Sunday, July 01, 2007
Another improvement that Comcast made to its system has been to increase the number of channels that it offers. Thanks in large part to the upgrade to digital television, increasing the number of channels available has been relatively quick and easy. Whereas cable television companies were limited to about one hundred channels for a long time, Comcast current offers nearly 300 channels. This increase in available programming has a lot to do with digital technology and the ability of digital programming to be compressed to use less bandwidth than analog television.
What is even more exciting is that the company is working on ways to deliver all programming practically on demand. Right now, bandwidth limitations make it impossible to offer more than a few hundred channels. Plus, as high definition television kicks into high gear, television service providers will be hard pressed to deliver as many channels as viewers want using existing bandwidth. This is where a technology called Switched Digital Video technology comes into play. By only delivering programming when it is chosen by a particular receiver (an instantaneous process), no bandwidth needs to be wasted by having all channels delivered to every television. This technology will become especially important as high definition television becomes more widespread and will make Comcast the leader in the television industry.
Of course, Comcast also offers other technologies that elevate its services above satellite television. On Demand television is one of these services, and is a very important component of its cable television packages. This technology creates a standard of viewer control and allows the viewer to watch programming or movies when it is the most convenient. The company's On Demand television selection is growing rapidly and is making it easier for people to get the programming they want when they want it.
By taking the threat of satellite television seriously, Comcast has created superior new technologies that have turned the situation around and made cable the better choice.