeling this method as "IP video" yet, but instead refer to it as an "advanced digital cable platform."

http://www.lightreading.com/document...site=lr_cable&
post #470 of 838
Thread Starter 
IP Will Trump Tru2way
January 4, 2011 | Jeff Baumgartner

While it may appear that we're simply piling on by recounting the trials and tribulations of tru2way and its failure as a retail enabler, this week's International CES may actually turn out to be a turning point in the cable and consumer electronics industries' efforts to become true partners.

This may indeed become the CES that sees the two sides start to truly come together and push years of posturing and posing aside. It won't happen overnight, but I'm getting the sense that cable and CE will be closer to reaching that goal by week's end than they were when the US's major MSOs initially put their weight behind tru2way retail strategy three years ago.

Full article at:

http://www.lightreading.com/document...site=lr_cable&
post #471 of 838
Thread Starter 
Cable Bridging CMAP's Migration Gap


Engineers are developing a technical option that will let cable operators gracefully migrate to the Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)-led Converged Multiservice Access Platform (CMAP) architecture without having to decommission old edge QAMs and cable modem termination systems (CMTSs).

The idea is to create a downstream-only version of the Access Shelf -- a key piece of the CMAP architecture -- that would end up looking a lot like a super edge QAM. That approach could help preserve modular CMTS deployments that use discrete edge QAMs for downstream traffic and the core CMTS for the upstream.

This way, the argument goes, MSOs could start to introduce elements of the CMAP before they are ready to make a complete jump to the new architecture. Vendors aren't expected to start releasing final-form CMAP products until 2012.

"We have to add equipment during the bridge years before we have a complete CMAP," says Cox Communications Inc. Senior Director of Network Architecture Jeff Finkelstein. "There's capital being spent during these bridge years."

Full article at:

http://www.lightreading.com/document...&site=lr_cable
post #472 of 838
Thread Starter 
Comcast Back-Burners SDV (Again)

Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s hot and cold relationship with switched digital video (SDV) has run frigid again.

"SDV is one of several technologies for managing bandwidth, and we've decided to put further SDV deployments on hold to focus on other solutions," an MSO spokeswoman confirmed to Light Reading Cable via e-mail.

Comcast declined to elaborate on those reasons or what's taking SDV's place on the bandwidth management pecking order, but the MSO confirmed the situation after an industry source said Comcast had recently "de-prioritized" SDV.

News of the decision comes roughly seven months after it appeared as though Comcast was starting to get gung ho on SDV, a bandwidth-conserving technology that multicasts a program stream only when a customer in a given service group requests it. SDV also has targeted advertising and IP video migration implications. (See SDV: Cable's Stepping Stone to IP Video? )

Last June, in a filing with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) , Comcast said it intended to start deploying SDV in a "limited number of systems" in 2010, and proceed "more broadly in 2011-2012" to help clear out room for at least another 50 HD channels and push those totals beyond 150. Comcast made the statement soon after the FCC reversed an SDV-related ruling that froze new deployments of the technology. (See Comcast Getting Ready to Uncork SDV and FCC Reverses SDV Ruling.)

Full article at:

http://www.lightreading.com/document...eklynewsletter
post #473 of 838
Thread Starter 
Comcast Tunes Up 3DTV

February 18, 2011 | Jeff Baumgartner

Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) will ratchet up the 3DTV hype cycle another notch on Feb. 20 when it launches Xfinity 3D, a 24-hour 3-D channel that will feature concerts, sporting events, movies and some original programming.

Comcast hasn't said how many hours of individual 3-D programs will grace the channel early on, but it did note that it will supply "more than a dozen" movies in the format.

The new network boots up at 6 p.m. ET with 3-D coverage of the 2011 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic between the Montreal Canadiens and Calgary Flames, followed by the MTV World Stage Kings of Leon concert from Hamburg, Germany.

Xfinity 3D is the full-time 3-D channel developed by Comcast. The MSO also carries ESPN 3D, which went 24/7 on Feb. 14, and offers several 3DTV titles via video-on-demand (VoD). Comcast says it has served up more than 1 million 3-D VoD streams since April 2010, when it got things going with linear and on-demand 3-D coverage of the Masters golf tournament.

Comcast still doesn't carry 3net, a linear 3-D channel from Discovery Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE) and Imax that launched Feb. 13. DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV) is still the only service provider carrying that one.

Why this matters
For millions of consumers who don't have a 3-D-capable TV, it really doesn't. At this point, it's really all about bragging rights and serves, to a degree, as a retention tool for the few customers that have already shelled out for a new set and those fancy glasses.

Comcast's new channel is largely a competitive response to DirecTV, which led out with its own 3-D channel last summer. Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), which scoffed at cable's initial 3DTV efforts, is also expected to make some big 3DTV moves as well.

http://www.lightreading.com/document...site=lr_cable&
post #474 of 838
Thread Starter 
Comcast Explores Network DVRs
March 7, 2011 | Jeff Baumgartner


Now that Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) has cleared a legal path for network DVRs in the U.S., it's probably only a matter of time before other MSOs start to think about how they can strike up similar services and reduce capital spent on set-top boxes.

Put Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) on the list of operators that's at least giving Cablevision's concept of the "remote-storage" DVR more than a cursory glance.

"I think it is a great opportunity," Comcast President Neil Smit said Monday at the Deutsche Bank Securities Media & Telecom conference in Palm Beach, Fla., in response to questions about Cablevision's recent product launch. "We are currently investigating that and I think we're very conscious of the content owners and the content rights."

After hurdling copyright challenges brought on by programmers, Cablevision introduced its RS-DVR product, branded DVR Plus, in January in the Bronx for $10.95 per month. Cablevision's hopeful that its use of downloadable security and reduced reliance on boxes without hard drives will let it buy boxes for as low as $50 per unit. (See Cablevision's Network DVR Debuts in the Bronx and Cablevision Eyes $50 Set-Top.)

For the moment, Comcast is still focused on local DVR/set-top combos, a video-on-demand (VoD) library that's currently comprised of 25,000 "choices" and its Xfinity TV Online product for PCs and tablets. (See Comcast's 'Project Infinity' Takes Flight and Comcast's TV Everywhere Play Breaks Out of Beta .)

But Smit did acknowledge that Comcast is working on a way for customers to port content stored on a DVR hard drive and take it with them for later playback. "We're looking at that capability. But I think a lot of functionality currently exists for the customer," Smit says.

If and when Comcast pulls the trigger on such a product, it already has a name ready to go. About a year ago, Comcast made the term "DVR2Go" a registered trademark, and Motorola Mobility Inc. (NYSE: MMI), one of Comcast's key suppliers, had previously used the same term in some public literature. (See Comcast Shoots for 'DVR2Go' Trademark .)

Comcast has played around with "portable" DVR technology in the past, most notably its work with Panasonic Corp. (NYSE: PC) on a tru2way-based product that was never launched. (See Comcast, Panny Polishing Portable DVR .)

Overall, Smit seemed bullish on how Comcast can continue to evolve its video products. "I think video is really the battleground and the area where we see the most opportunity for innovation," he said, noting that Comcast's app for the iPad has already been downloaded more than 1.3 million times roughly five months after it was launched.

High on Wi-Fi
Smit also addressed Comcast's wireless strategy, noting that the MSO will continue to work with Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR), but that the MSO has been expanding its use of Wi-Fi, hopeful that the two technologies will live together.

He said Comcast's Wi-Fi build in the metro Philadelphia area cost $20 million to $25 million. "We're not as dense as I would like to be, but at $4,500 an access point, we think it is a scalable solution for us."

http://www.lightreading.com/document...eklynewsletter
post #475 of 838
It looks like the following STB will be used as an AnyRoomDVR because it has MoCA and a 500 GB hard drive.
Quote:


Comcast's quad-tuner Xfinity Spectrum DVR with internet access revealed by the FCC

Written on December 22, 2010 at 4:17 am
by News Updater
Tech News

Say hello to the future of DVRs, at least from Comcast, as its as-yet unannounced Xfinity Spectrum box passed through the FCC's database shortly after having its existence revealed by the Wall Street Journal. A quick peek at the production-ready manual reveals there's plenty of new features here, including a new guide design including IMDB-style cast & crew info as well as access to internet services. While it's hardware makes this Pace RNG-210n a 500GB HD DVR with four tuners, MoCA and IP access, one of the biggest changes is a software makeover means it pops up notifications prompted by your Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.



Configurable at Xfinity.com/Spectrum, it looks like it will only pull in information when people you follow share pictures, video, or link to info about TV shows and movies, with "most" viewable right on the box itself, plus the option to share what you're watching on those services. There's less details available about that "apps" section of the menu but weather, traffic, music and games are promised, take a quick peek at the most interesting sections including a look at the guide, remote and box in our gallery or check out the FCC filings yourself for more details -- it's hard to tell if the changes will make all our issues with cable provided set tops go away, but pretty much any new guide has to be better than what's there now, right?

http://tech-news.tk/?p=46114
post #476 of 838
Schedule for SA/Cisco Markets Based on Previous Information from Comcast's Ted Hodgins, Sr. Director, Video Product Development - Navigation, in Media & Entertainment, "New Guide for Scientific Atlanta Cable Boxes" blog, news articles and the Following Link:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...9#post20057219

Phase 1 - New OnScreen Guide
Houston: March 1, 2011 - April 15, 2011
All SA/Cisco Markets: May 2010 - May 31, 2011
Started with Connecticut (Conn.) - May 2010

Phase 1 - XFINITY: World of More
Houston: January 25, 2011 - up to a year

Phase 2 - New OnScreen Guide with Interactive Features
2011 (Lots of SA/Cisco Narkets)
Caller ID to the TV
HSN Shop by Remote
Ready Remind
Ready Record
Request for Information applications
Xfinity TV application (Change Channels with your iPad)

Phase 3 - Remote DVR Scheduling (myDVR Manager) & XFinity TV Application
2011 (Lots of SA/Cisco Markets)
Set Recordings
View/Modify Scheduled Recordings
View Completed Recordings
Modify Series Priority Lists, etc.

Phase 4 - Tru2way Guide (On Screen Guide 2.0) & AnyRoom DVR
2012 (Several Markets in 2011)
In SA/Cisco markets, Phase 4 will only initially be available for RNG 200-N boxes (AnyRoom DVR) and then to all RNG devices. I would not run out to trade your 8300 HD box for an RNG just yet....
An Extensive New Guide with a 16:9 Display
Rich On-Screen Graphics
Search Results that Include On Demand
and Linear Television Results that can be Filtered
More On-Screen Guide Listings
Customized Grid Views
The Ability to go Back in Time in the Listings Grid
Network Logos in the Guide
Poster Art in On Demand
Additional FF and REW Speeds in On Demand
(to Match the DVR Experience)
There are many more Features included
Many more Details to come later
post #477 of 838
The new guide for the SA/Cisco markets is based on the A25 Motorola STB guide, an older guide version. The current Motorola STB guide is version A28. The PIP (picture in picture) feature which is no longer supported allows you to watch two channels at the same time. One channel uses the full screen and the other channel shows in a smaller window. You control it with the PIP buttons.

The following link is to a post that describes the "Advantages and Disadvantages of the New Guides and Hardware":

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...9#post19551799

The post is in the Houston, TX - Comcast / DBS thread and has a lot of posts about the new guide.
post #478 of 838
This is an open question to current Comcast subscribers. I signed up for the Xfinity triple play today, but can still cancel, and need some feedback on the video quality of current Comcast HD programming. I had Comcast cable TV and internet 5 years ago, but switched my internet to Verizon FIOS, which brought fiber to my home, and assumed that I would then get FIOS TV, which had excellent bandwidth and video quality. Alas, Verizon sold New England to Fairpoint, so FIOS TV was never to be, and I switched my TV provider from Comcast to DirecTV. I like the service, but they never delivered PBS in HD, and between DirecTV, Fairpoint internet, and Vonage phone, I pay a lot more than the two year deal that Comcast is offering. I have a 65" HD set and a 100" JVC projector, and I'm a videophile, with a DVDO 3D six axis color management system, tri-stim meter, Calman4, etc.

Bottom line: Back when I made the switch to DirecTV four or five years ago, Comcast was struggling to push HD over its pipes, and had to use heavy-handed compression, which resulted in visible artifacts. They now have fiber at the end of my driveway. Is their HD video still overly compressed, or are those days behind them, and their video quality excellent? Thank you.

Kevin McCarthy
post #479 of 838
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin McCarthy View Post

This is an open question to current Comcast subscribers. I signed up for the Xfinity triple play today, but can still cancel, and need some feedback on the video quality of current Comcast HD programming. I had Comcast cable TV and internet 5 years ago, but switched my internet to Verizon FIOS, which brought fiber to my home, and assumed that I would then get FIOS TV, which had excellent bandwidth and video quality. Alas, Verizon sold New England to Fairpoint, so FIOS TV was never to be, and I switched my TV provider from Comcast to DirecTV. I like the service, but they never delivered PBS in HD, and between DirecTV, Fairpoint internet, and Vonage phone, I pay a lot more than the two year deal that Comcast is offering. I have a 65" HD set and a 100" JVC projector, and I'm a videophile, with a DVDO 3D six axis color management system, tri-stim meter, Calman4, etc.

Bottom line: Back when I made the switch to DirecTV four or five years ago, Comcast was struggling to push HD over its pipes, and had to use heavy-handed compression, which resulted in visible artifacts. They now have fiber at the end of my driveway. Is their HD video still overly compressed, or are those days behind them, and their video quality excellent? Thank you.

Kevin McCarthy

A very difficult question to answer. It really depends on your local Comcast system and how well it is maintained. Comcast has gotten most of the encoder issues behind it and where I am I consider the picture quality pretty good. Also Comcast does not compress local HD channels (over the air). As you know Comcast does not run fiber to the premises. Comcast runs fiber to a node which can be several blocks (or more) away from your house. It then runs copper wiring which it amplifies throughout your neighborhood. Another critical are it having good wiring and connections through your house.
post #480 of 838
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulGo View Post

A very difficult question to answer. It really depends on your local Comcast system and how well it is maintained. Comcast has gotten most of the encoder issues behind it and where I am I consider the picture quality pretty good. Also Comcast does not compress local HD channels (over the air). As you know Comcast does not run fiber to the premises. Comcast runs fiber to a node which can be several blocks (or more) away from your house. It then runs copper wiring which it amplifies throughout your neighborhood. Another critical are it having good wiring and connections through your house.

Also you can save a lot of bucks by switching to Ooma for your telephone service it works great with Comcast cable.

http://www.ooma.com/
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