Time Warner Gets Switched

twc.jpgBen Drawbaugh over on EngadgetHD reports that Time Warner Cable will be deploying switched digital video (SDV) to 50% of its markets before the end of 2007. That’s great news in the sense that SDV should free up significant bandwidth. Like analog reclamation, SDV will make it possible to offer more HD content as well as new apps like Time Warner’s Start Over service.

Unfortunately, as Ben points out, SDV is not great news for TiVo Series3 (and potentially stand-alone Moxi) owners. Today’s CableCARDs only permit one-way communication (technically that’s not exactly true, but for all practical purposes it is), which means TiVo customers won’t be able to access switched content, including any new HD channels.

Two-way CableCARDs are coming, but not quickly enough. Despite the fact that cable operators may be getting two-way cards in time for the 7/07 deadline (they need them for VOD services as well as SDV), those cards haven’t been certified for retail devices. Sorry TiVo customers — you’ll have to wait for CableCARD 2.0 and refresh that hardware.

4 thoughts on “Time Warner Gets Switched”

  1. As you linked to, ALL CableCARDs are two-way. It is the host device that is the deciding factor. The cards we have today are two-way, always have been, it is just that devices so far are UniDirectional.

    As for the TiVo Series3 – a hardware refresh may not be required. Tom Rogers, TiVo’s CEO, stated before Congress recently that TiVo, and others, are working with cable so that unidirectional CableCARD devices, such as the Series3, can access SDV content. See: http://www.tivolovers.com/2007/05/10/mr-tivo-goes-to-washington/

  2. It is pretty much an issue for anyone using CableCARD today, as basically all CC devices in use, and all of them on the market, are unidirectional. Even though the bidirectional hardware spec is out, the software side is still in heated debate.

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