Bob Larribeau, a long-time industry analyst, has an interesting take on switched digital video (SDV) over on his blog. After speaking to some folks from Motorola about SDV, he posted his own analysis suggesting that while SDV is very useful to cable companies, it doesn’t threaten telecom video providers. According to Larribeau, analog cable subscribers, who won’t be able to take advantage of SDV, are the ones most likely to switch to a telecom provider, hence not changing the competitive landscape all that much.
I wonder if that premise is true. Sure analog subscribers are probably the people most concerned with price, but digital customers are likely the most savvy with regard to TV features and applications. The point of SDV is that it will help cable operators manage bandwidth so they can offer more content and services. The telecom companies certainly aren’t going to compete on price alone.