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Charter, Motorola, and the Return of Switched Digital Video

The buzz on switched digital video has slowly risen to a fever pitch again over the last few months. After initial excitement back in 2007, enthusiasm for the technology waned in the wake of DTA success, and regulatory concerns around the tuning adapters needed to make SDV work with retail DVRs. Now SDV is making a comeback. Motorola announced this morning that cable company Charter is deploying Motorola’s switched digital solution and has a goal to launch SDV in 60% of its footprint by the end of the year.

At the Cable Show last month, I heard unofficially that SDV is gaining popularity again across the cable industry. In fact, the technology has never gone away, but operators haven’t used it in recent years for its bandwidth-saving attributes. With increasing consumer demand for capacity, however, SDV is being reconsidered for its ability to extend bandwidth. More bandwidth means room for more HD content and higher broadband speed tiers.

Stay tuned for further details on the resurgence of switched digital video. I’m working on getting more answers in the coming days.

5 Responses

  1. [...] are easy and useful to track as operators determine the best uses for switched digital video. After writing last week about the resurgence of SDV, I continued digging to see what I could find out from actual deployments. Not surprisingly, [...]

  2. [...] We’re likely to hear more about tuning adapters in the coming months as cable operators ramp up their switched digital video rollouts. And there’s more proof today that those ramp-ups are far more than rumor. According to [...]

  3. [...] FCC’s broadband proposals, the explosion of 3D, massive growth in VOD content libraries, the return of switched digital video, and several developments in the area of TV/Internet convergence. What do you see ahead for the [...]

  4. [...] stalling out back in 2008, SDV has made a comeback in recent months. In June, Motorola announced an SDV rollout with Charter Communications, and Charter says it plans to have SDV in 60% of its footprint by the end of the year. Comcast, [...]

  5. [...] Time Warner Cable is somewhere in the middle between Comcast and Cox. With an 870 MHz plant, Time Warner has relied primarily on switched digital video to cut its bandwidth demand. Its transition to an all-digital network is on a much slower pace than Comcast, but with SDV, Time Warner can save bandwidth by keeping select channels switched off when they’re not in use. Charter’s following an SDV path too. It started an aggressive rollout of the technology last year. [...]

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