Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Digital cable technology is a good way to get high speed Internet service for a number of reasons. When you think about the alternatives that shouldn't be surprising. While DSL is a popular alternative that costs about the same amount of money, it can't provide the same level of performance because it transmits Internet data over phone lines instead of the beefy, well insulated cables that are used for digital cable technology. Another way of looking at it is the difference between what a phone line does and what a TV cable does. A phone line transmits a voice conversation with pretty low sound quality while Comcast delivers TV with high quality sound and picture over the same cables that are used to deliver Internet access.
In fact, the ability of digital cable technology to deliver Internet access is derived directly from its ability to deliver lots of TV content. Since cable TV became digital, it has become extremely easy for cable TV companies like Comcast to deliver Internet access. After all, the Internet really just transmits digital data back and forth across the cable!
Of course, Comcast has made some major achievements when it comes to delivering high quality high speed Internet service. In fact, it keeps pushing the limits on the amount of bandwidth that can be delivered over a single Internet connection. While many of Comcast's competitors (those using cable technology at least) are delivering download speeds of up to eight Mbps while Comcast is delivering data as quickly as sixteen Mbps. That's quite a difference in performance!
Another difference between Comcast's broad band cable high speed Internet service and other high speed Internet services of all types is the number of extra features that you can get from it. Comcast provides a variety of features to make the Internet experience more secure for computers and safer for families. This includes virus protection software to keep malicious code like viruses, worms, spyware, and adware from damaging your home computers. Just as importantly, Comcast provides free updates for these virus protection programs for the duration of your subscription so that your computers can keep running at their best. In addition, Comcast provides top notch parental control software to protect your kids from the less wholesome aspects of the Internet. An optional firewall is also available to keep your home network practically invisible to the larger Internet. You may also be able to get a wireless router so that your entire family can get online at the same time.
There are clearly a lot of advantages to getting your high speed Internet from Comcast.
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Wednesday, March 18, 2009
This improvement in the position of cable TV shouldn't be surprising when you look at the advancements that Comcast has made over the past decade or so. In fact, Comcast has invested massive amounts of money in providing better service than anything that the satellite TV companies can muster. That money spent has paid off in some impressive ways.
One of the things that Comcast has invested in is digital TV transmission. The transmission of digital TV signals makes a big difference when it comes to both the quality of the picture and sound, as well as the quantity of programming that can be delivered. That's because not only is digital TV very resistant to the interference that can ruin TV reception, but it's also possible to use existing bandwidth much more efficiently with a digital signal. You see, since a digital signal is the same as computer data, that signal can be compressed to take up less bandwidth. If each channel takes up less bandwidth with the help of compression then more total channels can be sent over the same cable with its limited bandwidth!
Another neat trick that Comcast has implemented in order to outdo satellite TV in terms of the number of channels that it can offer is called switched digital video. Switched digital video changes how TV channels are transmitted over cables. Specifically, instead of transmitting every channel over the cable to the subscriber's home all the time, switched digital video allows Comcast to transmit only the channels that the subscriber wants to watch. This means that instead of hundreds of channels, there only has to be enough bandwidth for one or two channels. This allows more bandwidth to be available for things like Internet and phone services. It also effectively removes any practical limitations on the total number of channels that Comcast can provide!
A similar concept is video on demand. With video on demand, Comcast can transmit a specific video to a customer when that customer demands it. This effectively removes the scheduling limitations from watching TV! While not every TV show is available through video on demand, Comcast is working to bring more video to video on demand all the time. In addition, video on demand is something that satellite TV cannot do a good job of providing simply because satellite technology doesn't allow the viewer to request specific videos be transmitted over the satellite signal at specific times.
These are just a few of the reasons why Comcast is beating the competition.
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Wednesday, March 11, 2009
While Comcast has implemented many technological advancements over the years, the most important one has been digital TV. Digital TV delivers more total channels and better picture and sound quality than the older analog transmission format. This is true even when digital TV and analog TV are transmitted side by side over coaxial cables. The thing is that just because cables are buried underground that doesn't make them completely immune to interference and interference is what makes just about any analog picture look slightly fuzzy and makes the sound less than ideally clear. The beauty of digital TV is that with a digital signal, the interference can be cleaned out by the digital cable TV receiver so that the picture and sound are as good as that of the native recording!
On top of the fact that Comcast's digital TV signal provides a really clear picture and sound quality, it also allows Comcast to deliver more total channels. You see there are a lot of things that can be done with digital technology that can't be done with analog technology and that's because digital TV is really just computer data being transmitted over the cable. That computer data is translated back into TV by the digital receiver. Since digital TV is really just computer data, that means that it can be compressed for more efficient use of bandwidth and the more efficiently bandwidth is used the more channels can be transmitted over a cable (which has finite bandwidth) all at the same time! This has allowed Comcast to increase the number of channels that it offers far beyond the eighty to ninety channel limit that plagued the cable TV industry back in the nineteen nineties. In fact with programming packages reaching up to three hundred channels in size, Comcast is the match of any other TV service provider in existence.
One kind of technology that Comcast is in a good position to implement- and in fact has been implementing for quite some time- is HDTV. HDTV is a newer TV format that's designed to duplicate the experience of a big movie theater for any kind of TV programming in the private home. HDTV programming is provided through HDTV channels which Comcast is constantly adding to its lineup of channels. The thing is that HDTV channels require up to ten times the bandwidth of a normal TV channel, which has made it tough for many TV service providers to implement. Comcast is on track to be able to deliver HDTV channels as they become available thanks to the clever use of bandwidth managing technology.
As you can see, Comcast goes to great lengths to use the latest technology to deliver great TV.
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Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Fortunately making a choice of Internet access is easy when you have the facts. The first thing that you should know is that digital cable high speed Internet through a company such as Comcast will be the best choice in terms of speed and value. It's the fastest alternative available and costs about the same as DSL and far less than broad band wireless or satellite Internet. Having said that, we can rule out the other alternatives for a variety of reasons.
Dial up is obviously out as far as Internet connections go simply because it's so slow. The fact that it's slow makes it a horrible value. When you think about it, most dial up connections cost about half of what Comcast's broad band digital cable even though it delivers one one hundredth of the speed! Definitely a horrible value!
In terms of value, broad band wireless and satellite Internet are almost as bad as dial up. They'll deliver about a fifth of the speed (at best) of digital cable high speed Internet from Comcast even though they cost about twice as much! Both of these services have a number of drawbacks that make them less convenient to use. For example, satellite Internet requires bulky, expensive equipment that doesn't give you mobile Internet access despite the fact that the satellite signals are available anywhere. In addition, since satellite Internet uses geosynchronous satellites, it has a built in lag time that makes it bad for VoIP communications or any other application that has to take place in real time. This means that online gaming it out as well. Broad band wireless is mobile, but it's slow and has pathetically small caps on the amount of data that you can download in a month. Plus, because it's provided through data networks maintained by mobile phone companies, many providers won't let you use VoIP applications over this kind of Internet connection. None of these disadvantages are issues with Comcast's high speed Internet service.
DSL can also be ruled out for the simple fact that its slow. It costs about as much as Comcast's highs speed Internet service, but at its best it only delivers about a fifth of the speed. Municipal WiFi is cheap, but not particularly reliable or secure.
All of this makes Comcast the ideal source of high speed Internet service because of its value, speed, security, and reliability.
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